July 27, 2021

our series of the week


Revive “The Queen of Soul”, transport Arsène Lupine to the XXIe century, to find oneself in a high school yard in the heart of the “glorious thirties”, to share the nightmare of a small English town plunged into a remake of the Cold War: in the series, nothing is impossible.

“Genius: Aretha”: journey into the soul of a queen

Produced for the National Geographic channel, a Disney subsidiary, this series devoted its first two seasons (available in their entirety on Disney +) to Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, who perfectly correspond to the archetype of genius: lonely, male, Western, who “does not seek but finds” …

However, Aretha Franklin, who is at the center of this third season, has never ceased to doubt, to rush into dead ends (such as her collaboration with producer John Hammond, on the Columbia label), to get out of it. relying on other artists and personalities (saxophonist King Curtis, producer Jerry Wexler…) so that his genius flourishes.

This tormented journey, punctuated as well by artistic peaks (the first albums for Atlantic, the gospel classic Amazing Grace) that of intimate dramas, provides an inexhaustible, complex, contradictory material.

The work of creator Suzan-Lori Parks conforms to the principles of modern musical biography, as established by films like Walk the Line or Ray. Interweaving the story of a tormented childhood (at 14, Aretha Franklin was already twice a mother) and that of the reign of Queen of Soul, this spectacular series is led by Cynthia Erivo. The British actress and singer does not seek mimicry but reinterprets with mad energy and painful sensitivity the career of the creator of (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman. Thomas Sotinel

“Genius: Aretha”, series created by Suzan-Lori Parks, with Cynthia Erivo, Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Shaian Jordan, David Cross (United States, 2021, 8 x 55 min). Two episodes per week on Disney +, since June 4.

“Lupine”: a continuation overflowing with life

Will Assane Diop (Omar Sy) overcome the ignoble Peretti (Hervé Pierre)? Will the gentleman-burglar laugh at the police like thugs? The answers to these questions, left in suspense six months ago, during the broadcast of the first half of this inaugural season, will fall at the end of five strongly packaged episodes, and will not upset the rules of a game imagined by Maurice Leblanc over a century ago.

You have 62.89% of this article to read. The rest is for subscribers only.