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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 March 2016
This is the second season of the series, and it takes place about a year after the events of season one ended. Most of the same cast return, and the series continues to be about the goings-on at a brothel in Paris in the 1870's.

The series starts with the women who live and work at the brothel having taken over the running of things, and governing themselves. But events conspire against these women, so they find themselves having to have 'protection'. The men who enact this protection are a gang of criminals, and this second season closely follows the activities of this gang.

It's not as good as season one. The show, at this point, lacks originality and the storyline is weaker. Nonetheless, it's still a fascinating series, and I enjoyed watching how these women struggled to retain some control over their lives.

This Blu-ray offers excellent picture and sound quality. The show is in French (with English sub-titles).
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on 8 July 2016
It's true that series 2 isn't as good as series 1, but that pushes me below the level of wanting to keep watching. The first series is gruesome but interesting. It dwells on the horrors of being trapped into prostitution, which is a message for today as much as the 19th Century, and the rule throughout the first series is: however awful things are, they'll get much worse. It's horrifying to watch how some of the characters will, for the smallest of reasons, ruin another's life, or get them killed. But somehow it was almost believable, up until the last episode, where it appeared everything was on its characteristic path downwards, but then suddenly it was all OK now, everyone who survived was happy. I think this was partly because a hugely malignant character lurking in the shadows, about to bring everything crashing down, was suddenly forgotten about, which puzzled me.

The second series is equally puzzling, in that it doesn't really follow on from the previous series - some things have reverted to how they were before the last episode of series 1, despite the everyone-is-happy feel to the first episode of series 2. (I don't want to say more, for fear of being accused of excessive spoilering....) Also, although series 1 was slow, full of scenes where not much happened, series 2 is more so. Lengthy shots of someone riding in a carriage in the same little street that all the other carriage rides have occurred in during the two series doesn't really add much to the plot or the viewer's enjoyment. The story line is even more fragmented, and seems to be moving more and more towards soap. The other frustration is things just aren't explained. People wander into the story, and wander out again. Things happen without any clear vision of what they are, or why they're in the series at all.

Still, there's some really good acting, it looks good in a seedy sort of way. I agree the strange this-century music feels odd against the Victorian-era dress and manners, but I guess music of the time wouldn't fit the upbeat whorehouse idea. Having said that, some rather good unmodern choral stuff appeared in the second episode, so maybe this is changing for the better. But I'm not sure I'll be there to enjoy it. Having endured my way to the end of episode 2 of the second series, I don't feel there's enough I want to know about to keep watching.
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on 15 April 2016
Series two starts slow but builds up brilliantly. The character development of the main cast is astonishing. The depths people would go to to meet their ends become clear in this series, especially Hortense. A brilliant programme, beautifully made. C'est tres chic.
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on 5 May 2016
The beginning of the season starts out very well with the introduction of Mosca and his crew, a strong mix of identifiable characters with their own quirks. It is directed in the style that is synonymous with the first season for the first few episodes, then gives way to characters doing things that viewers would find out of character...

Towards the fifth episode the director takes a drastic change of style from a realistic insight into 19th century prostitution, to a Les Miserables blood-bath without taste or reason. There are too many themes explored and without a justifiable development of character.

I recommend the season, but only the first half.
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on 3 June 2014
An absolutely superb drama ,'lost' because it's a foreign language with subtitles.
Do NOT be put off by this - it is brilliant (do not watch if at all prudish - it is set in a brothel and not much is left to the imagination) but the storylines, the acting, the suspense is amazing!! Cannot recommend this and season one enough. Puts some British and American dramas to shame!! Please watch season one first as some of the storylines will require the background
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on 7 November 2013
The series isw intelligently scripted with good character development and exciting plot lines. Artistic development is excellent and the costumes are well researched and beautiful to look at. A worthy second series, it's a great shame they do not intend to produce a third series.
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on 23 March 2016
I only wish the subtitles were a little bigger! I only have a little screen. Great storylines in series 1& 2...amazing characters portrayed with depth. I actually love the juxtaposition of the fin de siecle and modern music...and its not all modern. The costumes are just gorgeous. Given that it is set in a brothel there is a lot less of the sex scenes than you would think, well done for getting the balance right.
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on 3 March 2016
What's with the soundtrack!?! Such detail to set, costume, acting, plot....but a modern soundtrack that includes everything from jungle to pop? Really distracting and undermines the scenes
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on 26 April 2014
Follows on from Series 1, but seems not QUITE as good as that first series. Acting is excellent, & costumes & sets are superb. Overall, very enjoyable.
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on 7 April 2016
Fantastic series I loved every minute of it both season 1 and 2. This season was brilliant in my opinion so much drama it was simply griping alongside new charactes and budding relationships. A breath of fresh air for television series.
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