The first two episodes of the French TV series No Second Chance on Netflix are almost unwatchable. They are heavy handed, full of slow motion flashbacks, unconvincing scenes and no surprises. Not taking the advice of the title, the netTVwatch team persevered. No Second Chance (Une Chance de Trop) has an interesting plot, enough so that we were curious about what would happen. We found the series does improve. The story remains interesting, but the show has several faults.
Dr. Alice Lambert (Alexandra Lamy) and her husband have a party for their baby daughter, Tara. The next morning, Alice is shot through the chest while in her kitchen. When she wakes up in the hospital a week later, it turns out her husband was killed and their daughter is missing. The police are there to question her, and with absolutely no leads in the case (really?), she is, of course, a suspect.
Without putting forth any more spoilers, we can say that viewers are as much in the dark as the cops about what happened. After the first couple of episodes, we know a bit more, but there are several suspects.
Part of the problem is, we don’t care enough about Alice to get emotionally invested in the story. She is a one-dimensional character, along with her mysterious, handsome, former lover (Pascal Elbe) and her wealthy in-laws. They are all prone to sudden, irrational outbursts of anger. The male and female detectives investigating the case are the most interesting of the lot, but the story isn’t about them.
No Second Chance has too many made-for-TV moments and characteristics. There is little subtlety in action or dialogue. The surveillance scene that happens in episode two is one of the worst we have seen. The cops could not be more obvious, and we, the viewers, are not given much credit.
The No Second Chance TV series is based on the book of the same name by popular author Harlan Coben. (He also had success with the movie Tell No One.) This series has the complexity of a good mystery novel, but the production – despite a substantial budget – does not do it justice. It was directed by Francois Velle, whose previous experience is mostly in television. The six 45-minute episodes of No Second Chance are available on Netflix.