Joséphine, Ratings Guardian

I’m sorry to say that the 2009 summer seasons of Intervilles and La carte aux Trésors are not quite as spectacular as expected. The root cause appears to be budgetary constraints, with the dancing girls, roadshow element, DJ and A-list celebrity presenters all axed from Intervilles, and helicopter flight-time restricted to half of the show on La carte aux Trésors, most likely slashing costs by 30% in both cases. Even Nathalie Simon‘s airtime seems to have taken a hit.

Oh how I miss the dancing girls!

Mimie MathyThere is one ‘small’ ray of hope though for trashy summer TV: Joséphine, ange gardien.

This feature-length family show, now in it’s 13th season, is effectively a modern French variation on Mary Poppins, and plays to massive audiences across France whenever it hits the airwaves. The key to the shows success is not it’s repetitive schmaltzy story-lines, nor the occasional injection of cheap special effects (when Joséphine clicks her fingers), it is Joséphine herself, played by the diminutive but brilliant comic actress Mimie Mathy.

If the commercial breaks are anything to go by the target audience for the show are expected to buy anti-ageing cream, girdles and hair dye … but as a family show it makes easy, wholesome, viewing for children and non-francophone foreigners (like me) too.

What’s nice about the show is it usually comes as a welcome break from the endless cop shows, and while I wouldn’t quite describe it as supercalifragilisticexpialidocious – it’s not that far off.

Next episode is scheduled for the 24th August.

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