Here comes the time of the year when all streaming services and traditional broadcast television decide to fill their rosters with Christmas content. It is only November, but the Christmas spirit permeates at least two months before and one after. The demand for this content is massive, even if we don’t realize it. More than 100 new Christmas productions will be released on this subject between this and next month, and Netflix, being the all-time audience pleaser that it is, will release a bunch of its own. Christmas Flow is one of those releases. Does it have what it takes to make a good Christmas watch? Or is it better to just watch “Love, Actually” once again?
Christmas Flow is a Christmas Netflix miniseries created by Henri Debeurme, Marianne Levy and Victor Rodenbach. The series stars Tayc, Shirine Boutella, Marion Seclin and Aloïse Sauvage. The series tells the story of Marcus, a famous rapper facing scrutiny from society because of his very explicit and sexist lyrics and The Simones, a group of feminist activists composed of Lila, Alice and Jeanne. Their lives and philosophies will clash, and an unexpected romance will blossom.
Christmas Flow is, from any point of view, a very classic Christmas movie that also ends up being a very generic romantic comedy. All the plot points from both genres are present throughout the entire run time of the show. There are three episodes, lasting around 50 minutes each. They depict the classic story of two strangers who, at first, kind of hate each other, but as they learn more about each other, they realize that that other person is actually their significant other. We have seen this structure play out thousands of times, and the series does nothing new by adding any bold moves or developments at all. The series sticks to the formula because it works.
That is the thing about Christmas Flow. While the plot is as generic as it can be. The romantic comedy formula is still in effect and because of it the show ends up having at least a doze of charm for anyone looking for this kind of content.
What really makes the show enjoyable are the performers. The actors are a team of loveable personalities, and they bring a lot to the table. Tayc and Boutella are the protagonists without any doubt and for romantic leads they have an amazing amount of chemistry together. It is easy to believe that they are falling for each other, and with just that the basic premise of the show is fulfilled instantly.
The rest of the cast doesn’t have a lot to work with in terms of depth. The characters including the protagonist are very shallow, but thankfully the actors are full of charisma. Special recognition to Marion Seclin, as Alice, who comes off as the coolest and most heartwarming best friend anyone could have. Sauvage also does a great job, but her role is diminished in comparison to the other two main girls.
In terms of production values, the series looks and feels very cheap. Again, the only thing really pushing this forward are the actors. Some sets look very bare and cheap, while others look very authentic. The show really doesn’t have the time and money to create a world where Marcus is actually a famous rapper, we are told about, but we never see it. Even though the show looks cheap, for international audiences, it is pretty cool to see the more urban side of Paris. We are often treated with the beautiful and more tourist friendly sites of the city, and we are never allowed to explore the real, more gritty side of the city. Just for that, the show is a visual offering that is quite appreciated.
The show also introduces a lot of socially conscious themes, especially feminism, into the story. The intention is nice, but the theme is never fully explored at all, only mentioned. The only interesting aspect of this subject becomes apparent as the series points out that while feminism is valuable, it might sometimes be wrong and used as a tool to hurt others. While it can also be used as a tool to manipulate people to buy stuff, instead of actually being inspired to change the things that matter. It is appealing, even if the show doesn’t spend time with it.
All in all, Christmas Flow might not be the best romantic comedy out there. It might not even be the best one on Netflix. But if you find yourself running out of things to see, and you crave for some really warm and fuzzy love story, then this is the show for you, short and sweet. A perfect Christmas binge.