Photo: Courtesy of Jean Claude Lother/Sundance; Dana Edelson/NBC; Randee St. Nicholas/Bravo.
Hump: I don’t know why I held out on watching The Returned for so long, because seriously, people, watch The Returned. It probably didn’t help that Sundance Channel (which airs the supernatural French show on our shores) previewed it with one-too-many references to zombies. And, I think I speak for everyone who gave up on The Walking Dead after season two when I say that advertising a show’s zombie-centric plotline is nearly as appealing as a new movie about the apocalypse. 'Cause, you know, we haven’t had one of those in about a month now.
The Returned is technically about zombies, but only in the purest sense of the term (as in, reanimated dead people). These aren’t moaning, groaning, shuffling, bloodthirsty, brain-dead corpses, though. We’re talking about exactly what the title suggests: people who were once deceased returning to life and all the complications that arise when a loved one whose death you accepted and grieved over suddenly comes back, seemingly immortal and forever stuck at the age they were when they died.
Yes, there are elements of the supernatural involved, but the opening credit sequence alone — with its haunting violin melody and eerie, xylophone top notes — has enough symbolism to send you down an Internet rabbit hole so deep, you’ll emerge through the looking glass. Which is fitting, because the role of doubling, reflections, and mirrors is one of the show’s recurring themes, particularly in the plotline of psychically connected identical twins Camille and Léna. They also serve as a reminder that French women are effortlessly fabulous, even as unruly teenagers with to-die-for red waves.
Marry: As accurate a description of trying to have sex in your childhood bedroom while home for the holidays as this song provides, what it gets the most correct is it being a “whole thing with Jean” after she gave your mom a cough. Lil' Baby Aidy 4eva.
Kill: I haven’t religiously watched The Millionaire Matchmaker since, well, ever, but she definitely wasn’t this crass, cruel, or straight-up mean in the first few seasons, right? I’m no raging feminist, but surely referring to other women as “spinners” is only proliferating the slut-shaming culture we should be actively working to eliminate. Of course, there isn't anything wrong with a little blue humor, but nothing Patti said on Thursday’s episode had even a patina of winking at her own lasciviousness. I get that backing down or refusing to take on an extremely harsh perspective doesn’t get your Bravo show renewed season after season, but in the words of Taylor Swift: Why you gotta be so mean, Patti?