Bienvenue à Pigalle, home to the Moulin Rouge and infamous red-light district in Paris. And welcome to Pigalle, La Nuit, the French drama in which the erotic couples with the sinister, and one man’s search for a missing person takes center stage.
Every good mystery series can be summed up in one question — from “Who killed Laura Palmer?” in the US’s Twin Peaks and “Who killed Danny Latimer?” in the UK’s Broadchurch, to “Who killed Nanna Birk Larsen?” in Denmark’s The Killing.
For France’s Pigalle, La Nuit, the question is, “Où est Emma?” (Where is Emma?)
But first, who is Emma? She’s an erotic dancer and the star attraction at Folie’s, the nightclub owned by the unsavory Nadir. It is here that Thomas, a French expat in Paris from London for a business meeting, sees Emma performing. Unlike her raving fans, Thomas is raging; his sister, estranged from him for two years, is dancing naked on stage.
His screaming her name over the deafening music and howls from the crowd actually reaches Emma, now shocked at seeing her brother in the audience. Show’s over, and she scarpers off stage with Thomas in hot pursuit. Only he doesn’t find her. And no one else seems to know her whereabouts, either.
As Thomas (Jalil Lespert, Tell No One) searches for the sister he knew as a photographer, he meets Fleur (Sara Martins, Death in Paradise), another dancer at Folie’s who tries to help him find Emma (Armelle Deutsch, Élodie Bradford), as well as Nadir (Simon Abkarian, MI-5), who has bigger problems than his club’s big draw gone missing.
Paradise, the new club owned by Dimitri (Eric Ruf, Nobody Else but You), is threatening Nadir’s businesses at Folie’s and his, um, video and toy store. (Yeah, let’s go with that.) And Alice (Catherine Mouchet, Les Petits Meurtres d’Agatha Christie) has decided not to sell her shop to Nadir, where he is planning to open a members-only cercle érotique to maintain his being master of the Pigalle domain.
Could Nadir have played a part in Emma’s disappearance? Is she even still alive? Fleur is suspicious, since she knows Emma wanted to leave Folie’s for Paradise, and becomes more so after another of Folie’s dancers turns up dead. Things get even murkier when Thomas discovers something about the relationship between Emma and Dimitri.
And then there’s Max (Archie Shepp, 24 Bars), an old local who has bizarre visions à la Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks and is in possession of Emma’s music box. The wood box holds a secret, one that Adam (Hubert Koundé, Braquo), one of Dimitri’s henchman, is willing to kill for.
Secrets and subterfuge, conflicts and threats, figure into the central mystery of “Où est Emma?” Whether or not Thomas and Fleur can answer it with “Içi.” … ya gotta watch Pigalle, La Nuit to find out.
All eight episodes of Pigalle, La Nuit are now available for streaming in the US exclusively at Hulu/Hulu Plus.