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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 22 July 2010
I have yet to see the DVD of the series, but both my wife and watched it avidly when it was shown on TV. We very much enjoyed the first series (and bought it on DVD when it came out) and this second series did not disappoint!

The acting is excellent, and the plotting is tight, complex and engrossing. Watching the decent of Josephine Carlson (defence lawyer)into corruption is in many ways sad, as she seemed basically decent in the first series, but her desperation for money in many ways makes it a little inevitable!

Very highly recommended, and we can't wait for a (hopefully) third series! Very much carries the flag for more European crime dramas to be shown on British TV. It also shows that having subtitles (rather than dubbing) is not only not a barrier to the show, but helps to get the "flavour" of the characters much better than dubbing ever could. More please!
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on 12 August 2010
As a lover of good cop shows my viewing as been a little flat since the ending of The Wire and The Shield. Fear not however the second series of the French TV cop show Spiral has filled the void nicely. Whilst not up to the standard of the Wire, but then what is? Spiral 2 is as good if not better that the Shield and way ahead of both Law and Order and CSI (Yawn)and better that Spiral 1.
As an Anglo/Saxon I am not sure I always understood the workings of the French lagal system and the relationship between the police and the examining magistrates, who are confusingly called judges but are more like an American DA . However I cannot say that this stopped my enjoyment of this excelent series. In a nutshell a group of French police investigate the burning alive of a drug dealer and this leads them to uncover a large drug ring. Throw a couple of corrupt lawyers and we have an excelent example of the genre.
As an aside, do not expect French elegence. These flics must be the scruffest coppers on British, US or French TV.
Hope season 3 is a good.
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on 14 September 2010
The 2nd season is even better than the first, though both are great TV. It's a French combination of Prime Suspect and the Wire. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys crime/police dramas.
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on 3 September 2010
If you are a fan of The Wire, you'll love this. This second series is a step improvement on the first (which we also enjoyed). I felt the first series was a bit rambling with too many sideplots. This series is much more focussed on the main thread which for me makes it much more enjoyable. The story starts with the horrific murder of a suspected informant which recorded by a young boy who is unlucky enough to be a witness. Full of intrigue and injustice, it leaves you wondering who the bad guys are. The French justice system is clearly very different from the British one which only adds to the enjoyment as Judges start to get into investigative work in the field and Politicians interfere with the law (oh, maybe it's not that different). Great story with a satisfying conclusion.
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on 6 January 2015
Français-noir! Gripping proof that you do not have to be Danish to devise clever plots and compelling heroes and heroines. Deserving of its adult rating, this is a tale not for the squeamish but one that, like its northern neighbours, is compelling viewing with a cast of characters that are truly memorable, particularly the female lead Caroline Proust.
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on 22 March 2015
Meets all my expectations of a great crime/detective series and I'm working backwards through the series having caught recently Series 5 on BBC TV which was brilliant.. Subtitling works well for me as I can watch with little volume anywhere I want and not impact upon anyone else. Now on to series 3 & 4 and can't wait!
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Got this after seeing Saison Trois! and I think this one is just as entertaining, even a bit easier to follow because more straightforward. It doesn't get sidetracked by the personal lives of the cops and judges. Begins with a nasty murder, someone burned alive, leading to drugs and riots, undercover ops and political games. Nasty villains, tough cops, intractable judges, avaricious lawyers: most everybody on the take, if not crooked at least a bit bent. No wonder the honourable characters look so harassed.

Terrific stuff. Very physical.

Update 06/2012: even on repeat viewing, Spiral II is exhilarating TV, way more adrenaline than British crime shows and not so cerebral or ponderous as Scandinavian ones. The matter at the heart of this French import is justice and that is what makes it so compelling. A must see.
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on 5 July 2011
If you really want to enjoy Spiral: Season 2, do not read any more reviews. Just watch this masterpiece of gripping crime drama. These 8 episodes will have you absorbed in a world of French police and the corrupt legal system. What gives an edge are the authentic characters who you do end up caring.

However, Season 2 DVD of Spiral has the same problem as its predecessor. There are no DVD extras. No documentaries that could have enlightened the British audience who might not know so much about the way the French police work. What I found frustrating is the small fonts in which the subtitles appear. However, this is not the fault of the TV drama. In future, one hopes that those who are in the business of making DVDs of foreign language TV series for the British audience should put some time making the product worthy of its price.

Despite all these problems, this DVD is worth buying, especially if you are one of those who can appreciate a social realist TV crime drama with plenty of believable twists.
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on 13 April 2015
I am viewing this series a long time after it was made. It knocks the spots of any Brit cop show for its social realism and its ambition as a TV show. Despite BBC4 involvement, there is apparently no one in Brit TV land with the guts to make something similar over here. So enjoy the reruns of Lewis everyone.
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on 16 October 2010
Have been eagerly awaiting the release of this DVD since it was shown on BBC4 some while ago-already have series one on DVD. It's really gripping stuff, often not comfortable watching. Such great drama - you forget it's subtitled! Excellent!
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