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Maison Close

Maison Close

Fri Aug 9, 10-11pm, Sky Arts 1

By Gabriel Tate
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Series two, episode eight
The betrayals are mounting up as the second series of this French costume drama reaches its conclusion. Drug-addled Mosca is completely out of control, while Kertel and arch-pragmatist Hortense are intriguing to take back control of the brothel and homicidal firebrand Bak remains the loosest of cannons. Yet, in spite of being surrounded by rich, powerful, violent men, it seems unlikely that the residents of La Paradis are going to allow their destinies to be determined for them.

The expanding budget and ambition of this series has reaped considerable dividends in narrative terms, even if the direction can’t always capitalise (the climactic firefight is competently but uninventively handled). You still wouldn’t call it essential and there are moments where it veers into self-parody, but there’s no denying that ‘Maison Close’ offers a viewing experience unlike any other on British television.
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