HomeTVWalter Presents: 'What Pauline Is Not Telling You' preview - an enjoyable...

Walter Presents: ‘What Pauline Is Not Telling You’ preview – an enjoyable escape

The slightly ponderous title (also known as ‘Ce que Pauline ne vous dit pas’ in its native French) of this new WP thriller essentially does what it says on the tin. It’s the story of Pauline, a mum of two kids who is in the throes of a messy separation from her husband, Olivier. And Pauline has a secret.

If you want to avoid all spoilers, stop reading this article now.

After an embarrassing episode in the supermarket when she discovers her bank account is empty, she gets on the phone to Olivier to ask where his child support money is. This develops into a full-blown barney, and before you know it, Pauline has turned the car around and is heading to her ex for a showdown, both kids in the back looking slightly alarmed at mummy’s lack of composure.

Walter Presents: What Pauline Is Not Telling You
Credit: Walter Presents

She arrives at his swanky house, tells the kids to stay in the car, and storms inside. But her son – the eldest child – wants his games console, which is indoors in his dad’s house. Ignoring his mum’s instruction, he sneaks inside. There he discovers his mum stood beside the body of his father, blood escaping from a wound on his head.

Pauline’s reaction and decision-making immediately following the death of her husband is bizarre – something that doesn’t go unnoticed by paramedics at the scene, and later by the police who are brought in to investigate the suspicious death. She claims to have found him on the ground, apparently having fallen from some badly erected scaffolding. But her increasingly peculiar behaviour raises more than a few eyebrows. And soon, her family, friends and the teachers at her son’s school, become concerned for her kids’ welfare, as well as her own.

IMDB calls this “the story of a woman under the influence of a man, victim of moral harassment, who, under social pressure and institutional violence, seeks to regain her freedom and her desire for life”, which is one way of looking at it. Alternatively, she might just be a killer who’s murdered her husband in a fit of rage and is a risk to herself and her kids.

Walter Presents: What Pauline Is Not Telling You
Credit: Walter Presents

Either way, this is a very female-led series. In addition to Pauline, played by Ophélia Kolb, we have two other strong women characters: Morgane Sabaly (played by Grace Seri) as the prosecutor; and the police detective, Marie Hermann (Sylvie Testud). The male characters are all either abusive (Pauline’s husband), incompetent (the cops who work for Hermann), or sexist and racist bigots (Sabaly’s colleagues). In my experience, life is never quite so black and white.

But regardless of that, this is an enjoyable escape. We obviously have no idea if Pauline is responsible for her husband’s demise or not; but no doubt more pieces will be revealed as time progresses, and we really do find out what Pauline did – and what she’s not telling us.

This is one to watch, I think. It’s an unusual premise, and Pauline is an interesting character.

Walter Presents: ‘What Pauline Is Not Telling You’ is available as a full boxset on C4 Streaming now.

Martin Howse
Martin Howse
Martin is a wannabe Viking who enjoys all things Nordic (literature, film, TV, rock music - and cinnamon buns!). Skål!

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