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4.6 out of 5 stars139
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 28 February 2012
I watched the first 2 seasons on DVD. I think series 1 was good but season 2 was great. In both seasons, there is a conflict between the female detective Laure Berthaud and her nemesis, Josephine Klassen, a corrupt criminal defense attorney. The tension between them is much more intense in season 2. I found the series fascinating in part because I don't know anything about the French justice system. There are a number of characters that come together by the end of the two seasons. Other reviews compare this to "The Killing". This is understandable since "Spiral" was recommended by Amazon based on my interest in "The Killing". The Danish "Killing" is also quite good, but these are very different shows. In Spiral, we have a very likable, yet flawed, Detective, who is paired against a beautiful, yet very unlikable attorney. The protagonist in "The Killing", does not let her personal life interfere with her work as a detective, quite the opposite. I actually thought Season 1 was much better than Season 2 of "The Killing". I. watch these DVD's in the USA. I found that the easiest way to watch region 2 DVD's, was to buy an external drive for about $50 that I can put into the computer and format as region 2.
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on 23 May 2011
Good value, delivered promptly and enjoyable viewing if you like gritty crime stories. The subtitles worked really well and it also helped refresh my very rusty French.
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on 23 April 2011
After watching the Killing it took a couple of episodes to adjust to the pace and style of this gaelic offering.
However, it is equally engrossing.
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VINE VOICEon 6 August 2011
I bought this after watching the third series of Spiral on BBC4. BBC4 has become my channel of choice for Saturday evening viewings with the excellent Swedish Wallander series and then The Killing from Denmark. Spiral series one and two had been broadcast but somehow I missed it.

These two series, especially series two are brilliant. I felt quite bereft when I had finished watching. The French justice system is rather different to ours and I'm still not quite sure about what everyone's role is but it doesn't matter. You become immersed in the characters and the stories and it really doesn't matter that you don't know what the prosecution judge does compared to the prosecuting lawyer. Be warned though - it's quite violent and graphic and that takes some getting used to.

I now need to watch series three again to see how each character has developed. This is a series where character rather than plot takes first place though the plots are pretty good.
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on 8 October 2011
I watched part of the series on on the BBC but kept missing episodes due to shift work. I loved the pace and the raw humanity of the characters. I decided I had to see the whole series and purchased a box set. I am thoroughly chuffed with my purchase and have enjoyed every minute. My ability to understand French is non-existent but with subtitles I don't even notice I can't speak the language.
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on 14 June 2011
A lot of reviewers have commented on the subtitles but the fact that this series is in French is one of its greatest assets. Thank heavens it hasn't been dubbed in English. That would have ruined the atmosphere and deprived those of us with rudimentary French of the opportunity to expand our language skills and vocabulary (although, it has to be said, not always in directions one might want to use in polite conversation!). I hate it whenever some French guy is talking on the English news and you're just getting your ear tuned in to what he is saying when they drown him out with an English voice-over.

The characters are (very) French so it would be ridiculous for them to speak anything else. The plots are multi-faceted and the characters develop from one series to the next so try, if you can, to watch them in order. The insights into Parisian life and, in particular, the legal system are fascinating.

This is a must-watch series for any fan of "gritty" (excuse the cliché) police drama and/or francophiles of all description.

I hear, on the grapevine, that series 4,5 and 6 are planned, so Spiral addicts need not despair.
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on 1 February 2011
Fantastic series. everyone says "The French law and order" but its even better than that. Twists and turns make it very watchable
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on 16 August 2011
I paid for this CD with my own money. This is money on which I paid tax. I haven't avoided paying my FAIR SHARE of UK tax. Does Amazon pay it's fair share of tax like me???

I watched the third series on TV which was superb too. But I love French films so I might just be prejudiced. Anyway I had to get the DVDs of the first 2 series to find out how it all started.

It's an ensemble piece following the working lives of 3 cops and 3 lawyers in a very down at heel modern Paris well off the tourist route. Bright colours are banned - it has a seedy green hue - the colour of all those poor apartments in American movies. Laure the female lead detective is a heroine for a feminist future. I love her. There are lots of bad people in high places trying to warp justice and the lawyers and police are all compromised in some way. It isn't original - it's just done very, very well.

But are the French police really allowed to rough up suspects like this?
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on 2 April 2016
There is much to commend this french police drama series set in suburban Paris - interesting characters, intense drama, and mostly realistic feeling. However, strikes against the series are: excessive focus on gruesome corpses - just too much; complete absence of any operational co-operation with the uniformed gendarmerie - surely unrealistic; security in the police station is so careless that lawyers wander freely unescorted gathering intelligence useful to their clients, and it is a wonder that half the suspects don't simply escape by running out; very casual and disrespectful relations between the detectives of different ranks - improbable; nearly all politicians are shown as corrupt - typical left wing fantasy. Finally, an undercover agent Samy is planted in a drug gang at great personal risk but continues to frequent the police station base at high risk of being seen by dubious gang lawyers, gang suspects or others brought in, any one of whom could blow his cover, causing his death. This is so ridiculous I find it hard to continue watching. In reality, once an agent goes undercover, all interactions with the originating force are managed with the greatest possible secrecy and precautions.
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on 9 February 2013
This French series really knocks our British cop/detective shows for six. This French team, struggling against the system and its corruption, pursue justice to the end even if they have to get down in the dirt themselves.

The characters are all believable and as fallible as the rest of us. Despite being diverted by the bureaucracy, office politics, and outside rivalries, they keep on into the villains are nicked and banged up. Makes me wonder if our own cops shouldn't get down and get dirty to get the crooks behind bars, and to hell with their 'rights'.

Gritty, unexpected, uncompromising, and definitely not afraid to step on toes, there's not drop of phony Hollywood scripting in sight. You cannot fail to fall for our tainted heroes.
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