Led by Guillaume Labbé, Bruno Sanches, Florence Pernel, and Emilie Dequenne, the series “The School of Life” begins tonight at 9:05 pm on France 2. A little gem of emotion, also worn by amazing young actors, who worth the detour.
What is it about ?
Professor of History and geography much appreciated by his students, Vincent Picard is preparing to become a father and gradually begins to review his priorities. Unfortunately, a tragic event will come to shatter everything.
Despite the personal tragedy he is going through, Vincent continues his teaching profession without letting anything show through and does everything not to sink. Because his priority remains his students. They need him as much as he needs them. And it is ultimately by taking an interest in sometimes difficult cases, and by helping them, that Vincent could well succeed in rebuilding himself …
Every Wednesday on France 2 from April 21, and already available on Salto – 6 episodes seen out of 6.
Who is it with?
To embody the teacher with the big heart of The School of Life, France 2 and the production called on Guillaume Labbé, who recently held one of the main roles of I promise you on TF1 and also appears in the credits of Plan coeur on Netflix.
Around him, viewers of La Deux will find a very nice range of actors since Florence Pernel lends her features to the principal of the school, while the other teachers are played by Bruno Sanches, Mélanie Page (Under the sun), Yannig Samot ( Balthazar), Nicolas Briançon (Engrenages), and Xavier Lacaille (Parliament).
On the teen side – an essential element of this type of school series -, Bruni Makaya (Fear on the lake, Mortel), Jules Houplain (Les Innocents), Hanane El Yousfi (The Red Bracelets), Victor Bonnel (Time to go out ), or even Sandrine Salyeres (Tomorrow belongs to us) encamp some of the high school students who swell the ranks of the first class that we follow during these six episodes.
Finally, L’Ecole de la vie can also count on numerous guests to attract viewers, including Emilie Dequenne, who sporadically presents throughout the season in a key role, Déborah François, François Berléand, Marc Lavoine, Nadège Beausson-Diagne , Marie Dompnier, and Bruno Solo.
Well worth a look ?
Teachers are definitely on the rise in television. After season 5 of Sam, La Faute à Rousseau, or The Replacing with JoeyStarr a few days ago on TF1, France 2 unveils this evening L’Ecole de la vie, the fourth French school fiction to arrive on our screens since the beginning of the year.
A trend which proves that the questions of education and transmission, formerly at the heart of L’Instit and Madame le Proviseur, launched almost thirty years ago on La Deux, are once again essential for television channels. And particularly for the public service which wanted, through this new fiction, to speak about the company and “to be a reflection of the contemporary world” according to Anne Holmes, the director of the national fiction of France 2.
On paper, nothing really seems to distinguish The School of Life from the previously cited examples since each episode again focuses on a particular student, whom the main character will try to help in class, but also outside of the classroom. pregnant of the school. A formula already adopted by Sam or La Faute à Rousseau which would almost end up boring if the series worn by Guillaume Labbé did not have, in reality, much more to offer.
More dramatic and moving than its cousins, L’Ecole de la vie, co-produced by Nagui, via Fiction’Air and Banijay Studios, is above all an example of finesse and emotional power that is quite rare on television. Without ever falling into pathos, sentimentality, or the American “after school special” side, the series deals with important social issues: disability, alcoholism among young people, rape, mistreatment, precariousness. , and extreme right-wing radicalization. And she does it with accuracy and emotion – a real emotion, which sometimes overwhelms us to tears, like in the last episode.
Little by little, over the course of this first season, we fall under the spell of the many characters who inhabit the corridors of the series. Whether it is teenagers, camped by amazing young actors with a promising future (from Hanana El Yousfi to Lorette Nyssen, via Camille Léon-Fucien, Abdel Bendaher, or Bruni Makaya, they are all excellent).
But also the teachers and members of the administration, who bring a lightness and welcome touches of humor to the whole (special mention to Florence Pernel and Mélanie Page, whose characters we already love). Or the parents, who rarely have such a place in school fiction and are interpreted by very pretty guests like Marie Dompnier, overwhelming, or Marc Lavoine.
And then, of course, there is Guillaume Labbé, who illuminates the whole in the skin of Vincent Picard, this “normal” teacher, who is not a superhero or a nonconformist anti-hero and irreverent. The actor, already very good in Trauma or I promise you, shows here the extent of his talent and is particularly excellent in the register of emotion, while we follow throughout the six episodes the intimate journey of his character to overcome the terrible drama that struck him.
A common thread that touches the heart from the first episode and that is emphasized by the very pretty song by Clara Luciani “Beaux”, which serves as a recurring theme in Vincent’s personal story (a bewitching and heady song that will never leave you. , even if the series may abuse it a bit).
The School of Life is not, however, devoid of flaws and we can especially blame it for a somewhat uneven quality from one episode to another (the last three being the most successful and the strongest from the point of view of teens and “cases of the week”). And a slight lack of rhythm at times, especially on the first episode. Which is always annoying when you know how important it is, in a television world governed by audiences, to capture the public from the first minutes and never let go.
But you really have to let yourself be carried away by the magic of Vincent Picard and the scenarios written by Soiliho Bodin, Gaëlle Thomas, Niels Rahou, Sandra Tosello, Fabrice de Costil, Zina Modiano, Marie Garel Weiss, Jean-Baptiste Vandroy, Charlotte Vecchiet, and Mathieu Pichard-Rivalan, which is gradually taking effect.
Extremely well interpreted, The School of Life is a beautiful declaration to the teaching profession, more than ever applauded since the first confinement a year ago, and which, as Nagui points out, plays a “essential role in the construction of a new world”.