Music Hall (2002– )

TV Series

Music Hall (2002) Poster

Le producteur et gérant Jacques Marchand a toujours frayé avec le monde interlope pour assurer le succès de ses revues et il est l'un des derniers capables de faire fonctionner un cabaret ... See full summary »


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12 July 2006 | luminous_luciano
| A good try... but no cigar
The true star of this one is Michèle-Barbara Pelletier, one shining beacon of hope from a new generation of Quebec actresses (along with Isabel Richer and Céline Bonnier, most notably) who could have international careers... But they probably won't because of their knack to speak French the way they do (joual québécois, which is Quebec slang) and their inability to speak English without a thick accent too. Nonetheless, they have that star-quality to be huge - if only in Quebec!

Virtually all of these talents have, in fact, been seen in international productions - only, in very smallish roles. Even Véronique Cloutier, who gets top billing here despite this being her first and nearly only time acting really (unless one counts her apologetic speeches during the scandalous revelations about her pedophilic father, talent agent Guy Cloutier, as "performances" as well...) - even "Vero" had previously been seen in a very small role in "Frankenstein And Me", a forgettable piece of children's fare that was nothing more than a cheap American production shot on Canadian soil to save on production costs... Vero played a vampire in that one. Here, in Music-Hall, she is just as believable as a full-of-herself little witch as she can be in real life, I'm sure...

Patrick Huard really lets loose here - in one of his "carte blanche" roles, he sets out to prove that he can play "something else". One can only be mildly convinced since he usually is "nutso" in his numerous talk-show appearances - so what is really new here? The extreme edgy side? The violence? Not enough...

Serge Postigo seems to be playing the same role over and over again - as he's done on countless "téléromans" on Quebec television (mostly for the SRC - the French equivalent of the CBC) - and here, once again, there is no exception to that sad career pattern...

Claude Blanchard is actually likable here - as a sort of gruffy big bear with some heart somewhere in there would be... R.I.P. Claude - you were great.

Annie Dufresne is some sort of a performer too - and some sort of an actress as well. One cannot readily tell... She comes off as the bimbo of service here, nothing more though...

Julien Poulin, most famous for portraying the buffoonesque "Elvis Gratton" in two films (or wastes of celluloid - depends on one's tastes, really) AND a TV series that served as a prelude to the films, mercifully DOES NOT sing in this one (oops - does this count as a "spoiler", tell me?!?)

Notable also is the appearance of the ravishing Bet E, in this thing - Bet E. is a real-life singer and was singing fado as a part of a very successful duo soon thereafter (Bet E. & Stef.)

Music-Hall is full of clichés about show business and about the pitfalls of RUNNING a business... Add to that clichés about artists' vanity, attitudes and tendencies for self-destruction - AND the bad acting - and one gets fed up real quick. It was NOT just because the last few episodes had been pre-empted on their original scheduled air-dates that viewer-ship was actually DOWN for the climactic episodes (something totally unheard of in mini-series lore!) It really was because NOBODY CARED ABOUT ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS! Least of all the supposed heroine portrayed so uninterestingly by Veronique Cloutier (she is also the sister-in-law of hockey player José Théodore - for how much longer, that we do not know! For he was seen hanging out with Paris Hilton, see... Better that than doing what Guy did, but still... The link to a goalie is omitted on her IMDb page here, so I thought I'd add this too in my review here... sorry, "comment"!)

I can't believe they didn't have a role for Élise Guilbeault or Sylvie Drapeau in this one... One can only be glad they did not find a part for Sarah-Jeanne Salvy though - enough nepotism as it is going on around here! Not just Guy Cloutier (still as white as snow in 2002) pulling strings for his daughter, but really Fabienne Larouche giving out roles to her "favorites" - or pulling those strings so they'd get them. Fabienne Larouche is like a mixture of Anne Rice and Judith Krantz - but with much less at her disposal to really flesh it all out. Michèle-Barbara Pelletier may have given the character written for her some "life", somehow - but usually, Larouche does not get so lucky and her characters' lack of depth shows badly, for no thespian on Earth could do much with so little...

One final note, about the presence of Murray Head here. It brings to mind that horrid film that the late Richard Harris came to Canada to do one time. The great Oliver Reed did that as well. These Englishmen who, just for the MONEY, will associate themselves with Canadian "arts" fund programs - lending these productions the credibility they lack and desperately require if the end product can be "exportable" in any shape or form (despite, again, the horrible Quebec slang!) At least no one got to LISTEN to DR. MARSOLAIS speak said slang, since he had a non-speaking bit part here - for, to know that this guy is really a doctor and that he speaks that way is quite the dishonor for the whole "Belle Province" and Canadian Winter Wonderland overall - not to mention the whole blamed medical profession there! Audiences were lucky in THAT small way, at least - unlike me, who had to listen to the not-so good doctor's arguments at length, during the most stressful of times...

Hmm... I think Dr Marsolais voted on this one...

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Release Date:

4 March 2002



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