Knit to This
Knit to This: French Procedurals
As you know, I subsist on a steady TV diet of police procedurals. I watch so many of them, and re-watch my favorites until I can recite big swatches of dialogue (but still never remember who done it). I actually run out of fictional crime to watch while knitting. So imagine my delight to stumble upon two series that were brand-new to me.
One little wrinkle: they’re both in French, with English subtitles. Therefore: strictly for plain knitting. I can deal with that. I’ve knit to both of these while working on my ABC-Blanket, which doesn’t look like plain knitting, but 3 out of every 4 rows actually are on auto-pilot. I just pause the video while working that 1 out of 4 rows where I have to pay attention to the chart. Like a lady TV detective, I’m resourceful.
If you would enjoy seeing crimes solved by quirky people in Paris, I’ve got two treats for you. They’re both on PBS, where my Channel Thirteen membership gets me in.
Astrid Nielsen’s official job is pushing file carts around the basement archives at police headquarters, but unofficially?—she’s on the detective squad. Astrid is not the first autistic character who solves crimes—far from it, but it’s the first television I’ve seen that has several autistic characters and includes their struggles and successes in the storytelling.
Astrid is solidly in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, in that she figures things out by noticing and remembering things that others miss. Her neurotypical boss/partner, Raphaëlle, is open-minded, loyal, and impulsive; they make an interesting pair. The crimes they investigate are violent, but melodramatic enough to not be too disturbing, at least for me.
I wondered how the autism community reacted to the portrayal of autism in Astrid, and a brief google seems to indicate that the response has been positive. There are some stereotypes, mostly related to special abilities and interests that Astrid has, and a lot about her noise sensitivity and discomfort with frivolous social interactions, which sometimes become plot points. On behalf of autistic people who make eye contact and can interpret others’ emotions, I wish the character were a little more nuanced, but she’s a long way from Rain Man (which gets more than a passing reference).
Gabrielle “Munch” Munchovski is a Parisian criminal defense lawyer with an oversupply of sass. Her heart is pure, but her methods: not so much. She’s brash and mouthy, super smart and extremely funny. I’m nearing the end of the first season, and hating for it to end. Munch gets bonus points for showing a woman of a certain age at the top of her game, and looking great on the back of a motorbike, which apparently is how Munch commutes. Much of the fun of the show is in office banter and the mysterious pasts of everyone on the team, which get revealed in tantalizing ways. I still don’t know what’s going on with that picture of Munch’s son on her desk; I’m bracing for a bombshell. Highly recommended!
Re: knittability, don’t say I didn’t warn you about the subtitles. But we can handle it. These shows are worth the trouble. And if, like me, you think you speak French, you’re going to learn that: you don’t. They talk so fast! The argot is so au courant!
The prize? A MYSTERY Bag o’ Yarn! We get to see and feel so many great yarns when we make choices about which ones to bring into the MDK Shop. Let us surprise you.
How to enter?
Step 1: Sign up for MDK emails, right here. External Link. Opens in new window.. If you’re already signed up, you’re all set. We have a new option for texting, so when you sign up for those, you’ll get a coupon code good for 10% off your next MDK order.
Step 2: Speaking of “women of a certain age” … who is a strong, seasoned female character—real or fictional—who has inspired you lately? Let us know in the comments.
Deadline for entries: Sunday, May 21, 11:59 PM Central time. We’ll draw a random winner from the entries. Winner will be notified by email.
And meanwhile in the Sale aisle . . .
Just added to the Sale page! Field Guide No. 23: Glow yarn and bundles!