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Fri Aug 16, 10-10.40pm, Sky Arts 1

By Adam Lee Davies

Series two, episode one
‘According to an opinion poll, the big fantasy of the French is to sleep with politicians.’ Well, that certainly explains a few things. The first series of winsome Gallic bongo sitcom ’Hard’ followed Sophie, a widowed middle-class Parisian woman who inherits her dead husband’s porn movie studio. Cue much hilarity as her staid suburban prejudices bump uglies with the permissive – but reassuringly morally-centred – sleazebags of the French smut circuit.

Series two is set three months after Sophie’s decision to move away from making straight-up muckies into Vaseline-lensed, female-empowering erotica in which the mademoiselles of Montmartre pay to live out their pornographic fantasies – sex with tennis coaches, being double-teamed by bent coppers, being set upon by lepers in car parks. The usual sort of thing.

It’s like Al Pacino attempting to take the Corleones legit in ‘Godfather 3’ – and proves similarly challenging. So, with clients running out, Sophie starts putting the word around her prim and proper social circle. Now what could go possibly wrong with that..? Episode two, which follows at 10.40pm, may provide a few pointers.

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