This French drama is the latest adaptation of Israel’s acclaimed BeTipul format, which has already proved a hit in countries across the world – and looks set to do the same in France.
Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache, the directors of The Intouchables, and writers including David Elkaïm and Vincent Poymiro, bring a distinctive French angle to the adaptation, known locally as En Therapie, which is set in Paris 2015, just days after the terrorist attacks in the city.
Frédéric Pierrot plays Philippe Dayan, a renowned psychotherapist whose office is located close to the epicenter of the tragedy. During the days and weeks that follow, Dayan is faced with traumatised patients, while dealing with his own personal issues.
“The Paris terrorist attacks have, without any doubt, left their mark on all of us,” says Monica Levy, head of international at Federation Entertainment. “En Therapie shares the intimacy of five patients and their human shock after the attacks, whether they were closely involved (a security officer to be first on-sight at the Bataclan or a doctor in the emergency room), or like most of us, how this violence on humanity touched us all and brought forth our own personal struggles.”
The series, which launched on broadcaster Arte last month, is already proving popular with audiences. “The audience share has never been higher for Arte, with over 20 million views in the first two weeks and 30 million within the first month. The series is literally what everyone is talking about in France,” says Levy. “Arte was also slightly surprised at the share of young adults that watched the series, not always an easy target to make loyal.”
Levy suggests that this warm reception is partly due to the pandemic and the need that we all share right now to emotionally connect with other people. “En Therapie hit the TV screens at a moment in time that we all are perhaps more open to hearing and sharing our deepest fears and seeking help of a therapist to do so. There are even new laws being passed to encourage young patients to seek help of therapists with government subsidies.”
Levy adds: “The other reasons that the show had such an impact is that the dialogues are so well written and all the actors are incredible in their roles. Each one of the five characters is part of us, strong but with fragility that sometimes comes to the surface.”
Distributors: Arte & Federation Entertainment
Producers: Arte & Federation Entertainment
Logline: French adaptation of the BeTipul format, following a psychotherapist as he treats patients in the days immediately after the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks