Review of Le Flambeau on Canal+: the spark of La Flamme is lost

Review of Le Flambeau on Canal+: the spark of La Flamme is lost

2 years later The flamecomedian Jonathan Cohen offers a new parody of reality TV with The torch. This time, it is on the island of Chupacabra that the candidates compete. Problem: It seems the inferno isn’t as hot as it once was. The Canal+ series seems to be dying out.

14 adventurers, a paradise island and the exceptional sum of €450 at stake: for the candidates of the Torch, the competition is fierce and ruthless. In Chupacabra, an archipelago off the coast of Mexico, the trials follow one another, but in the end, only one will remain. The regulars of Koh Lanta should not be out of place with Jonathan Cohen’s new creation, which debuts tonight on Canal+.

The torch is obviously a parody of the famous show presented by Denis Brogniart since 2002 (already?!). All the ingredients of the original reality show are here hijacked and mocked, in the same way as The flame caricatured The Bachelor, two years ago. Except that the passion of the beginnings seems to be slowly dying out and this new series is not really up to expectations.

The torch don’t level up

Let’s say it clearly: The flame was also not the comedy of the decade. The Canal+ series had everything to please on paper: a funny concept, a creator very well known at the time for his character of Serge the Mytho, and a prestigious cast including comedian Florence Foresti and singer Angèle. But this adaptation of the American series Burning Love had already left us with a mixed impression. If the parodic aspect of Bachelor was hilarious and that the performances of the actors were perfect, the humor used sometimes seemed to us, however, a bit crude and dated.

The torch
sort of sequel to The flame, The torch features characters common to both series. // Source: Canal+

Two years later, The torch doesn’t really manage to level up. If this sequence of The flame reshuffles all the cards and takes us on another reality show, the series still relies a lot on its achievements. During the four episodes that we were able to watch (out of nine in all in the season), we then find both with pleasure and a bit of weariness the characters who made the flavor of the original comedy.

annoying characters

Marc, first and obviously, is back. Played by Jonathan Cohen, this seductive airline pilot was previously the Bachelor. He is now on a desert island, having to look for food and participate in sporting events. Suffice to say that our wealthy candidate, whose intelligence is close to that of a sea oyster, is not really in his natural element. At his side, several candidates from The flame also try the adventure: Anne (Ana Girardot), whom Marc hates, Chataléré (Camille Chamoux), the fashion designer, or Marina (Géraldine Nakache), the lesbian turned cop, thus make their appearance during the season. Other surprises are also to be expected, but we will keep the secret so as not to spoil anything.

The torch
14 adventurers compete to win €450. // Source: Canal+

New participants are making their sensational entry into The torch. We thus meet Patrice, known as Patoche (Kad Merad), the redneck with a southern accent, Annick (Laura Felpin), the circus babe, William (Mister V), the influencer… While some characters offer very funny sequences, most of them still remain locked in rather painful caricatures. We would have liked a bit of extra freshness, but The torch hardly in reality to renew itself.

Too much screaming kills the screaming

On the side of the jokes, there too, the series is rather disappointing. Faithful to the spirit instilled in most of Jonathan Cohen’s creations, the humor is too often confined to a series of wee-poo situations. Jokes with a sexist or validist tendency are also, unfortunately, part of the game. It is therefore rather rare to laugh frankly in front of the episodes of 30 minutes each, which is still a big flaw for a comedy of this caliber. We were expecting the Torch that it corrects the defects of The flamebut the series continues on the contrary on the same line, even loses in humorous qualities.

The torch
New well-known actors, such as Kad Merad and Gérard Darmon, appear in The torch. // Source: Canal+

And like its elder before it, this parody of Koh Lanta tends to overuse screams as a comic device. Between the “MAAAAAAAAAAAAAARC! » become emblematic, the cries of victory of the candidates and the bursts of voices of the arguments between the participants, we end the viewing with a good big headache which we would have done well without.

A tasty parody

But The torch Fortunately, it doesn’t only have flaws. It must be said that the series is once again based on a high quality cast. The actors and actresses are all excellent overall, proving their comedic talent with each new episode. Jonathan Cohen is notably always impeccable in the role of the improbable Marc.

The torch
The torch excels in its tasty parody of Koh Lanta. // Source: Canal+

Where the series excels is also in its parody dimension. The references to Koh Lanta are hilarious and always relevant. A candidate must therefore turn off his flashlight before leaving the adventure, the immunity sombrero protects a team and the tests are all more incredible than the other. And the €450 jackpot itself is excellent. In short, the series happily parodies the underside of television, and that’s why we love it, despite everything. The torch won’t give you the same satisfaction as a couch party with Koh Lantabut it can at least keep you waiting between shows.

Le Flambeau is broadcast on Canal+ every Monday at 9 p.m., with three episodes per evening. The series, as well as La Flamme, are also available on MyCanal.

The verdict

14 adventurers compete to win €450 // Source: Canal+

Two years ago, comedian Jonathan Cohen renewed French comedy on the small screen with The flame. This parody of Bachelor with a renowned cast had a mixed first season in 2020, with a delirious and innovative concept, but sometimes mixed humor. This year, the adventure will take place in Chupacabra, an island off the coast of Mexico. By taking all the codes from Koh Lanta, The Flambeau reminds us of the most beautiful hours of reality TV. Some characters from The flame are making a comeback, including the unforgettable Marc, played by Jonathan Cohen. Other candidates make their sensational entry into this humorous universe. If the choice of actors is always remarkable, humor, on the other hand, is only half amusing. The series will still appeal to all spectators in need of Koh Lanta and fans of Jonathan Cohen’s schoolboy humor.

Source: Numerama editing

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