Family business tells the story of Joseph. This son of a butcher is about to launch his application before his developer drops him during the presentation. As his project falls through, he understands that he will end his days running the family butcher shop if he does not find a solution. And just after learning that cannabis would be legalized by the new government, he decides to turn the butcher shop into a “beuhcherie”.
While waiting 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 which must be organized illegally.
On paper, Family business was nothing particularly original with its pitch vaguely reminiscent of the famous series Weeds, Incoherent and breaking Bad watch the movie Smokers.
But with Igor Gotesman at the helm (author and director here) one could imagine that the series would offer something soaring like his feature film Five. If the movie strips were not an incredible piece of cinema, it would have turned out to be quite comfortable, carried by a real comic timing and a good group dynamic.
Thus, in six 30-minute episodes (barely), the new Netflix original creation had all the ingredients to deliver a good chunk of laughter and a few twists and turns of the rock in the heart of Paris: an eclectic group, an idea in step with the times and a desired cross-border tone. It probably expected too much of Family business.
A series that treads water
One of the biggest problems Family business clearly comes from the false rhythm that the series engages. With only six episodes on the watch, Igor Gotesman had the opportunity to offer a refreshing and stimulating series that quickly set the story up and broke out of the genre’s clichés. Unfortunately, the showrunner decided to go the opposite way. In six episodes, do not expect to see the coffee bar for the initial pitch, the series prefers to stick to an illusory pace that ultimately leads nowhere.
Stitched with white thread, the story therefore accumulates several script clichés (the relationship with the policewoman, the rowdy drug dealer) and facilities (this father who changes his mind from one day to the next, the minister’s daughter). Worse is that the series collapses in its grand finale. Not only she nips the only intriguing element of her story in the budbut ends with an opportunistic and grotesque cliffhanger that destroys every chance the series has to ever get out of its own parody.
With the addition of a dull classicism in the staging and no formal attempt, Family business offers nothing enticing to its viewer. Fortunately, the cast remains to save the day? Not even !
Gerard Darmon and Jonathan Cohen, a duo that works but with failed dialogues
However, the series was endowed with a nice parterre of actors, with especially the ubiquitous Jonathan Cohen. Fans of the actor and his role as Serge le Mytho (who blew him up) will be delighted to see him improvise some more delusions (especially on fake sex plans). Unfortunately, even in this register, the actor does not manage to make people laugh with his jokes under his belt and fall into a disappointing overplay.
Ditto for the father played by Gérard Darmon, too much during his hash-highs, or the bubbly (and above all exhausting) ministerial daughter played by Louise Coldefy. And what about poor Lina El Arabi, who is doomed to play in a vacuum as her character is abused.
Alone the female characters Aure and Ludmila are quite successful. The first, played by the captivating Julia Piaton, is far too reminiscent of the character of Andréa in Ten percent (at all levels), but offers some lovely moments of tenderness. The second, embodied by Liliane Rovère, also resembles a copypasted, slightly less loud, of her role in the same series of France Télévisions. However, his mucus still hangs just as much and his big heart hits the spot.