6 fun facts you should know about Plus belle la vie

03/03/2022

While Plus belle la vie could possibly end soon, now is a good time to revisit 6 fun facts you should know about the French TV show which entertained people for 18 years.

The show almost had a different title
The show almost had a different title

Plus belle la vie with another title? Here is something that sounds impossible after 18 years. Yet, the France 3 soap opera almost had a very different title that will speak to French music fans: Mistral Gagnant, like the song from Renaud. But for copyright purposes this didn’t happen.

A show that follows current events…
A show that follows current events…

What has made Plus belle la vie so successful for 18 years is, without a doubt, the fact that it is deeply anchored to current events. Therefore, when presidential elections are taking place in France, it is almost simultaneously present in the show. Another example is when gay marriage was finally authorized in France. A few days later on the show, Thomas and Gabriel became the first gay couple to get married in the Mistral! An impressive sleight of hand that makes the audience feel close to the characters.

…And force the production to shoot several version of one scene
…And force the production to shoot several version of one scene

Because of that, two versions of the same scene are sometimes shot to be consistent with current events! This was for example the case with the 2007 presidential election which opposed Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal. Two versions were shot in order to have the right reactions the day after the election!

Famous spots that do not exist
Famous spots that do not exist

If you can almost smell the south of France while watching Plus belle la vie, you should know that they use a set to shoot most of the scenes… At the risk of breaking dreams, the bar called the Mistral doesn’t exist in real life and the scenes are actually shot in a studio. Other scenes that are not shot on set are filmed outside of Marseille, never in the city itself.

A spin-off movie exists
A spin-off movie exists

Plus belle la vie has almost 4000 episodes but it also has several special episodes which were broadcasted on prime time television and even… a spin-off! The movie Une vie en Nord followed Ninon’s life (Aurélie Vaneck) and Rudy (Ambroise Michel), one of the show’s famous couples. According to IMDb, this movie could have been the start of a TV spin-off, but they never pursued this path.

The show had a bigger audience than Game of Thrones
The show had a bigger audience than Game of Thrones…

…In France, in 2015! According to a study made by Hadopi in 2015, Plus belle la vie was one of the most streamed TV shows in France ahead of Game of Thrones. The study, made with a sample of 6000 persons, showed that Game of Thrones was watched by only 5% of this sample whereas Plus belle la vie seduced 6%. A proof of the strong bond between the French audience and the show!

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