Maison close (TV Series 2010–2013) Poster


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Everyone must pay, one way or another.
Celia-N27 July 2012
Everyone must pay, one way or another. This series is taking you to discover what lies beneath the curtains of a luxury brothel at the end of XIXth century Paris. Translation of french term "maison close" is brothel, ironically called Paradise, where men are trying to get in and women are trying to get out. Its the drama of the women caught in Paradise, with their schemes, problems, loves, fears, weakness and hopes. Everyone is trying to control the others through these weaknesses. The owner her girls, the girls their customers, the customers the owner. Beautiful music, decors and atmosphere complete the circle. If you're trying to watch something new, fresh and original, try this french series
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An entertaining series
pavanratnaker18 September 2012
Just came across the series by chance. And was happily surprised with it. In French with subtitles so have had to concentrate more than I usually do. Based in a Frech brothel it makes an interesting concept. The story starts off slowly as all the characters are introduced, but it catches on some pace in the last two episodes hence don't give up watching once you start it. The direction is pretty good and subtle which has allowed the story to be told without too much interference. The editing could have been better and the series been a bot shorter for what it was trying to portray, may have had many reasons for the number of episodes they finally come up with. The acting is quite intense and very good, overall a very character based series hence this was the key. Hence the casting crew has to be commended. Overall a good series to watch but not spectacular.
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A gritty look at life in a Paris brothel
callalou115 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Most French films have an earthy and realistic feel to them and this series is absolutely no exception. It's a very frank look at the life of prostitutes working in a Paris brothel in the late (1871), 19th century. You'll either love or loathe foreign films and this series, made in the French language is, as with all subtitled films, a little more challenging to watch, unless you are fluent in French, but it makes for a much more authentic atmosphere. The plot is believable and the girls likable, but the story line is very uncompromising, and pulls no punches when it comes to the sexual scenes and the violence which the girls experience. But it's all done with such French aplomb that it was for me, impossible to take offence. It goes with the subject matter so if you are easily offended, probably best to give it a wide berth. For myself I have found it fascinating and absorbing.
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Grim, seemingly authentic...but kind of SLOW
minnich28 October 2012
The French TV series "Maison Close" is set in a Paris brothel ("Le Paradis") just after the end of the Franco-Prussian War (i.e., apparently in the last half of 1871). The two key themes are the quest of a new (and mostly unwilling) young arrival there to learn the fate of her mother -- who'd once also worked as a prostitute at the Paradis -- and the simultaneous efforts of the brothel's madam to purchase the operation from her scheming brother, who's the behind-the-scenes owner.

The acting is good, and the sets and camera-work effectively display the grim living conditions of the girls (that is, their cramped common sleeping quarters, as compared to the opulent rooms where they "entertain" the guests), but the pace of many episodes can, frankly, drag and get very "talky" and soap-opera-like.

One final observation: there's NOT a lot of nudity in the series (first season, anyway): did hookers in 1870s Paris REALLY mainly have sex clothed (not even topless, mostly), just accommodating the client doggie-style on the bed (dress still on) or "cowgirl" on top, again with very little flesh showing? That's sure not how it's traditionally depicted in other modern films!
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'Maison Close' is a very intriguing show, and I hope to see a US version soon.
bryank-0484411 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
We have many shows nowadays centered around zombies taking over the Earth, biker gangs trying not to be killed off, shows about the mafia, and of course a large amount of new comic book series. I know there are more similar shows that are on each channel that are more or less the same, but with different actors, but we would be here all day if we went through each and every one of them. One typical genre that has been left by the way side, most likely due to America's thoughts on to show more violence than nudity is a prostitution story, at least on television.

Sure, we have seen plenty of feature films that feature a prostitute, but more times than not, it usually ends in a fairy tale like manner with the prostitute ending up with a very wealthy suitor and a life of caviar and puppies ensues. It's extremely rare to see a film, let alone a TV series show us that dark life of a prostitute. That's where 'Maison Close' comes in, which is a French television series that can now be seen in the USA. Several years ago, HBO wanted to remake the show for an American audience, but it never came to be. Probably, because it plays out more like a soap opera than 'Game of Thrones', meaning tons of violence, monsters, and mystical creatures.

That being said, 'Maison Close' can stand on it's own with its good story lines, characters, and decent dose of melodrama. Oh yeah, and the vast number of rather steamy sex scenes this first season has to offer. Sure, it's rather a niche audience, but this series is worth checking out for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the use of music. It has a very 'Moulin Rouge' vibe to it whereas 'Maison Close' takes place in the 1800s at a bordello. However, the music featured in the show is a mix of modern rock and pop songs that usually go along with the main plots on screen and their character's emotions. It was rather entertaining.

Again, the series focuses on a bordello known as 'Paradise', which is funny, because it seems to be anything but that. 'Maison Close' is a very female-centric and is mostly about girl-power, even in the 1800s, which makes this show more original, but we follow three lead women throughout the first season. One is Hortense Gaillac (Valerie Karsenti), who is the madam in charge of the bordello, who is struggling to keep her business afloat and must go to her evil big brother for help, but at a not-so-good price. Then there is Vera (Anne Charrier), a veteran prostitute, getting up in years for her line of work, who is looking to retire to a good life, however things prevent her from pursuing this plan. The last main character is Rose (Jemima West), a very naive and innocent woman who is in search of her long lost mother. Rose shows up at the bordello to ask questions about the whereabouts of her mom, and gets sucked into the life of prostitution.

All three characters get enough time to study their backgrounds and their various melodramatic moments, all of which are done very well. There are times when the pacing is a bit slow, but the music and sex scenes tend to keep the overall story at a decent pace. Everyone turns in excellent performances throughout, as we see each character struggle with their identity to become an individual, rather than an object for men to treat badly. 'Maison Close' is a very intriguing show, and I hope to see a US version soon.
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tinyone218 May 2015
This series tries too hard but in the end the story is slow and boring. The acting isn't bad though, but it is just a soft porn disguised as art and wrapped in a TV series. And as with porn, the story and the acting is secondary to the sex.

The drama is more frustrating than entertaining.

There is loads of sex in this series, which some might find appealing. However, I would rather watch 2 pineapples have sex than the acted scripted and fake sex in this series.

This is in French with sub titles so another reason people would probably only watch it rather than follow the story.
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