French actress Audrey Fleurot of "Spiral"

French actress Audrey Fleurot of the French TV show “Spiral”

I had a strange reaction to watching the Emmys the other night — I was bored and quickly changed channels. The thing is, this hardly ever happens anymore with television because there are more great shows on now than I can ever remember. And many of them are riveting.

Off the top of my head, I count “Homeland,” “Mad Men,” “Modern Family,” “Boardwalk Empire” and yes, even “Ray Donovan” in that group. I’m not a fan of “Breaking Bad” or “Dexter” but I’m sure many would add those as well, and I’ve left several others out (“Downton Abbey” anyone?)

As for movies, well, unless you’re a 12-year-old boy and want to watch incredibly violent dumb action films, there’s not a lot out there. Sure, there are some. I loved “The Descendants”  and “Silver Linings Playbook” for example but those types of films seem so few and far between.

Television is in a new golden age. And for all the people out there fond of telling me they don’t own a television, I just want you to know that I feel sorry for you. Your loss, buddy.

I’ve recently discovered the alternate universe of television with streaming and smart TV. I never would stream on my iPad but by buying a Sony Blue Ray disc player, I was able to transform my television into a smart TV. Now I’m streaming entire series that I had missed or never heard of. This is so far removed from watching a two-hour movie where you can predict the outcome — this is much more akin to reading a novel. Into that category falls the French TV show “Engrenages” or “Spiral” as it’s called in America.

This show is spectacular, kind of the French version of “Law & Order” but infinitely better. I am particularly enthralled with French actress Audrey Fleurot, who plays an unscrupulous balls-to-the-wall lawyer who loves money. She’s so bad, it’s good. I love hearing her get really pissed off in French, so pissed off that you sometimes feel as though her flaming rad hair might explode into real flames. J’adore this show and this actress, captions or no.

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