Camera Café, the Unknowns… Why are these cult TV shows no longer?



Nostalgia when you hold us ! Les Inconnus, Pierre Palmade or even Bruno Solo and Yvan Le Bolloc’h: in recent months, French viewers have had the opportunity to find familiar faces on their screens. For one evening (or more), television channels offer to take their audience back 20 or 30 years by broadcasting a new version of successful programs broadcast in the 1990s or 2000s.

Burger Quiz, Star Academy…

If on the games side, the mayonnaise takes, like the Burger Quiz, a cult program presented by Alain Chabat and still just as funny 20 years later, or the Star Academy, resurrected on TF1 in October 2022, on the fiction side, the task seems more arduous. This Tuesday, it was Camera Café, a series imagined by Bruno Solo and Yvan Le Bolloc’h and broadcast on M6 between 2001 and 2004, which passed the crash test: an exceptional evening called “Camera Café: 20 years already” with, at the menu, an unprecedented episode in which Jean-Claude, who has just been made redundant, and Hervé recall 20 years of a friendship crossed by a topicality that goes beyond them (the attacks, “the so-called death of Johnny”, according to Jean-Claude, social networks, the MeToo era, the movement of yellow vests…) followed by a documentary tracing the history of the program.

The “shipwreck” of the Unknowns

An evening awaited by the fans of the first hour who were 3.1 million in front of their television, or 14% of the public on the evening. A nice score which testifies to the expectation around these programs, real vectors of nostalgia, but which is not a guarantee of success: “All Inconnus”, fiction in which some sixty celebrities – from McFly and Carlito to JoeyStarr passing by Adil Rami and Nikos Aliagas – replayed 19 of the most cult sketches from the show “La télé des Inconnus” broadcast on Antenne 2 between 1990 and 1993, had achieved the same score (3.1 million viewers) last November.

But entertainment, in which Pascal Legitimus, Didier Bourdon and Bernard Campan played their own role in a parallel reality where everyone had forgotten them, was far from having convinced: “shipwreck”, “disaster” or even “massacre” could -we read on social networks. Ditto, the two new episodes of the “Grand Restaurant” (broadcast in 2010-2011), which features a rich cast around Pierre Palmade, broadcast respectively in February 2021 and December 2022 on M6, had to face fairly harsh criticism. virulent, despite correct audience scores (3.1 million for the first, 2 million for the second).

Replicas that “create” teeth

If the outcry is not as big as announced The Parisian in its columns, deeming the program “distressing” and “sexist” and its protagonists devoid of “their sympathy capital”, it is clear that version 2.0 of Camera Café is far from having convinced the public in turn. On social networks, opinions are more divided than ever: “Nothing to do with the Camera Café of 2001. To be avoided at all costs, even for fans”, we read on AlloCiné. “A distressing clumsy humor and lack of spontaneity! “says a surfer on Twitter while another asks for more.

A tone that no longer seduces

So why is what worked 20 years ago not working as well today? Common point of these two programs: an irreverent tone, at the limit of the correct (sometimes beyond), assumed by the authors but which no longer seduces, or at least, no longer everyone. “Already, 20 years ago, certain lines and situations made people squeal, we handle them like dynamite” deciphers Yvan le Bolloc’h, while his sidekick Bruno Solo qualifies the characters of Jean-Claude and Hervé as “caricatural and pathetic”. In November, the Unknown Didier Bourdon also confided that “today, it might be difficult” to do certain sketches, such as “Biouman” or “The nurses”, in which they were disguised as Japanese and West Indians. .

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Tarun Kumar

Tarun Kumar has worked in the News sector for 05 years and is currently the Owner and Editor of Then24. He reside in Delhi, India with his Family.

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