Family business tells the story of Joseph. This butcher is about to launch his application before his developer drops it during the presentation. His project fails, he understands he will end his days running the family butcher if he doesn’t find a solution. And right after I learned that cannabis would be legalized by the new government, he decides to transform the butcher’s shop into a “beuhcherie”.
While he waits for the law to be passed, he will have to use tricks to convince his family to start this business, which will soon be legalized but will have to be organized illegally.
On paper, Family business was nothing very original with its pitch vaguely reminiscent of the famous series Weed, incoherent and breaking bad see the movie smokers.
However, with Igor Gotesman at the helm (writer and director here), you could imagine that the series would offer something huge like its feature film Five. If the filmstrips hadn’t been an incredible piece of cinema, it would have turned out to be quite enjoyable, carried by real comedic timing and good group dynamics.
So in six 30 minute episodes (barely), Netflix’s new original creation had all the ingredients for a good laugh and a few twists stoned in the heart of Paris: an eclectic group, an idea in tune with the times and a desired transgressive tone. It probably expected too much from Family business.
A series that enters water
One of the biggest problems of Family business clearly stems from the false rhythm of the series. With only six episodes on the clock, Igor Gotesman had a chance to offer an invigorating and stimulating series, quickly setting up the story and breaking the clichés of the genre. Unfortunately, the showrunner decided to go the other way. Don’t expect to see the first pitch coffee shop in six episodes, the series prefers to stick to an illusory pace that ultimately leads nowhere.
Threaded with white thread, the story therefore piles up countless scenario clichés (the relationship with the policewoman, the bully of drug dealer) and facilities (this father who changes his mind overnight, the minister’s daughter). Worse, the series collapses into its grand finale. Not only she pinches in the bud the only exciting element of her storybut ends with an opportunistic and grotesque cliffhanger, shattering any chance the show would ever come out of its own parody.
With the addition of a dull classicism in the staging and no formal attempt, Family business offers nothing appealing to the viewer. Fortunately, the company of actors remains to save the day? Not even !
Gerard Darmon and Jonathan Cohen, a duo that works, but with failed dialogues
However, the series featured a decent parterre of actors, especially the ubiquitous Jonathan Cohen. Fans of the actor and his role as Serge le Mytho (who blew him up) will be delighted see him improvise some more misleading lies (especially on fake sex plans). Unfortunately, in this register too, the actor fails to make people laugh with his below-the-belt jokes and falls into a disappointing overplay.
Ditto for the father played by Gérard Darmon, too much during his cannabis highs, or the exuberant (and above all exhausting) minister’s daughter played by Louise Coldefy. And what about poor Lina El Arabi, doomed to play in a vacuum while her character is mistreated.
Alone the female characters of Aure and Ludmila are quite successful. The first, played by the endearing Julia Piaton, is far too reminiscent of Andréa’s character in Ten percent (at all levels), but offers some beautiful moments of tenderness. The second, embodied by Liliane Rovère, also resembles a pasted, slightly less loud, from her role in the same series of France Télévisions. However, his slime lingers for a moment and his big heart hits the target.