Huge In France is a show that’s going to be perceived differently depending on whether you’ve heard of French comedian Gad or not. For those who have heard of him, Gad’s alienating experience in the US as he tries to reconnect with his Son will almost certainly deliver more than those who haven’t. For the most part, Huge In France is a perfectly acceptable comedy, one that does well to add some familial drama to the mix whilst wrapping things up nicely at the end. It is basic by design and doesn’t necessarily do anything original but it does have a good heart, which certainly helps elevate this one.
The story begins with superstar French comedian Gad hanging up the comedy jacket and flying out to L.A. to reconnect with his Son Luke. Shunned by his Son, ex-wife and everyone around him, he finds himself having to adapt to life very quickly in this strange new world. Over the 8 episodes, Gad does everything he can to reconnect with Luke whilst the other supporting characters have their own journeys. Whether it be Jason’s claim to fame or Luke’s rivalry with Zene, there’s a consistency to this that keeps the drama flowing right through to the end. All of this culminates in a climactic finale that wraps things up and rounds out a pretty decent 8 episodes of comedy.
The story itself visits well-trodden ground and doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel. What it does do however, is deliver a funny comedy chock full of familial drama, good punchlines and a whole lot of heart. When it comes to this side of the show, Huge In France is well worth its weight in gold and some of the jokes are really well written and timed perfectly. Most of the funniest jokes come from Gad’s language barrier too, playing on his alienating experience in America, including one joke where Gad asks who TJ Maxx is.
Blending fact and fiction throughout the show, Huge In France does well to blur the real world with the scripted, as the various stand-up gigs, famous faces and the over-arching reality-based story all cross over with numerous famous faces cropping up throughout the episodes. Whether it be Seinfeld or Tyson Beckford, there’s a whole range of people that show up, adding to the authenticity of the story.
Huge In France has a basic story and a core group of characters following predictable arcs. Where this show really excels though is with its comedy and heart. There’s a real emotional weight hanging over this show and as Gad fails time and time again to do the right thing for his Son, we really feel his helplessness in these situations. If you can look past the simple concept, there’s a funny comedy here worth checking out. It may have a story you’ve seen a thousand times before, but it’s told with a decent amount of comedy to make it a well-worn ride worth taking again.
Verdict - 6/10