Scriptwriters: ValĂ©rie Tong Cuong, Marie Vinoy, Marie Alice GadĂ©a, Bruno Dega, Jeanne le Guillou, ClĂ©lia Constantine, Anthony Maugendre, Laurent Vachaud, Alexandra Clert, Thomas Luntz
Gabriel Julien LaferriĂ¨re (We are Family, Neuilly yo mama)
Isabelle Nanty (The Tuche Family)
Lucien Jean-Baptiste (He Even Has Your Eyes, First Snow)
AurĂ©lien Wiik (Bright-eyed revenge, Secrets of State)
ExilĂ¨ne Films and JLA Productions
2016 / Original language: French / Color / 2.00 / available in hd
They call her "Munch": Gabrielle Munchowski, a lawyer unlike any other. She runs a law firm with her friend and associate, Hubert Bellanger. Munch and her team take on tough cases, defending the innocent and marginal against all odds. Bold and irreverent, she will cross any line - even if it means bending the law. She will stop at nothing to defend her clients. Intuitive, yet strong-willed and pragmatic in the face of administrative and judiciary absurdity, she inspires her unconventional team and faithful followers. Everyone has something to learn from Munch.
Is it legal? No, it's Munch!
"It's Munchian!" shouts Lucien Jean Baptiste, describing his associate's unique methods. That is exactly what makes Munch so delightfully human to me.
In this new series, Isabelle Nanty plays the character of a criminal lawyer committed to defending her clients with immeasurable obstination, whereas the judicial system is bent on considering the accused as already guilty.
This opinionated yet intuitive character, on the edge of the law and professional norms, leads her unconventional team and faithful followers forward, come what may. Everyone has something to learn from her - like a "mother" figure showing the "proper" way to face absurdity and the inertia of the administrative-judiciary machine.
With her fearless disregard for gossip, Munch gives viewers a feeling of freedom, just like her investigations and arguments in court free the clients she defends. By her very nature, she makes the episodes race ahead, hardly leaving room for subplots until she reaches her conclusions, constructed from a science all her own.
Finally, what may seem to be just comedy slips towards legal intrigue, crime drama and action-comedy. It turns into a chance for that joyous thematic disobedience so in keeping with the times.
After the Emmy award-winning "Spiral" and the madcap comedy "Kaboul Kitchen," today I can actually bring together this idea with Francoise Berthaud, Jean SĂ©bastien Bouilloux and Clelia Constantine - an idea that otherwise may well have been just a contradiction.
So it was a great pleasure for me to agree to direct the episodes of this first season.
EPISODE 1: "LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON "
Munch has to defend a teenager accused of killing one of his friends. A rebel kid who would rather defy a judge than confess his secret, unaware of how dangerous the risk is. Especially since the murder dissimulates another crime that is every bit as terrifying.
EPISODE 2: "WORD AGAINST WORDâ€ť
Munch takes on the defense of a man accused of raping his wife. But if there is a victim in this case, it's him - his wife has been abusing him. Munch turns the tables on the prosecution and wins over the judge. But when her client is found next to his wife's bloody corpse, the court goes wild.
EPISODE 3: â€śA MISLEADING TRUTH"
Munch takes on the case of Adam Astier, a young man accused of killing his girlfriend. He actually turned himself in to the police and confessed to the crime. But Munch quickly realizes that certain things just don't fit. Adam behaves oddly, reciting his confession as if he learned it by heart.
When Munch gets Adam evaluated by a psychiatrist, she discovers he has Asperger's syndrome, a rare form of autism. Learning that people with Asperger's are incapable of lying makes her job even tougher. Apparently she's defending a guilty man. And yet, some of Adam's statements turn out to be false. How can someone with Asperger's, who can't lie, also contradict himself by stating two different truths? Munch has to track down the person who manipulated Adam and forced him to confess to a crime that he doesn't seem to have committed.
Meanwhile, Munch learns that Judge Montjoie has proof she stole sealed evidence. So she breaks into the Judge's office to find out what that paralyzing proof is. But all she finds is an empty file!
On other fronts, Clarisse is still hoping to get a court hearing to regain custody of her son Nathan. But AurĂ©lien, thinking he can help out, ends up putting her whole case in jeopardy.
Bellanger has to help a rugby player with heart disease find a new job, while dealing with an unexpected request from his daughter Pauline: she wants to go to boarding school. Both Bellanger and Munch don't like it at all.
EPISODE 4: â€śNEITHER FISH NOR FOWLâ€ť
Munch defends transsexual Marianne Lauriac, accused of murdering a colleague.
Though all the evidence is against her, Marianne swears she did not commit the crime. Munch decides to believe her. But things aren't quite so simple. Munch finds out Marianne was also the victim's lover.
Determined to shed light on the case, Munch discovers that Marianne was far from the only one who had been sleeping with the victim. Could a jealous former lover, who also happens to be a father disappointed by his daughter's choices, have been trying to kill two birds with one stone? By eliminating the woman who left him, and letting go of that "girl" he never really accepted?
Meanwhile, Bellanger helps a young man find his father. Without him, the boy, still a minor, may be missing the chance of his life.
On other fronts, Munch learns Judge Montjoie's incriminating "file" against her was just a trap: predicting that Munch would want to get her hands on it, she set up cameras in her office and filmed Munch's unauthorized entry. Munch gets a summons from the Bar to appear before the Council and face serious charges.
Gaspard, worried about Munch's misdeeds, informs Bellanger, who is extremely disappointed by her colleague's lies.
Clarisse finally gets a hearing in family court. Though she has an excellent case, her son Nathan has such a suspicious attitude towards her, it makes her lose the custody arrangement she was so close to getting.
EPISODE 5 : â€śLAST DANCEâ€ť
Munch defends Marie Louvier, a cabaret dancer accused of murdering her boss, Etienne Kieffer. Problem is, the young woman, who was probably drugged, can't remember anything. Munch finds out that Kieffer was an infamous sexual predator and manages to free Marie on grounds of self-defense.
Just when Munch thinks the case is all wrapped up, police inform her that Marie Louvier isn't really Marie Louvier: she stole that identity from a young woman. It suddenly dawns on Munch that the woman is not nearly as innocent as she thought. The whole thing was actually an elaborate set-up to punish Kieffer for rape. Kieffer had raped her mother and was never brought to justice for his crime.
But even if "Marie" set it all up, does that necessarily mean she is guilty of murdering Kieffer? Could some other young woman who had also been sexually abused by him have sought out revenge and left Marie to take the blame?
Meanwhile, Bellanger helps one of his clients to break free from a sect so he can sign a big contract.
In other matters, Munch's troubles are only getting worse. Soon she will have to stand before the disciplinary commission. The preliminary investigation by the President of the Bar is hardly favorable, and Montjoie doesn't seem to want to give up. On top of it all, Bellanger is really having a hard time accepting the fact she told all those lies.
Clarisse is trying to get closer to her son Nathan. With AurĂ©lien's help, she offers him an incredible experience that brings them together. But just when she thinks she sees the light at the end of the tunnel, her ex-mother-in-law steps in and threatens to do everything she can to take her grandson away from Clarisse.
EPISODE 6: â€śLAST RESORTâ€ť
What a surprise when Munch sees little 14-year-old Lisbeth Boisselier stride into her office and ask for help demanding a retrial for her mother, Claire, who was sentenced for murder four years earlier. Lisbeth believes her mom is not guilty and she has just found proof: the firearm responsible for the death. The fingerprints on it are not her mother's.
Munch soon figures out that the real murderer took advantage of the lack of communication in the Boisselier family to escape arrest.
To get to the truth, Munch has to bring the family back together in the wake of the tragedy that tore them apart. Distrust, betrayal and jealousy have reduced the Boisseliers to shadows of their former selves.
Meanwhile, Montjoie's trap is tightening around Munch's neck. Attacking her through the Bar just wasn't enough for the judge. Now she has told the firm's biggest clients about their lawyer's legal problems. Worried about their reputation, the clients ask Bellanger to disassociate himself from Munch. Bellanger is caught between a rock and a hard place: support his friend or save the firm. He ends up siding for friendship, and even agrees to represent Munch before the Bar's disciplinary commission.
Clarisse gets worried when she receives unauthorized photos of Nathan. Her anxiety grows, until finally, she decides to stake out the amateur photographer in front of Nathan's school. But when she arrives, she finds her ex-mother-in-law there and panics. With no warning, she takes Nathan and runs away with him.
EPISODE 7: â€śNOT WITHOUT MY SONâ€ť
Written by Marie Vinoy and Marie Alice GadĂ©a
Munch's firm is in a big commotion: Clarisse has disappeared and is wanted by the police for kidnapping her own son. When Munch manages to find her with the help of AurĂ©lien and Gaspar, they are stunned to discover she has been accused of murdering her mother-in-law. Link by link, they retrace the chain of events to reveal a Machiavellian crime, created to frame Clarisse and avenge a tormented past.
EPISODE 8 : â€śTHE TRIALâ€ť
Written by Anthony Maugendre and Laurent Vachaud
Munch takes on the case of Paul Kentz, a brilliant and philanthropic businessman in the internet business who has been accused of killing his wife. All the facts point to his guilt - except for the sincere love he had for his wife, which makes the crime incomprehensible. During criminal trial, Munch has to use every trick in the book to try to sway the jury in favor of her client, who is as incredibly intelligent as he is strange.
Up to 27% Market Share on TF1 Prime Time
With average 6M viewers per ep. (Linear TV + Non Linear TV)
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"Funny and touching"
"Munch is a courtroom drama unlike any other. Its main asset is Isabelle Nanty - fantastic."
"Isabelle Nanty shines as an offbeat lawyer, orchestrating with actors who play their parts brilliantly"
TELE 7 JOURS
"Isabelle Nanty plays a part made to order in this great legal drama"