TV Series

The Break

A well-shot, though conventional Belgian crime series.

Mar 5, 2019
Dimitris Passas

Belgium is a rising power in the Continental crime fiction genre and has delivered a large number of novel, movies, and television series which stand-out due to their high production values and intriguing storylines. The Break (original title: La trêve) is another addition to the recent Belgian tradition of crime television series production and even though it has an auspicious beginning, promising a great, suspenseful ride lasting 10 episodes, it gradually disintegrates in a mere repetition of the timeworn, cliched tropes that we, as viewers, have already seen enough times.

The story is narrated in two different timelines, one in the present where the protagonist, Inspector Yoann Peeters (Yoann Blanc), is held as a prisoner in a mental facility and he is interviewed by an experienced female psychiatrist for reasons that we learn slowly as the series progresses. In the past timeline, we follow from the very beginning the police investigation in the murder of a young, black football player which takes place in the small town in Belgian Ardennes, with a population of a few thousand.

The investigation follows the well-known process that we witness in -almost- every generic police procedural crime series (or novel). Each and every character in the show becomes eventually a suspect just to be proven innocent and move to the next one. This parade of suspects has become one of the most repetitive tropes in crime television productions as it began with the rise of the Nordic Noir genre, and more specifically with the legendary Danish crime series, Forbrydelsen which was the first to present this plot device. After that, a vast number of the later productions copied it and as a result, nowadays, it is considered to be -more or less- obsolete.

Despite the above fact, The Break is a show with solid characters and great actor performances especially by Yoann Blanc who portrays the protagonist, Inspector Peteers, delivering a strong, though subtle performance. He succeeds in expressing the soul torment of the detective and his mood fluctuations. If you are a fan of European crime series television shows watch this, bearing in minds that in terms of plot and narrative structure doesn't offer anything innovative.

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