It seems like Paris has become a new hot spot for webseries. While Amazon Studios announced a pilot for a series about foreigners sharing a flat in Paris (a la “Auberge Espagnole”), Youku just greenlit the second season of Ex-Model, a webseries that follows a Chinese model, nearing her thirties, who struggles to reinvent herself as she realizes she is already too old for that industry.
As Ex Model illustrates, Asian – and especially Chinese – webseries set in Paris have become very popular (25 million views in three months for its first season!). No surprise then that a new Asian webseries just popped up. But this time, it focuses not on a recent immigrant, but on the long-established Asian community of the 13th borough of Paris, le “13ème” as they call it. The pilot is therefore conveniently titled “13ème arrondissement”.
All those are comedies too, a genre that works well for webseries. Comedy is not an easy genre, but the format of webseries allows more flexibility and ability to experiment. Among the characters of the webseries, all very different, eccentric and mad in their own styles, are the twins who are big fans of Korean pop music – representative of the strength of the Korean Wave among the French Asian youth.
Currently the pilot is only in French and Asian languages (Mandarin, Japanese), and features among the best Asian actors based in France: Francois-Marie Nivon (Goal of the Dead) is the lead, Bing Yin (From Paris with Love, District 13) is Tony the step-brother, and Fusae Yamasaki (Madame Butterfly) is the mother. Theatre actors complete a solid cast.
The flavour of 13ème arrondissement reminds us of hilarious webseries K-Town Cowboys. We wish it to fare as well. In the meantime, have a look at the pilot… and cross fingers that New Malden gets its own webseries (if it ever…).
Created in April 2014, Daehan Drama aims to promote Korean TV dramas towards the UK audience, as well as facilitate dialogue between the British and Korean creative industries.