Un gars, une fille

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Un gars, une fille
Un gars, une fille logo, Quebec version.
Un gars, une fille logo, original version.
Format Comedy
Created by Guy A. Lepage
Starring Guy A. Lepage
Sylvie Léonard
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) French
Production
Producer(s) Jean Bissonnette
Jean-Claude Lespérance
Luc Wiseman
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 26 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Radio-Canada
Original run 1997 – 2003
External links
Website

Un gars, une fille (French pronunciation: ​[œ̃ ɡaʁ yn fij], A Guy, A Girl) is the title of a Quebec comedy television series created by Guy A. Lepage and broadcast on Radio-Canada, as well as the title of its French adaptation on France 2. It is one of the most successful Quebec television shows, with a concept exported to more than thirty markets around the world.[1] It is the first Québécois television program to be adapted in the United States (see below).

Overview[edit]

A typical episode features several vignettes of the daily everyday life of a couple with the camera mostly centered upon them, often cropping out other characters, giving it its unique visual style. The duo receive friends for supper, go to the convenience store or leave on a trip and sometimes get on each other's nerves. Their quirks and loving bickering provide therefore much of the humor of the program. The graphic design style associated to the original Un gars, une fille, which consists of a palette of pastel blue and pink and rough lines and scribblings (seen in the transition graphics, see Original section), as well as a logo with simulated printing mistakes and smears, have been imitated for much of the other versions, with the notable exception of the American version. The character names are often those of the actors, as in the first version.

Original[edit]

The concept of Un gars, une fille began in the 1990s, as a series of short segments featured in Besoin d'amour, a TQS network daily talk-show hosted by Guy A. Lepage than ran from 1995 to 1996. Lepage is a veteran of the renowned comedy troupe Rock et Belles Oreilles (RBO). He played the couple along with Sylvie Léonard and the duo would reprise their roles in what would become in 1997 Un gars une fille, a weekly 26 minutes programme of great success and many adaptations. It was celebrated numerous times in award presentations, notably winning in the Gémeaux and Félix and MetroStar Awards. It was also nominated twice at the American Emmy Awards. Produced by Avanti Ciné Vidéo, the show aired from 1997 to 2003 in its initial run and continued life in reruns afterwards. 130 episodes were produced, translating to about 4,000 scenes.[2] The script writing team has included RBO members André Ducharme and Bruno Landry, as well as Sylvie Léonard herself. Yves P. Pelletier, also from RBO, has been featured onscreen. After the series concluded in 2003, Lepage went on to more success, producing and hosting the hugely successful Tout le monde en parle, adapted this time from the eponymous French hit talk-show.

A typical visual style of many adaptations: a medium shot of the couple facing cropped-out secondary characters.

The standard episode is presented in three acts and each of those acts is split into five to seven scenes. Flashy pastel blue and pink graphics with squiggly lines follow punchlines and mark transitions, coupled with an upbeat percussive tune and often a spoken voice-off phrase summing up the previous segment. Appropriately, the show's publicity and early video releases covers are often recognizable by the presence of those pastel blue and pink colors and askew lines, mimicking the graphics that separates the scenes of the programme (traditionally, the blue color is associated with boys and the pink one with girls).

The two main characters, "Guy et Sylvie", are named after those who play them. Guy likes to tease Sylvie on a variety of subjects and hates her mother. His father is remarried with a young good-looking stripper, Mélanie, played by Mahée Paiement, and had a child with her. The attention that this little one gets makes Guy jealous, his father having spent little time on him when he was a child. Sylvie dreams of having a baby, unlike Guy. She is herself jealous of Geneviève, Guy's sexy and promiscuous office colleague with whom he had a one-time affair years ago. She is also obsessed with cleanliness and resents Guy for being untidy. A curious running gag from the show involved Guy surprising Sylvie by grabbing her breasts from behind while shouting "Road Runner!", followed by the cartoon character's emblematic honking "beeb beeb" sound. While she ostensibly loves it, she pretended the exact opposite when it was obliquely brought up by Guy in front of her mother.[3] This joke was developed on the set by the two actors.[4] The last season saw notable developments: a marriage and a trip to Vietnam to adopt a little girl.

Adaptations[edit]

Bulgaria[edit]

The Bulgarian version, known as Тя и той (She and he) is aired from 2002 to 2005 on bTV. In 2007 the show moved to Foxlife and the fourth season started airing. The show was cancelled after the final 25th episode of the season, ending with a cliffhanger. 96 episodes were produced during the show's run. Since then reruns are airing on Foxlife and bTV Comedy. Stefaniya Koleva starrs as Silvia, the girl of the show, and Julian Vergov as Martin, the guy of the show.

Canada (English version)[edit]

The rights for an English Canadian adaptation are held by producer of the original show Luc Wiseman, from the Avanti Ciné-Vidéo television production company. However, the main English Canadian networks CBC, CTV and Global Television refused the concept. Wiseman stated: "They were saying that it was not for the Canadian market, that it was too audacious." With A Guy & A Girl as title, it ended up on Women's Television Network (WTN, now known as the W Network), a cable television specialty channel, and lasted two seasons.[5] Jeff Clarke was the guy, Mike, and Kate Ashby was Susy, the girl.

Cyprus[edit]

"Εγώ κι εσύ" is airing since October 2010 on CyBC1, Cyprus' public broadcaster's main television channel and on CyBC Video on Demand platform, in the format of one 35-minutes episode every week. Following the original concept, it kept the actors' actual names: Marios is the guy (played by Marios Mettis) and Niovi is the girl (played by Niovi Haralambus). In the other half of the season Fotis is the guy (played by Fotis Georgidis) and Danae is the girl (played by Danae Christou).

France[edit]

The characteristic unstable line and smudge graphics at the beginning and end of the show, and in the middle of two scenes.

Also called Un gars, une fille, the version adapted for the French public began broadcast on October 11, 1999. After a rocky start, it went on to become a success and garnered around 5 million viewers each day, that is to say a third of the people watching television at that timeslot in France[6] (these figures are from the footnoted article; the official website claims an average of almost 7 million). Its format, from 26 minutes weekly, is reduced to episodes of about seven minutes daily, which is more common in France than Canada (inversely, the French television show Caméra Café was expanded from nine to thirty minutes). These were supplemented by two 26 minutes television specials during the holidays of 2001. The Christmas special garnered 27.4% market share (approximately 6 million people) and the New Year's special 25%.[7]

The French show stars Jean Dujardin (future Oscar winner for The Artist [8]) as Jean and Alexandra Lamy as Alex; it keeps the first names of the actors, as the original. This version introduced pet names for the lovers: "Loulou" for the guy and "Chouchou" for the girl. "Loulou" happens to be how Sylvie, the "girl" of the original, calls one of her friends. After three years of portraying Alex and Jean on screen, the actors blended fact with fiction when they left their respective significant others and married each other in autumn 2003. It won a Sept d'or award for "best entertainment show" in 2001 and concluded in 2003. Un gars, Une fille contains 486 episodes with 4,500 sketches. In 2003 Jean and Alex decided to leave the series who wanted to spend a consider something else the channel France 2 decided to stop the series. Some years later M6 decided to launch a new version of the show scenes households. France 2 decided ten years later to resume program that will not have the same name but without Jean and Alex.

Greece[edit]

S'agapo M'agapas ("I love you, you love me") began broadcast in Greece starting in 1999. Its format is weekly 26 minutes episodes, much like the original. Thodoris Atheridis plays Thodoris, the guy, and Dimitra Papadopoulou plays Dimitra, the girl, replicating the original version's concept of keeping first names for the characters.

Hungary[edit]

The Hungarian version of Un gars, une fille is known under the name of Szeret, nem szeret. It began airing in 2002 on TV2. According to the Internet Movie Database, the format is 7 minutes, much like in France. The guy is Brúnó, played by Szabó Győző and the girl is Brigi, played by Oroszlán Szonja.

Italy[edit]

The first edition of the Italian version chose Love Bugs as title, which is the international marketing name of Un gars, une fille. It ran on Italia 1 from 2004 to 2005 with a couple interpreted by famous comedian Fabio De Luigi (already famous for its collaboration with Gialappa's Band) and Michelle Hunziker (veteran of Zelig Circus). A second edition was aired from 2005 to 2006, known as Love Bugs 2, in which Elisabetta Canalis replaced Hunziker. The character's names in both series are those of the actors, in the fashion of the original show. In the third edition (on air in 2007), Love Bugs 3, the couple is interpreted by Emilio Solfrizzi and Giorgia Surina (MTV's Veejay). Because of low ratings, Love Bugs 3 was withdrawn after some of weeks of airing. Nevertheless around 50 episodes of the third edition were filmed and broadcast, pretty much as the other two editions.

Poland[edit]

In Poland, Kasia i Tomek began broadcast on September 3, 2002 on the TVN network. The title refers to the first names of the characters, the Polish equivalents of the English "Kate" and "Tom". It starred Joanna Brodzik (Kasia, the girl) and Paweł Wilczak (Tomek, the guy). It won two Telekamery awards in 2002: one for "best comedy series" and one for "best actress" for the work of Joanna Brodzik. There were 100 episodes divided into 3 seasons.

Portugal[edit]

Portugal saw its version begin in 1999 with Entre Marido e Mulher ("between husband and wife"). The format chosen was weekly 26 minutes episodes, as the Canadian original.

Russia[edit]

In Russia a version of the showed aired on TNT channel starting 2003 under the title Sasha + Masha (Russian: "Саша + Маша"). The show became a hit and remains popular, as of 2009.[9] The lead actors are Elena Biryukova (Елена Бирюкова) and Georgiy Dronov (Георгий Дронов).

Spain[edit]

Spain opted, with El y Ella ("he and she"), for a format similar to France with 7 minutes shows each day. It began in the year 2000. As in the original, the actors's first names remain: Josep Julien is Pep while Cristina Solá is Cristina. "Pep" is a hypocoristism for Josep.

Turkey[edit]

In Turkey the series is adapted to Turkish as 1 Kadın 1 Erkek ("One Woman One Man") featuring Demet Evgar and Emre Karayel. First season is completed on June 2009 with 36 episodes that are aired on the channel TurkMax. Every Thursday prime-time, each episode runs approximately over 27–28 minutes. Despite the series airing on a thematic channel on a satellite network (Digiturk) that requires subscription, its popularity among the young generation is increasing steadily thanks to viral marketing and sharing of clips over YouTube and Facebook. On January 2012 the show was renamed to 1 Erkek 1 Kadın ("One Man One Woman") and started to air new episodes in Star TV

Ukraine[edit]

The Ukrainian version of Un gars, une fille called Lesya + Roma ("Леся + Рома") began broadcast in 2005 on ICTV. Starring Irma Vitovska as Les′a, the girl, and Dmytro Lalenkov as Roma, the guy, it is the first comedy show to be produced in the Ukrainian language.[10] It airs on weekdays, with an average rating of 2 million viewers.[11]

United States[edit]

Entitled Lovebites, the American version began broadcast on September 13, 2006 with comedian Paul Reiser as executive producer and writer.[12] It was co-produced by Stuart McLean (founder of Content & Company) at JWT, the world's fourth largest advertising agency.[13] While the original format was 26 minutes, the American version consisted of a season of 82 episodes of two and a half minutes (which was not part of the original contract, see below). 65 should be seen on television while 17 will be available for computers and cell phones.[5] It aired on the TBS cable television network on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at some time between 11:00 pm and midnight, and on Friday morning at some time between 9:00 am and 10:00 am.[14] Lovebites stars David Julian Hirsh (a native of Montreal, Quebec, seen in CSI: NY and Naked Josh) and Lauren Bittner (seen in Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Third Watch). The characters, called Max and Katie, are about 25 years old, younger than the original Guy and Sylvie. Another notable difference with the original version is that the couple in Lovebites breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the camera.

Lovebites was the first time a Québécois TV concept was adapted for the American audience (Louis 19, le roi des ondes, a movie, had already been remade as EdTV). Reiser is said to have been seduced by the series when it was presented to him by Michel Rodrigue, president of Distraction Formats, the Montreal-based international distribution company for Un gars, une fille.[15] Rodrigue said "The selling process has been long and complicated. It has been a very long time that we have been working on it."[5] Creator Guy A. Lepage said that he thought the chemistry worked well between the two main actors.[5] Nevertheless, he has stated his disappointment with the finished product, giving it a "2 out of 10". He declared that, in his opinion, the problem did not lie with the acting but with the length of the show (two and a half minutes long, as mentioned above), the sponsor, the broadcasting and the assembling. He summed it up by saying: "It's media concentration to the power of 1,000, like a super big TVA".[16] Sunsilk, a shampoo marque from Unilever, was the main sponsor of Lovebites. TVA is part of Pierre Karl Péladeau's Quebecor media conglomerate. As of 2006, Canadian and American producers are still caught up in legal contention, notably about the aforementioned short length. The initial contract planned a guaranteed minimum of seven minutes per episode.[17]

Others[edit]

The concept of Un gars, une fille was also bought in Belgium, Cuba, Denmark, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and many others, totalling more than thirty exportations. Not all of these countries have necessarily produced a show with the acquired rights.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Distraction Ramps Up U.S. Activities", WorldScreen.com, August 25, 2006, retrieved August 29, 2006
  2. ^ "Un gars une fille dernier épisode canadien" by Arthur Anthamatten, Toutelatele.com, March 31, 2003, retrieved September 16, 2006
  3. ^ Episode #37, Un gars, une fille
  4. ^ Supplements, Un gars, une fille DVD #5
  5. ^ a b c d "Un gars, une fille, made in the USA" by Hugo Dumas, La Presse, August 29, 2006, retrieved September 11, 2006
  6. ^ "Chouchou et Loulou: un gars et une fille qui ont conquis la planète" by Sébastien Dias, Toutelatele.com, January 7, 2005, retrieved September 12, 2006
  7. ^ "Les spéciales", Official website of the French Un gars, une fille, retrieved September 16, 2006
  8. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/jean-dujardin-becomes-first-french-actor-to-win-acting-oscar-for-his-role-in-the-artist/2012/02/26/gIQASRxycR_story.html
  9. ^ Саша + Маша, in Russian
  10. ^ "Les′a+Roma", ICTV's website, retrieved September 1, 2007
  11. ^ "«Les′a+Roma». Jean-Luc Godard rests", Ukrajina moloda, retrieved August 31, 2007.
  12. ^ "L’émission «Un gars, une fille» fera ses débuts aux États-Unis en septembre" by Yan Lauzon, Showbizz.net, August 29, 2006, retrieved August 29, 2006
  13. ^ [1]"Muse Entertainment: Lovebites"
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ "Love Bites: Un gars, une fille débarque aux Etats-Unis", Toutelatele.com, September 6, 2006, retrieved September 11, 2006
  16. ^ "Guy A. Lepage est mécontent de la version américaine d'«Un gars une fille»", Info 690, September 8, 2006, retrieved September 11, 2006
  17. ^ "Le producteur de René écarte son réalisateur" by Hugo Dumas, La Presse, September 12, 2006, retrieved September 16, 2006

External links[edit]

Official[edit]

Videos[edit]