I put on three pairs of gloves, so as not to contaminate the crime scene, while writing the following sentences. Because a) I love this detective drama and b) I am fully aware that laying 120 half-hours of District 31 per year, it’s a colossal, titanic challenge worthy of an ultramarathoner of the keyboard, well done Luc Dionne.
But there, the prolific screenwriter must tighten and clarify his plots, because he is losing us.
The assassination of Judge Pelland (Jean-Bernard Hébert), the links with the powerful Trottier family, the bizarre lecturer Vincent Lemaire (Patrick Drolet), the mad killer of the massage parlor Yan Gadbois (Jean-Denis Beaudoin), the fugitive with the severed hand Alain Naud from the Ké-Pac delivery company, the strange Daniel Dujardin (Benoît St-Hilaire) who shot Gabrielle Simard (Geneviève Brouillette), and the same Daniel Dujardin whose corpse was found in a motel room is a mess of confusing information.
Of course, all these disparate characters and events have a common bond, which has stretched for several weeks already. Sporadically, an investigator sprinkles clues about this criminal nebula. Like: Judge Pelland ruled in favor of the Trottier family in a case of 500 to 600 million, but it does not advance any further. The 31st team is still digging into the murder of my favorite, Virginie Francœur (Catherine-Audrey Lachapelle), and here too, things are going in all directions.
Is the culprit the slimy Nick Romano (Mathieu Baron), who hoped to trap Francis Garand (Frédérick De Grandpré) and take over his construction company at a discount?
Could the culprit be called Emmanuel Jean (Maxime Mompérousse), who would have avenged his brother Léopold, killed in 2017 by four prostitutes, including Virginie Francœur? Did the secret services get involved in this coup to try to recover the diamonds safely in Italy? All the assumptions hold.
Also, we would hear from Nesly (Karl Walcott), who beat up Ben Biron (Eric Hoziel) before disappearing in his patrol car.
Luc Dionne should also settle the case of Nick Romano, who leads wide, too wide, with impunity. This shutter is dragging its foot and it starts to go round in circles. Stolen diamonds, François Labelle (Peter Miller), Romano, the key to the box, Italy, we must complete this.
As for the murder of Judge Pelland, the gang of the 31st will focus on it in the coming weeks. The new character played by Myriam LeBlanc, detective sergeant Madeleine Depault, expert in economic crimes, will help Patrick Bissonnette (Vincent-Guillaume Otis) and company to unravel all the threads that cross around the magistrate, shot dead by a delivery man from K- Pac at his home.
The most impressive is that District 31 does not lose any addicts despite the complexity of its stories. We tend to underestimate the intelligence of viewers, who know that Luc Dionne will not abandon them in a cul-de-sac.
Here, in the first two weeks of January, 1,837,000 addicts have not missed a second of the adventures of our favorite police officers. District 31 is a televisual phenomenon whose full power is not yet fully appreciated.
Oh yes, I love the trio of the Independent Investigations Service (SEI) made up of André Dallaire (Pierre-François Legendre), Mélissa Corbeil (Brigitte Paquette) and the mole to Yves Jacob (Marc Fournier).
Without hard feelings, without subtitles
Someone at TVA lacked vigilance in approving the special episode of Without hard feelings, which aired Sunday night. There were 25 former academics in the stands and when the camera showed one or one in close-up, half the time we didn’t know who it was.
Of course, Olivier Dion, Suzie Villeneuve and Marie-Élaine Thibert were easily identifiable. But the others, no. When they’ve remade each of the show’s theme songs since 2003, it would have been so easy to have their names displayed at the bottom of the screen. Émilie Lévesque, Marc Angers, François Babin, Jean-Philippe Audet, Martin Giroux, Sandy Duperval, Audrey Gagnon or Sophie Vaillancourt, it is far in our collective memory.
If he had not reacted as much to the parody that Pierre-Yves Roy-Desmarais made of him, I would never have recognized William Deslauriers. No hard feelings attracted 997,000 fans on Sunday night, an excellent score. No hard feelings thus beat the elimination night of Big Brother Celebrity (688,000) on Noovo. Everybody talks about it was Sunday’s most-watched program with 1,054,000 followers.
To return to Big Brother, production should assume its choices. We never show the contentious extracts, so as not to offend the viewers, but we build several episodes around these famous hurtful remarks while letting the competitors talk about it. ad nauseam.
Conflicts shape history in the mansion. This is reality TV. Either we accept it or we just don’t talk about it.