25 November 2013 | anhkhoido-816-401526
A Tad Soapy, but Smart Procedural Drama
Unlike many, I wouldn't call "19-2" the best TV series of all time. The title is an allusion to the police precinct (19) and the ID number of the car (2) where our lead characters work at and from. After his partner has been severely injured, Nick Berrof (Réal Bossé), a beat cop of the Montreal Police Department (MPD), is partnered with rookie Benoît Chartier (Claude Legault). The latter presents himself as a former agent of the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), which is Québec's provincial police.
On a daily basis, Berrof and Chartier ride along and try to remain professional despite their aversion for each other. Furthermore, unbeknownst to Berrof and everyone in the MPD, Chartier is still on the SQ's payroll. In fact, Chartier is out to catch a mole in the MPD who's leaking sensitive informations to the organized crime.
While "19-2" is not among the best French-Quebecker TV shows such as "Aveux" or "Les invincibles" to name a few, it nevertheless is a diamond in the rough. When "19-2" is soapy, it stresses with a lot of emphasis that the characters are flawed. Off the job, Berrof has problems with his wife, a member of the brass, and his distant son. Add to that Berrof's occasional outbursts of violence. As for Chartier, he deals with his estranged wife and his flings.
Add to that the few problems of pacing. In its attempt to be like a film from Wong Kar-Wai (In the Mood for Love), "19-2" often offers long close-ups of the leading characters' face while they're saying nothing. Other than that, the acting is pretty solid and the smart script will have you scratching your head as to who the mole is.
Finally, once the mole is found by Chartier in the second season's finale, the script paves the way for an anticipated third season which is entirely focused on the leading characters' own issues. Moreover, I can't wait to see how the English Canadian remake, which also takes place in Montreal and will be aired on the cable network Bravo, will fare.