Inspector Dupin starring Pasquale Aleardi premieres now streaming on MHz Choice!

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THE SHOW: Inspector Dupin is a German police procedural based on the Kommissaire Dupin series of novels about a French detective, written by a German author (Jörg Bong, under the pen name Jean-Luc Bannalec) set in northern France. Stay with me – this is a show about a French detective – a Parisian, no less – sent to the coastal town of Concarneu in Brittany, written for a German audience, and performed by a German-speaking cast, filmed in France. It took me a minute to reconcile what I was seeing to what I was hearing, but after a few minutes, I was all in.

THE FORMULA: Oui, I mean, ja, here we have the impatient, rakish police detective determined to do things his own way, burdened with a provincial team he first deems incompetent but eventually comes to respect and cherish. It’s a winning combination, especially in the case of his two main sidekicks, the innocent and studious Riwal (Ludwig Blochberger) and the weirdly wonderful Kadeg (Jan Georg Schütte). This Dupin (Pasquale Aleardi) is too good looking to sideline as merely a cantankerous cop on the job, and his chemistry with various (every?) female co-stars is undeniable.

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Pasquale Aleardi as Inspector Dupin

[LOCATION] WAS LIKE ANOTHER CHARACTER: I just wrote about The Berken Case and remarked that it was a shame more procedurals aren’t based in Brittany! Little did I know, I would be immediately confronted with Dupin and his cohort traversing the stunning land-and-seascape of Concarneau. It’s gorgeous and absolutely serves as another character in Inspector Dupin, not only due to the natural and historic beauty, but because Dupin… hates it. His Parisian sensibilities cannot handle the fishy smells and crabbily stubborn Breton culture. You’d call him a fish out of water, but it’s more like he’s… a cow… in water. Too bad for him – he’s stuck there. His colleagues are nice enough to try and hide their seafood feasts from him as much as possible, but he is often forced to dine solo in the region’s seemingly lone steakhouse.

THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT: Dupin thought being sent down to the minor leagues of French policing would be a curse, his citified views leading him to wrongly believe nothing bad ever happens outside of Paris. How very incorrect he was. He can’t turn around without stumbling over a dead body wrapped in fishing nets and buried in familial secrets that go back 12 generations. As he attempts to avoid jail, himself, while continually defying his boss and breaking all land speed records on the sleepy backroads, he has plenty of work and many opportunities to give big, Poirot-style reveals to assembled suspects.

HOW FRENCH IS IT: I can’t explain it – I know it’s in German, but somehow it’s still very French. Aleardi is Swiss… maybe that’s how he pulls it off?

MAKE A NIGHT OF IT: Concarneu is well-known for its seafood, of course, and apparently one cannot call themselves a Breton without sitting down to a plate full of crab claws and clams, lobsters and oysters every day. Obviously, you can’t go wrong there, but for Dupin’s sake, maybe consider a nice filet. Of beef. He can’t take it.

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