After “Gloria”, JoeyStarr returns this Monday evening on TF1 as a nonconformist teacher in “The Replacement”, a pilot which aims to become a series if successful. Does this new fiction, also with Barbara Schulz, manage to stand out from the crowd?
What is it about ?
Nicolas Valeyre is an original and uncompromising French teacher, whether with regard to his colleagues or his students. His whimsical methods, his displayed misanthropy and his crude formwork style make him a UFO in the teachers’ room. But he bothers his hierarchy as much as it naturally inspires confidence in his students. Because beneath his badly licked bear exterior, he is a passionate hypersensitive, ready to do anything to help them find their way.
Monday April 12 at 9:05 p.m. on TF1 and already available on Salto
Who is it with?
Barely the broadcast of Gloria finished, JoeyStarr is already back on TF1 in the role of Nicolas Valeyre, the hero with unconventional learning methods of the Substitute, broadcast this evening on the channel.
Around the 53-year-old actor and rapper, front-page viewers will notably find Barbara Schulz as headmaster of the high school, Héléna Noguerra as former companion of Valeyre, or even Stéphane Guillon, Armelle (Camera café), Sébastien Chassagne (Irresponsable, Une Belle history), and Nadia Roz (Central Police Station) in the shoes of the other teachers of the establishment in which the plot of these first two test episodes takes place.
Well worth a look ?
With his figure of an unconventional and inspiring teacher capable of forever marking the lives of his students, The Replacement is part of an already well-provided theme, whether in cinema or on television with works such as Le Circle of Missing Poets, Rebel Spirits, Writing to Exist, or obviously Sam, the series with Natacha Lindinger, which has now been broadcast for five seasons on TF1.
“School” or “educational” fictions are moreover more popular than ever on French television at the start of 2021 since, after La Faute à Rousseau, France 2 will also very soon launch a second series on the same. subject, The School of Life, which will hit the air on April 21, just a few days after The Replacement.
Rather classic, as much in substance as in form, this pilot composed of 2 episodes of 45 minutes which should become a recurring series if successful, is especially valid for the performance of JoeyStarr who is extremely comfortable and convincing in the role of this badly licked bear who actually hides a hypersensitive teacher passionate about his profession.
A character of which he is partly at the origin since this potential new series was born from an idea of JoeyStarr himself: “I had this idea in mind for a while”, confides the interpreter of Nicolas Valeyre in an interview with TF1. “She came to me when I heard on the news that the national education system was understaffed and that the conditions for being able to teach were extended to baccalaureate holders who just had to complete their training with an internship. I told myself that this opened the door to different teachers “.
However, the performance of JoeyStarr and his alchemy with the always excellent Sébastien Chassagne and Barbara Schulz are not really enough to make The Substitute stand out from the crowd. The fault has a plot a little too seen and revised (the spring of the eloquence contest being worn to the rope), an artificial “twist” concerning the past of the hero which does not bring much to the story, and a gallery of teenagers – prominent elements in this kind of series – that the writers struggle to break out of stereotypes and make really endearing. Even if the young actors of this pilot do not have to be ashamed of their performances. The revelations Laure-Kenza Aazizou and Alexander Ferrario in the lead.
Without being unpleasant to follow, The Replacement is simply lacking in daring and originality. And suffers from the comparison with Sam, a little more rock’n’roll, and especially with La Faute à Rousseau, which passed just before on La Deux and was a frank success, which precisely owed a lot to its finely drawn adolescent characters.