When style is substance and beyond: Les Revenants as metaphysical drama
Resumen: Les Revenants (Canal+ France, 2012-15) is one of the most relevant French TV-Series from the last decade, given its high-concept story and its international success. This chapter aims to explore the nature of Les Revenants' significance, focusing on the connection between style and substance, and how they shape and nuance each other in fascinating and thought-provoking ways. To tackle this association, this chapter first outlines an overview of how to understand 'style' and 'substance', the binomial concept around which this volume revolves. Then, it scrutinises the aesthetic strategies at the beginning of the pilot episode, both in its cold open and its opening credits. Through close reading of these two sequences, the analysis details how the interrelation between a noteworthy style and an elusive substance can create a weird, uncanny mood, one of the show's main aesthetic achievements. Finally, this chapter concludes exploring how the narrative offers a double reflection on substance: on a thematic level by exploring spiritual issues, and on a metatextual level by renovating the essence of the zombie sub-genre.