TV tonight: Sundance takes a chance with French subtitled ‘The Returned’

‘The Returned’ features a kindler gentler return-from-the-dead type zombie Photo: The Returned (Sundance)

WASHINGTONDec. 5, 2013 —It is no secret that people returning from the dead is currently a popular theme in the entertainment industry. What makes “The Returned” on Sundance Channel different is the fact that the dead return not as zombies or diseased ghouls. Since “The Returned” (Les Revenants) is a French import, complete with sub-titles, the story must be compelling or Sundance would never have picked it up.

The Returned” dismisses the over-the-top impact of threatening zombies and portrays the returned just as they were when they died. One of the more uncomfortable results of the return of the dead is the disruption their presence has upon the loved ones who have gone through the grieving process and moved on with their lives.

Sundance has always favored the art house approach to film making, and “The Returned” is certainly no exception. There is no clear explanation for the return of the dead, nor is there any hurry to explain the phenomenon. There are hints that a sinister power may be at work, but expect that to develop slowly. Even Hitchcock would probably be pleased with the suggestion of evil rather than its physical manifestation in “The Returned.”

More than anything, “The Returned” is about death. Dying once is bad enough, but to return to the living only to find your presence causes more discomfort than celebration is like dying a second time.

If all the parts of “The Returned” add up as they should, the show definitely deserves a closer look.

For NBA fans, there’s a great game on TNT at 9:30 p.m. The Chicago Bulls will be hosting last year’s NBA Champions, the Miami Heat. The Heat opened their title defense with a 107-95 win over Chicago on Oct. 29, riding 4-for-4 three-point shooting from Shane Battier while holding Derrick Rose to 4-for-15 shooting with five turnovers in his return to action.

And what night would be complete without an episode of “Mob Wives” on VH1 at 10 p.m.? The fourth season opener begins with what else? A party, of course.


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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