French Miss

‘The Hook-Up Plan’ is Annoying

The Hook-Up Plan is a light, breezy show with incredibly frustrating characters. The storylines center around lovelorn Elsa, who’s not over Max even though they broke up 25 months ago. Her friends Charlotte and Emilie are tired of seeing her pout, and Emilie says she would pay “good money” for Elsa to get her confidence back.

Thus, Charlotte’s empty head hatches a plan. She hires a sex worker to pose as a date for Elsa, and it works. Jules DuPont finagles a meet cute with Elsa and soon a new man in her life intrigues her. Of course, problems arise as the ruse gets more complex and eventually the jig is up. Elsa is worse off than ever, and now has no friends to boot.

At the end of Season one, Elsa departs Paris for Buenos Aires. She needs healing time away from her meddling friends. We start season two right where we left off–in Paris. Elsa, you see, never actually left Paris. She went to live on Buenos Aires Street, but she’s still in the city.

This show is annoying. That’s not a lofty reviewing statement, but it’s accurate. There is so much missing information and so many absurd plotlines that I hope for the show’s sake that Netflix France left some footage on the floor as they shipped over the reels.

The dubbed voices are saying completely different things than the subtitles, and we never hear the original French (which I really, really want to hear!). Elsa doesn’t explain how, why, or where she got the money to apparently rent a flat in Paris alone for four months. She fakes her Instagram journeys in Buenos Aires and spends her time with Chantal from work, her now-boyfriend Julio and Julio’s friend, Roman. Instead of telling her old, obnoxious friends au revoir, she lies and says she is abroad. Then, she “returns” and stages a welcome-back party, gets a new job, but still won’t tell her friends she is in love with Julio. Also, I still have no idea why a rideshare startup wants to have an office on a boat.

No one on this show uses their words to solve problems! At my count there are three different possibilities for them to do so via original French, dubbing, or subtitles, yet no one can simply be direct with another character to resolve a dilemma.

My roommate, who caught glimpses of The Hook-Up Plan, still managed to sum it up accurately. This show is essentially people looking across the room at others and talking about what they’re doing. Season two is a rehash of the same problems, different iterations. Now Elsa is in love with the sex worker her friends found for her, but they’re trying to hook her back up with Max. Max, who started all this! Their main reason for doing so is that he already hangs out with their group. This is proof positive that Elsa’s friends are idiots. She needs to ditch them and start a new life.

Apparently The Hook-Up Plan is very popular. If I could watch it with the original French and accurate subtitles, maybe I’d understand why. As it stands, I can only recommend this show if you want to be deeply frustrated while catching glimpses of France. Otherwise, it’s merde.

Kristin Clifford

Kristin Clifford is a comedy writer in Los Angeles. She started in Chicago, studying improv and performing stand-up, but has traded the stage for the page. Recent projects include writing for season 2 of Cathy in Real Life.

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