I have Netflix as an option here in Germany and am a participant.
About two weeks ago, I sat down and decided to watch a new Netflix-produced series called Marseille. It's a an eight-show series....set in southern France around Marseille.
To be kinda honest, I probably got about 30 minutes into the one-hour opener, and ended my viewing.
The script to this? Well....there's this old French guy (actually played by Gerald Depardieu) who is the declining mayor of Marseille. He's been there as mayor for twenty years and got himself a little empire established.
The city election is coming up and there's some former friend/associate/protege who has decided to play into the election. The old guy probably ought to gracefully retire and just enjoy his life remaining but this former friend is forcing him to play out another election.
The problem with new series is that we all kinda have a huge expectation of a "hook" which grabs you in the first part of episode one and really makes you interested in continued viewing.
Lost, the TV series, started this trend. The first twenty minutes of the series Lost was a game-changer for viewing TV series.
For the series Marseille? There just isn't anything much in the first thirty minutes that spells out interest or real attention-getting.
I thought that my negative feeling might have been unfair, but I noted over the week after viewing Marseille.....that most French newspapers and outlets also were negative. The script was weak....the dialog led to nowhere.....and it was mostly Depardeiu laid out in some scene against a grand landscape....uttering a line or two, and moving on.
Netflix probably got talked into this series.....thinking that someone could just throw together a reasonable script.....talk a big-name French actor into showing up....and get eight decent episodes which would lead onto a second and third season. Based on what I saw in the first episode.....they might ought to forget about additional seasons.
The thing is....there are tons of great stories and fine landscapes to run simple eight-episode season productions from Netflix. True, this was a failure but I would hope that they simply learn a lesson or two and continue on with more productions.
I can think of a dozen script ideas (Greeks in trouble, refugees, lost Nazi art, Nazi nukes, bought-off royal titles, Russian mafia episodes, and intellectuals forced into reality situations).
So, if you see Marseille listed on Netflix and just want to see landscape of Marseille, with the sound turned low.....then it might not be such a bad deal.