Netflix’s latest French comedy, Family Business, gets off to a great start with a humorous and well written opening episode. As we get to know each of the key characters, Family Business boasts a diverse range of humour, with some funny slapstick and clever wordplay used throughout the episode.
We begin the episode with Joseph on his way to an interview. Unfortunately, because he had to do a delivery for his Father, he arrives late to his meeting in a delivery truck. Unfortunately, his partner lets him down at the last minute. His project consists of an app which fakes a distorted phone call traveling through a tunnel which, according to him, would be useful during awkward and unwanted conversations. Not being able to explain all the technical details around his idea, the presentation is a flop and the investors are not interested.
Discouraged by having failed yet again, Joseph goes back to his Dad’s butcher shop. His Dad, Gerard, tells him to wake up and concentrate on their trade instead. He later meets his girlfriend, Aida, for lunch. He relays back to her what happened and we also find out that they have kept their relationship a secret from the family. Being best friends with her brother, he’s worried about him finding out.
We then cut to his sister, Aure, who is quite successful professionally and is planning to leave for Tokyo to join her girlfriend. In the evening, Joseph meets with his sister, Father and grandma to discuss the butcher shop. Aure explains that last year’s numbers are very worrying and ever since their Mum died, they have not been making any profit. She tells her Dad that he needs to sell the business but he defiantly refuses. He tells them he’s not worried and has decided to sign the butcher shop over to his son instead. However, Joseph doesn’t seem too interested.
Later that night, Joseph and his friends go out in a club where they come across an old acquaintance, Clem. High on weed, she tells them that her Father is going to become the health minister and he wants weeds to be legalized. Sensing an opportunity, the next morning they all discuss last night’s revelation. Joseph gets an idea; he wants to turn the butcher into a coffee shop that sells weed and change the name Hazan meats to Hazan weeds.
As they later all attend their mum’s memorial service, Joseph finds out that his mother’s plot lease has not been paid for. If it doesn’t get paid, she will have to be exhumed and moved into the common grave plot. This prompts him to confront his dad about the situation, including his shop failing. They argue and Gerard rips the butcher contract up infront of him, calling him a brat.
France has produced some successful comedies over the years so it doesn’t come as a surprise that Netflix has decided to pick up Family Business. Some of the humour can sometimes lack the finesse found in other comedies but the some of the jokes are genuinely funny, thanks in part to the strong cast that really shines here. The chemistry between Darmon and Cohen (Joseph and his Father) is excellent and they share some clever exchanges throughout the run-time.
With just 6 episodes and each clocking in at around 30 minutes, Family Business is an enjoyable and binge-worthy Netflix comedy series, that starts brightly with a strong opening episode.