If you are looking for foreign cop shows to fill your online streaming list, Braquo is a necessary addition. This French TV show is fast-paced and gritty, with a squad of detectives that perpetually operates in the gray zone of legality and standard procedure. The only bad news for Net TV Watch readers is that, unlike some other high quality French TV series, Braquo is not available on Netflix. You’ll have to head over to Hulu to watch it.
Braquo centers on the lives of a group of plain-clothes police in Paris. One of their colleagues dies in the first episode, and the remaining four members begin taking extraordinary measures to clear his name and punish those responsible, while still working – at times – on other cases. You may have thought Harry Bosch was a rogue cop, but his actions pale in comparison to the exploits of this gang. They are in so much hot water by the third episode, you seriously wonder how they will make it through season 1.
Eddy (Jean-Hugues Anglade) is the squad leader, and Walter (Joseph Malerba), a good friend, is the other cop with lots of experience. Theo (Nicolas Duvauchelle) is young, impulsive and hot-headed; Roxanne (Karole Rocher) has the deepest reservations about their outside-the-law actions, but is loyal to her colleagues. None of them seem content with their personal life.
Eddy, Walter, Theo and Roxanne have varying levels of support from the higher-ups as heads of their division come and go in the first few episodes. Of course, the French version of Internal Affairs takes an interest in what’s going on; they are constantly trying to find actual evidence of wrongdoing.
If you have watched Spiral on Netflix or Hulu, you have some idea what to expect from a French police drama. Leather, dark clothes and tousled hair is the standard uniform. Cigarettes are constantly smoked, and seat belts are never worn. The group’s office – which includes a built-in bar – is in a funky, old warehouse. The show is more violent than many European shows, but no more so than similar series in the U.S.
Braquo packs a lot into each episode. A production team with a different vision might have taken two or three seasons to move through all the plot twists and turns that happen in season 1. The TV series was created – and partially written and directed – by Olivier Marchal, a former policeman who has written for, and acted in, several TV series and films.
Braquo first aired on Canal+ in the fall of 2009. Seasons 2 and 3 followed, each two years apart. As of this writing, season 1 and season 2, with eight episodes each, are available on Hulu. Braquo season 4, which has a new head writer, finished filming in June 2015. This is an entertaining TV series and worth your time if you are a fan of police dramas and a Hulu subscriber.