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  • I stumbled upon this show by accident, and had never heard of it before. It really caught me by surprise, and my love for it keeps growing with every episode.

    This show is whimsical and fast-paced, and you're never bored watching it. There are a lot of fun pokes at French stereotypes, as well as stereotypes surrounding the Cold War and a post-WW2 Europe.

    The humor is witty and quick, with a ton of fast one-liners, comical sound effects and visual humor. The darkness of the jokes are wrapped so neatly, each one feels like a little present. It's old-school, but still modern, in its filming and editing.

    Each of the characters are such glorious stereotypes, but even though they're made to look like two-dimensional characters, they're all deep and unique, and you love each of them in a special way.
  • It's a shame that this excellent production has no review yet on IMDb, so i decided to go first :-)

    "A very secret service" caught me by surprise. The stage are the early 1960s, relatively short after the end of WW2 and in the middle of the cold war. It's a mix of "The Office" and "Dr. Strangelove".

    There is plenty of twisted, sarcastic and dark humour (at times very British). They shoot quotable one-liners like machine guns at you. I laughed my *** off many times (hint: the eastern German bathrobe).

    With all the silliness they managed to create a coherent story line as well as a bunch of characters you really care about.

    They mostly also use very nicely and somewhat easy to understand french, so it's good for those wanting to learn french. I'm Swiss, so i can relate well to what's going on.

    Now bring on the second season, or i will get very grumpy!!
  • Sadly, Americans can no longer do satire, as evidenced by the billions of sitcoms with wooden dialogue and lame in-jokes that have come and gone since the 1980s. I haven't laughed this hard in years! The authentic music, settings and clothing all help to set the stage for a truly hilarious cast of characters as they poke fun at career bureaucrats, the French colonial mindset and Franco-German relations, to name but a few.
  • Season One: A Very Secret Service is a sophisticated French satire about the Cold War, colonialism and racism. The series is especially meaningful - and humorous - to those with some understanding of post-War history.

    The main character Andre Merlaux struggles to make sense of the bureaucracy surrounding intelligence operations and, whether skillfully or by chance, protects the French Republic from its enemies more than once. Once Merlaux gets the hang of the whole spy thing then the rules change again.

    Au Service de la France is a laugh. It pokes holes in the the world, France and the era (yes, everyone did smoke in the 1960s, even on airplanes!). The series also none too subtly delivers a none too positive message on the role of Western powers in establishment of the post War global structure. So, yes, it's kind of a political show!
  • mfj93231 August 2016
    This Netflix Original production is a send-up of the French secret service, French bureaucracy, French colonialism and numerous other aspects of things stereotyped as French. It is brilliantly written, directed and acted. I find myself frequently laughing out loud.

    A show like this could quickly devolve into being played too broadly (think of "Get Smart") but this one doesn't. It maintains its edge by keeping a wry seriousness hand-in-hand with its lunacy. There are times when the show is even somewhat dark but it never loses its comic heart.

    There is only one season (2015) playing on Netflix streaming video at this time. I don't know if they made a second season, but I hope so!

    In French with English subtitles.
  • Season 1 - This is the best of the two seasons. You're introduced to the show's dry humour and wit. Similar to several period shows like Downton Abbey or Mad Men, the show uses real life incidents as a background. Near the end of a season, a conspiracy-like sub-plot will emerge but will leave several questions on your mind. Season 1 - 10/10

    Season 2 - A few episodes seem rather slow but the show does something incredible - it upgrades several female characters and gives them a third dimension. Especially, Marie-Jo (played by the graceful Marie-Julie Baup) is perhaps the best Season 2 character. This season can also be called the "Season of Breakups" as every main character deals with heartbreak. The sub-plot that began in Season 1 becomes the main plot of Season 2 and this takes all the agents to Moscow, Berlin and finally, Algeria. Season 2 - 8/10 (if a few episodes were faster, I would have given this a 10 too)
  • blanche-218 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    In 1960, the French intelligence service takes on a new employee, one Andre Merlaux. Young, handsome, smart, and naive, Merlaux learns the business from the older men, some of whom do not go by the book.

    This is a very funny comedy that pokes fun at government organizations and the personal agendas of a CIA type, which is what they really service. In the end, the writers are comparing government officials with criminals, and they're coming out the same. What a shock.

    The best for me were the American agents telling the French ones that they had plenty on JFK. What? The French ask. "He has an eye for the ladies." The French just look at them. "He sleeps around." Same looks, indicating that the French view of marriage, even for politicians, is different.

    Hugo Becker, as Andre, is adorable, and he has a delightful love story with the young woman at the tailor's, Sophie (Mathile Warnier). Part of one episode is a salute to Godard's A Bout de Soufflé, known here as Breathless, a French New Wave film. Fortunately for me, who detests French New Wave, all we see is one frame of Jean Seberg. Andre, however, is terribly impressed because people talk like they're not in a movie.

    Totally worth seeing. You'll love the crazy characters and how blatant they are in their chicanery.
  • arthurhome20 August 2018
    Not since Mel Brooks...Peter Sellers or even Allo Allo have I seen anything as well scripted and directed as good as this of its class....i recommend you give it a look for yourself...brilliant...
  • A French agent drama set in the early sixties with a backdrop of actual historical events, in this case the cold war and Algerian liberation war. It is very enjoyable to watch, it is a very French kind of jargon and humour and I would describe it as a mix of Peter Sellers and Jaques Tati. At moments it is absolutely brilliant and hilarious.

    The recreation of the 60s atmosphere is great and everything oozes a high class production. Mad Men in a French setting.

    It is a funny comedy, no gore or explicit violence, that will keep you smiling and wanting more. Each episode is pretty short circa 25 min so it is perfectly digestible in chunks now and then.

    A series that deserves much more attention. A hidden gem.

    Very recommended watch if you are looking for an intelligent comedy
  • SO funny and well done! Great cast! One of the best I ever seen!
  • My first review becuase i hope this picks up and they make another season.

    Simply awesome. If you like the first four season of archer. This the closest it can get to reality. Amazing writing and amazing cast

    It's like a hybrid of Mad Men and Archer.
  • Nostalgia is the name of the game in this amusing series pocking fun at France and its secret service. French bureaucracy is notoriously labyrinthine, even in the secret service and the first episode of the series its amazingly funny, showing the poor, disoriented Andrè trying to find his way in his new office.

    Andrè's colleagues, in charge of Africa, Algeria and Eastern Europe are despicable, self-serving, arrogant men, the way French can do very well. His superior is an enigma and - apparently- his father is a priest...

    Female characters are also interesting and not bi-dimensionsional, even if there is an inevitable femme fatale.

    Each episode is a mere 30 minutes and develops independently, while carrying a main plot involving the higher hierarchy. Although nowadays it is impossible to watch a show without an agenda, this one is at least threading lightly and for sure it's funny.
  • The first - the performance of Hugo Becker . The second- lovely humor in different and seductive nuances. Not the last - the cliches and stereotypes, wise used for the perfect atmosphere and for the resurrection of a lot of memories about films of same genre. Short - just a delight.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    On the surface Au service de la France is a very funny comedy about the French equivalent of the CIA. But after you watch it ten times like I did you realize it is a vicious comedy. It's as if in the war room of the CIA in Jason Bourne the agents cracked jokes and did funny things between having their assets kill people. The point of Jason Bourne and this show is the opposite of what Jack says in A Few Good Men. Jack says you can't take the truth. In other words you sometimes have to do unpleasant things to protect your country. Au service has the characters do bad things in their own self interest in guise of serving France. The exception is the new recruit Andre Merlaux. He can be violent but at the same time altruistic. It seems as though the writers are saying that many times people in high government places despite their rhetoric are no better than the common scoundrel.

    I would be remiss in not mentioning the love story between Andre and a shop girl Sophie. What is noteworthy is the homage to Godard and his movie A Bout de Soufflé. After Sophie and Andre see it we realize that Jean Seberg and her character Patricia have given Sophie the call. The modern woman. 1960 is an incredible year in France with the nascent feminist movement and the end of colonialistic policy in France. Au Service is covering all of it.
  • zimm2515 October 2018
    It took a few episodes for me to "get it", but I paritally blame the subtitles. I've watched my share of foreign movies, but typically not comedies, so there was an adjustment period. Now, I think it's one of my favorite comedies in many years. It's just so much fun to watch.
  • Brilliant program, hope they make a second series soon!
  • This show starts well with fun opening credits, great parodic music, good actors, and a seductive premise (it is a spy genre parody, and we can expect hilarity, right?) but, sadly, this is not on the level of OSS177 Cairo Nest Of Spies: the writing is inconsistent and the laughs are rare. I hung in there for 6 episodes and gave up: the main characters are idiots or nasty or both, some will appear and vanish for no reason, they all amount to sophomoric caricatures, the storylines are thin or scattered, and the jokes fall flat most of the time. The suit "joke" , for instance, is stretched for so long that it becomes irritating instead of being funny- it is bad timing or bad writing, or both. My advice to the producers of this series: keep the actors, keep the set designers and the music composer... but hire better writers.
  • leah_6517 December 2018
    This show is funny and great to watch. I like the different characters on it
  • Actually this is one of a good tv comedy , it have a great humor about America and Russia and in the middle of it we have a France vision about Political events .

    So , I rated this series 10 because it's a new good comedy produced by france and to Watch it
  • First couple of episodes are rather slow. Unfortunately with each passing episode one does not see any improvement. Good for watching while napping. Just regular modern french cinema - no real humor, no intelligence, some political agenda, no substance. Everyone has different taste but scores of 9 or 10 and comparisons to Jacque Tati are much over the top in my view. So, as the title of my review says - just average.
  • A lot of reviews praise and value this comedy series, set in the sixties, because of its "intelligent" approach....

    Several reviews compare it as potentially equal to Jacques Tati or Peter Sellers. That, unfortunately, might be considered as an insult in my opinion: Tati is not only comedy but art as well in its purest form. Sellers is comedy but also a benchmark. This series has nothing to do with Tati or Sellers in terms of quality, not even close.

    These praising comments, feel like those made about the new clothes of you know which person...

    I do not think this is a funny comedy at all and most certainly not intelligent.

    It is not funny if you like or value Fawlty Towers as intelligent comedy. It is not funny if you like or value Monty Python as intelligent comedy. It is not funny if you like or value Sanford and Son as intelligent comedy. It is not funny if you like or value Bottom as intelligent comedy. It is not funny if you like or value Black Adder as intelligent comedy It is not funny if you like or value You Rang M'Lord? as intelligent comedy It is not funny if you like or value M.A.S.H. as intelligent comedy It is not funny if you like or value Cheers as intelligent comedy, It is not funny if you like or value Taxi as intelligent comedy, It is not funny if you like or value Dad's Army as intelligent comedy. It is not funny if you like All in the Family as intelligent comedy.. It is not funny if you like Are You Being Served? It is not funny if you like It Ain't Half Hot Mum. It is not funny if you like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It is not funny if you like Happy Days. It is not funny if you like George and Mildred. It is not funny if you like Keeping up Appearances.

    Enough said.
  • ... and the eternal struggle against nazism and for human rights... all in pretty French humor....if you loved Oss117 and Dujardins, as I did, you surely gonna adore this. Best if french speaking... of course!
  • eminehandan22 February 2019
    I found this series great.They make you smile and think at the same time.They slightly, make fun about everything especially politics and French system.Love this.Hope we could see more view and comment
  • mcdt15 September 2020
    A Very Secret Service (Au service de la France) is a French satirical comedy about a young secret service agent, André Merlaux. It is very funny and enjoyable, but it will help to have some basic background knowledge of France and Europe in the 1960s, though not much more than knowing who De Gaulle was, the existence of the Resistance during WW2, France's relationship with Algeria, what the Cold War was about and that colonised African countries started to demand independence during this time. The humour is delicate and subtly pokes fun at France's politics and ideologies during a fast-changing world, as well as at bureaucracy and sexism.
  • The show starts with a a reminder of how colonial France used to consider its influence in the world, except of course it's entirely satirical from the start and can only be received as thinly veiled criticism. The show is filled with such colonialistic remarks aimed at mocking France, it's fun and easy to watch, even if some of the running gags run for a really long time :)
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