It's pretty clear the creator of the show, Olivier Marchal, is taking his cue from The Wire and the grittier cop films from the 1970s ( my piece on '70s "cop noir" is here). Marchal also tries very, very hard to outdo his US heroes in toughness and grittiness. And that's where Braquo gets a bit daffy and unintentionally amusing. His four cops, just to show how tough and noir they are, never, ever smile. I mean it. In eight episodes I might have seen one unironic smile between the four of them. And to further underline their gravitas, they continually look defeated, sour, disheveled and short on sleep. Poor Roxanne looks like she's taken a vow of abstinence from shampoo and combs. If one them had a lighthearted moment they might die from the bends. They also smoke like chimneys and knock back booze constantly. Like a lot of other fictional TV and movie cops these four get to live in some fabulous digs. Eddy, the leader of the group, lives on a river barge; Theo has an ultra-modern apartment; Roxanne shares a big. luxurious townhouse with her older boyfriend; and Walter, the family man, lives in an old house in Paris that is covered in vines,
It sounds like I'm slagging Braquo, but I'm not, really. Even with all its attempts to one-up Yankee cop shows, like some little kid trying to impress his big brother, Braquo is still quite entertaining. The acting is very good, it looks great, there's violence aplenty, and the bizarro plot keeps you hooked because it's hard to believe how things are going to get worse for the cops. But they do. I've only seen season one and it ends with a rather monstrous cliffhanger, and it looks like the succeeding season will consist of the team, as per usual, not doing a jot of actual police work, but, instead, there will be a lot of drinking, smoking, bad hair days, torturing of suspects, and assassinations of crims. I just hope Roxanne gets a chance to take a shower. By the way, "braquo" is supposedly Parisian criminal slang for a big heist. I think it's more likely to be Parisian cop slang for "D'oh!"