ANGELS at The Pixel Pitch

The story centres around the daily life of angels working in a small town near Paris. If you could see them, they’d look like everybody else. The only apparent difference is their potential life span – 600 years. Angels can protect humans, make them fall in love, or make them die. And every angel has its own speciality.

Our story begins with a message posted on the website of Jean-Christophe Déniarié. He’s a reporter on paranormal phenomena best known for his TV show Supernatural Oddities. The message describes the strange behaviour of a man named René Buisson who Jean-Christophe believes may be an angel. Déniarié posts a video in which a 60-something man instructs a teenage girl to pick out an ordinary guy on the street — and slit his throat. She reluctantly complies although the ‘victim’ survives without a scratch. As the surreal video spreads quickly across the Web, Déniarié embarks on a deeper investigation into angels in general and the two suspects — René Buisson and Jennifer Mattel — in particular. He follows them on their daily rounds in order to show his audience the angel business from the perspective of two genuine working angels.

Déniarié asks a video game developer to test public attitudes toward angels.  (The game is introduced in the series and physically played by the audience in the real world.) He asks questions such as:  Has a guardian angel protected you in the past 12 months? Has a Cupid-style angel steered you to another person over the past year? Has an angel of death been in touch with you recently?

For 13 days in a row, Déniarié records René and Jennifer. Each episode corresponds to a day’s lesson as René tutors Jennifer, an apprentice angel, in the professional skills her job requires. She learns to become invisible, read human thoughts, turn into a fly, single out candidates to fall in love, teleport into a bathroom, protect a human, determine which humans must die, resist human love and kill a human.

The lessons are intercut with scientific explanations from Déniarié’s friend, Professor Niemeyer. Told as reportage, events from the series materialise elsewhere: an angel saves someone from an accident, a couple suddenly fall madly in love, Cupid-style angels organise speed-dating sessions, etc.  Jennifer writes a blog where she shares her frustrations, describes her relationships with other angels and reveals her urge to take a break from the angel biz. Angels from the series post comments on her blog.  Déniarié enriches his site with solid documents and Niemeyer tells us everything else you could possibly want to know about angels.

Set in Paris and its suburbs, the series — shot in a highly realistic tone — is a blend of absurd, poetic and amusing situations, featuring unforgettable, distinctive characters. The series, the game, the Websites and the ‘happenings’ render the angels accessible and almost real. With its simultaneously down-to-earth and surreal approach, Angels: The Reality Show makes reality better than ever.