If you're a fan of Nordic Noir shows like The Killing, The Bridge or Bitter Daisies, then Black Spot is definitely for you. Known as Zone Blanche, there are two seasons of the French crime drama available on Netflix and they are well worth a watch.
Black Spot is set in a town called Villefranche where is Laurène Weiss (Suliane Brahim) is the Captain of the local police. The town is almost surrounded by a dense forest in the mountains and as such the normal wi-fi, sat-nav etc…do not work, hence the name ‘Black Spot'. This also makes policing the town incredibly difficult, especially as the body count starts to rise.
Enter Prosecutor Frank Sirini (Laurent Capelluto) who has been sent to Villefranche to find out why the murder rate is so high. His very direct, if somewhat bumbling style, is in complete contrast to the laissez-faire attitude of the police. They seem to simply shrug at the unusually sinister goings-on in the town.
It turns out that Villefranche is a town very much under the control of the Steiner family. They own everything from the quarry to the only bar in town and they rule with an iron fist. But things start to take a turn when Bertrand Steiner's daughter goes missing. Reminiscent of when Laurène Weiss herself went missing 20 years ago, she believes she can still find her alive.
What makes Black Spot different is that it's not a straight crime drama. Yes, there is a different crime in each episode, but all culminate into one story about the perceived mystical power that the forest holds over the town. Or at least that's what some of the towns residents believe. But could it be a far more simple solution that there is a long term serial killer loose in the mountains?
In typical European fashion, the characters are all very grounded and normal. There is a distinct lack of gloss and glamour and the script is thankfully devoid of eye-rolling quirky quips. It is brilliantly cast and compelling to watch. So if you love your crime drama, Black Spot is a must-watch.