“I promise you” returns to TF1 tonight for a very successful season 2. Aline Panel, the producer of the series adapted from “This Is Us”, reveals the main lines of these new episodes which finally reveal the circumstances of the death of the father.
One year after the launch of the series on TF1, I promise you, the French adaptation of This Is Us with Hugo Becker, Camille Lou, Guillaume Labbé, Marilou Berry, and Narcisse Mame, returns this evening for a very successful season 2, which manages to deepen each member of the Gallo family and has some nice surprises in store for us, between new characters, laughs, and sequences of emotion galore.
On the occasion of the broadcast of the first two episodes, Aline Panel, the producer of I promise you, to whom we also owe the series Sam, returns for us to the main theme of this season 2, namely the death of Paul, the father of the triplets, whose circumstances will finally be revealed.
And tells us more about the challenges of this new season and about the new cap of Marilou Berry, the interpreter of Maud, who co-directed the twelve episodes with Renaud Bertrand, who had already officiated on the first batch last year. last.
AlloCiné: After the success of the first season, and the good critical reception, including journalists who had seen and liked This Is Us, were you under pressure when you embarked on this season 2?
Aline Panel : Anyway, the pressure, I put it on myself (laughs). Making a series is never won. And then, I like for it to be beautiful, for it to be professional, for the writing to be held. So I always push the slider as far as possible.
After the first season, I wanted to try another method for this season 2, because twelve episodes to deliver in one year is not nothing. In terms of writing, I haven’t changed anything, because the two main authors, Brigitte Bémol and Julien Simonet, are great and are totally available for the series because they work exclusively for me. They can therefore ensure the twelve episodes.
They write all the arcs, they design the season, and they write all the sequencers together. And then we have authors who come to help with the dialogues, and at the last stage it’s Brigitte and Julien who take over the whole thing. It brings real consistency, a real follow-up to the series, and that’s important since we’re on soap operas.
On the other hand, on the production, I decided to make things happen. In the first season, each of the two directors had produced six episodes. It required a lot of work to bring the two into agreement, and it was sometimes complicated, we couldn’t force people’s natures either. Everything was not always necessarily optimal in terms of consistency between the two blocks.
So in season 2 I said to myself “What if we tried instead a director who deals with the present and a director who does the past?”. And that’s how the season was co-directed by Renaud Bertrand, who had already worked on season 1, and by Marilou Berry.
I still asked Renaud to launch the present with Marilou Berry. There is therefore an important lead from Renaud over all 12 episodes, a consistency there again. And a very fluid artistic vision from one episode to another. But then he completely took care of the sequences that take place in the past, and Marilou directed the sequences that take place in the present.
Was it Marilou Berry who came to you with the desire to direct episodes this year?
I think she wanted to, yes. She had let us know vaguely, it was in the air, but we had to dig. And Marilou is very close to Renaud so I think she spoke to him more clearly. And I really wanted Renaud to be able to choose the person who was going to co-direct the season with him. So he suggested Marilou to me and I thought it was a great idea.
I like working with Marilou, she is very intelligent in her way of preparing, of taking over texts. Very respectful of the work of the authors too, and very cash. And I really like people who say things right away. So, I was all for it, I had seen his feature films, I found it very interesting. And it allowed me to continue to deploy the Authentic Prod “family”. I love retaining my talents and allowing them to move from one role to another. I do it more and more.
How would you define this season 2 of I promise you?
It’s really the season that explains the circumstances of Paul’s (Hugo Becker) death. Because we know from the beginning that he died, but we don’t know how he lost his life. And it’s not just the factual circumstances, it’s also the psychological circumstances of this tragedy.
It’s not a secret, this series speaks to me a lot, because I lost my mother when I was 14, we were ten children, almost all minors. And we’ve been orphans for a long time because our father died shortly after our mother. And I realized while talking with my brother that we didn’t agree on who had suffered the most from the death of our parents. It’s crazy, and it’s really the heart of the subject of season 2 of I promise you.
Losing a parent when you are a teenager is not neutral. Because, psychically, this is the period when we need to cut the cord. We want a bit of the psychic death of the father and the mother. They are all more or less in there.
And in addition it turns out that they were not all present at the time of Paul’s death. So they’re going to drag it all their life. And this is what will both bind them in an exceptional way until the end of their lives and what, at the same time, will make them suffer and increase their dissensions.
The consequences of Paul’s death on their adolescence and on their adult life today are really the heart of season 2. And of the series more generally.
Can we also say that it’s a bit like the season of Guillaume Labbé, who is exceptional, especially in the episodes where Michaël sinks completely?
Yes I agree. On each season we try to balance the arches between each of the triplets, but there is always a character who prints more. In season 1 it was Mathis with the adoption, because that was the subject of the first episodes. The first drama of this family is that a baby has been replaced by another. Is it the one that has been liked the most?
And in season 2 it is absolutely Michaël who is a little more in the light, because we are really interested in the death of Paul, and it is Michaël who, objectively, had the most childhood and adolescence complicated. And we will understand why.
Without giving too much away, we can say that Paul’s death is not the same as Jack’s in This Is Us, the circumstances are different. Was that the main challenge of this season 2 for you and for the authors?
We had a back and forth on that. We started on something different, then we went back to the American version. And finally I said “No, we can’t do that. The problem is that the viewers are going to be spoiled”. Because everyone has access to This Is Us. It would have been a shame.
As much, being spoiled on the fact that it is a family with three children, one of whom is adopted, it does not matter. We know it from the end of the first episode, and from the poster we can understand it. So we kept it in season 1. But for the death of Paul, it was important not to do like the American series and to offer something different to assume that we are French and that we can take some liberties .