On October 10th, writer/producer/actress Soraya Garré releases the second season of her comedy webseries Oh La La, designed to teach adults French the fun way.
The first season, “Oh La La, Hollywood Speaks French!” follows the adventures of Sofia “SoSo” Larentière (Garré). A French divorcée, SoSo flees Paris after being cheated on by her husband, and shows up on the LA doorstep of her half-sister, Lili. Throughout the series, Soso adjusts to her new living situation with roommate Pablo (played by Danny Pardo, star of the new Argentinian series “Caníbal“), gets to know Lili’s friends, including Theo (played by Amadeus Serafini, star of MTV’s “Scream“), goes on dates, and generally learns how things are done Stateside.
Across all 20 episodes from the first season (each about two minutes), Oh La La has been watched by over 60,000 viewers. Each episode focuses on a different language or cultural lesson, such as introductions, telling the time, or giving physical descriptions. The dialogue is in French, but all the episodes have English subtitles. Through simple yet colloquial language, the series offers viewers a familiarity with modern conversational French not available in a textbook. The dialogue is peppered with everyday innuendos and idioms, making for a hilarious, yet informative learning experience.
Like the main character, Garré also lived in Los Angeles. It was there, while teaching French privately and at the Alliance Française, that she came up with the idea of an interactive learning experience. After noticing how many of her students complained about ineffective language teachers and the boring task of studying grammar, Garré wanted to try a new approach. A professional actress, Garré started “making fun videos to teach the language.” Her first endeavor resulted in the website Oh La La I Speak French, which offered resources and tips for learning French language by engaging with French culture.
Garré’s first webseries was the French for Travelers program, designed for viewers to learn the basics of French before visiting France. Inspired by her success, she started making videos for more devoted linguists to review grammar, verb conjugations and advanced vocabulary. In 2014, this series attracted the attention of French Morning, who offered to co-produce a new series, “Oh La La, Hollywood Speaks French!”
This season, Oh La La will follow SoSo’s return to Paris to live with her best friend Lola (Valentine Lhomme), and much to her surprise, her ex-husband Robert. Besides playout out the humorous unfolding of this sticky situation, the series also introduces new characters like Lola’s promiscuous cousin Fanny (Belen Lorenzo), and Fanny’s fun-loving husband Luc (Esteban Perroy).
Adults and teenagers will find the fun in learning French as they watch Soso get her life back together. Viewers will learn important, advanced vocabulary and phrases as Soso finds a job, and become a fully independent woman for the first time. This season is targeted at intermediate speakers, so those looking to learn beginner French should watch season one first.
Directed by Charles Meurisse and with music by Ram Khatabakhsh of Motion Sound Production, “Oh La La, Speak French–Paris Style!” will be a fun way to brush up on your français. For the ambitious students who wish to practice their French reading and writing skills, a workbook with fill-in-the blank exercises from the script will be available soon. Watch the first episode of the second season below.