Three Pines Series Discussion

Three Pines Series Discussion

Three Pines Teaser Pic

Based on Louise Penny’s #1 New York Times bestselling novels, “Three Pines” from Amazon Prime Video and Left Bank Pictures stars Alfred Molina as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, a man who sees things that others do not: the light between the cracks, the mythic in the mundane, and the evil in the seemingly ordinary. 

Discuss the series with other Louise Penny fans here! 


310 replies on “Three Pines Series Discussion”

Didn’t watch the Prime shows, but saw the movie made for tv, Still Life, in 2013. Nathaniel Parker played Gamache. It got me started on reading the series. Liked the movie but as usual, characters got changed. It’s a shame.

I enjoyed the TV series. I can’t wait to read Ms Penny’s books. Molina should have learned some French but I did enjoy his acting. I wished the series had a second year.

I’ve been a Penny fan since the beginning and, with the exception of ‘The Madness of Crowds’, have read all of the books numerous times. I couldn’t agree more about the absolute failure of the show. The choice of creepy music makes Three Pines feel like the set of a horror movie. I don’t like Molina as Gamache, or Sutherland as Beauvoir, in fact all the characters were miscast and made the watching of the series painful for me. I’m glad they seem to have abandoned the idea of continuing it.

Every one be clear . The book had nothing to do with First Nations
This is just a woke rewriting of a whole novel that steals its soul

I sooooo agree. How did it make sense mutilate the storylines that made the novels so wonderful to create this series? The characters are watered down, perhaps in an attempt to give them mass appeal? Several of the first novels are mashed into the first 10 minutes of episode one. Everything is wrong. Even Gamache isn’t his classy self. He’s a bit snarky in his dragons with Nicole, not his strong, measured self.
The TV show creates none of the feel the books do.
And if you haven’t heard the audio books, give those a try!
I have to believe Louise Penny was sorely disappointed. I know I was.
I’m happy to have found this message board. I was wondering if I was being too harsh. Glad to know I’m not alone!

I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the series. I too am glad the series has been discontinued.
It didn’t begin to do justice to the books.

I just finished Curiosities audio version. Loved it. Did I miss something? How did Jennings find/connect and his daughter?

I enjoy the comments about the series–I too was very confused by the change in storylines, why the Gabbri & Olivier characters seemed to be flip-flopped, change of locations, etc. Now I am just trying to watch the series as if it’s not based on the books. And yes, I LOVE the books, just like the rest of you! 🥰

Just found this discussion. I watched the first four episodes last year and was intrigued by it and what I had heard about Louise Penny’s novels. So intrigued that I began reading the series and am currently in #12. I a totally captivated by the world of Three Pines and Armand Gamache. The BOOKS, not the series. Today I went back to watch the later episodes and turned it off after 10 minutes. Everything written above about how disappointing the adaptation is, is spot on. The adaptation could have been soooo good because Louise Penny has done all the work. Brilliant writing!
As usual, but even more so this time, the books are better than the tv/movie.

I totally agree with you. Louise Penny’s work is brilliant. What a shame the TV series is SO POORLY DONE. Bad direction, terrible performances and mediocre camera work.

The video adaptation doesn’t work because the camera can’t stay on a character who is thinking, not speaking. Much of the printed words that are in the character’s heads keep us in the printed version and when there is no way to capture that insight the video fails. Also, the very complicated plots that bring us back to the books, are too layered to capture on film. A film succeeds with a simple plot.

Ms Penny is a genius. She has captured intriguing plots, great writing, and unusual grammar. I’ve read all the books in series fashion and only wish I could write like her.

So true. She has taken her politics way to far and the tv series reflects the woke perspective and has ruined it for me. To the point I don’t know whether I can ever read anything new she might do. I have loved each and every book I have read so far. The political 3 pines tv produced with Penny’s approval is/was horrible. How could she have allowed tv to produce this horrible show.

I was so excited when I started to watch the The Three Pines and loved Molinari as Gamache. But soon realized that there was bad castings to the other beloved characters. Clara was all wrong .Where was her hair and Olivier and Gabri were totally wrong. But the worst was the plot and how little they portrayed the nuances of the plot.
Thus far I have read 13 of Louise Penny’s Gamache series and am presently at The Kingdom of The Blind. I love each book. My husband has had trouble with his eye and will be getting cataract surgery, so every evening instead of TV i read to him 4 or 5 chapters and then we have lively discussions on the plot but mainly on the beauty of L.Penny’s weaving of the stories .
I love Three Pines and almost wish I lived there except my french is atrocious and i would have to be one of the Anglos.

The first Louise Penny book I read was “State of Terror’ written with Hilary Clinton. I loved the book, I couldn’t put it down. My husband brought home the book “A Better Man” from the library. He suggested I read it before he returned it to the library. I am not an avid reader, I read five books a year. Before I had finished A Better Man, I was on the internet looking to see what other books she had written in the Inspector Gamache series. I ordered as many as I could. At one point, I had 7 books waiting to be read at my home. I started at the beginning of the series and have read all eighteen books in 6 months and I am not retired like my husband. Now I am disappointed that I have to wait until the next one comes out. I can hardly wait.

Louise Penney’s story and character crafting is such a gift to the reader, I’m appalled at this poor adaptation for tv. While I anticipated many blending of storyline and casting issues, the level of storyline abuse is desecration to the creation as a whole. If they removed Three Pines from the title and changed the character names all other resemblances to the original stories would be unrecognizable. Louise Penney should get her stories back.

When I heard that the books were being made into a TV series I was delighted. I thought that Alfred Molina was an excellent choice for Gamache.
There all my delight ends.
The rest of the casting is appalling! The actors playing Gabri & Olivier seem to have been given each other’s scripts as their appearances are the opposite of their descriptions in the books.
Even the actual Three Pines that are supposed to have been there since the civil war are weedy little things that look like they were planted last week
Agent Nichol is a bumbling clown rather than a damaged, spiteful, complex character.
Jean Guy is a rumpled mess. Clara is a drip, and the way they’ve portrayed Ruth is downright crime.

And the writing!!! Louise Penny WROTE the highly successful books Why did the writers think that they could do a better job and utterly change the characters the ‘feel’ of the place and the stories themselves

I absolutely love these books, and I absolutely hate the TV series.
What a terrible waste of what should have been a hit series with many seasons.

Kim, we need team jackets at the very least. The books are so well put together: the inly good thing I can find to say about the series is that I like the title’ Beyond that is nothing but despair. I looked forward to seeing the series, but minutes into the first episode I shut off the television, put on some music and reached for the next book in my Louise Penny re-read list.
The Amazon series is a total disgrace – an insult to Three Pines (if anyone can find it in that series), to Gamache (when did our soigne gentleman detective turn into that laughable creature with thick heavy glasses- they should be half-moon and for reading only and where his crisp shirts and cashmere sweaters – this creature looks as though he slept in his clothes for a week at least – and those eyebrows, that hair!, to Jean Guy (if anyone can possibly find him in that shabby individual masquerading as Beauvoir). Gabri and Olivier seem to have lost themselves – I did not recognise them at all, not even sure if they were there at all, but so far the casting director shows no sing of having read even one of the books.
Enter Clara and Ruth – who dreamed up this bad joke? What happened to Clara’s hair? the daubs and blobs of paint? the cake? and other bits of food? I can relate to Clara as I am forever running my hands through my hair as I work. I may not stick paint brushes in it, but as I write, pencils and pens find storages places there. The hair on the tv screen is WRONG
And when did Ruth have almost shoulder-length hair, a sort-of page boy. Her her is short, so short her scalp almost shows through. her hair is almost ragged.
I despise, loathe, abhor, am utterly dismayed by the Amazon interpretation of Still Life, let alone of Three Pines and of its inhabitants who have become all but real to me, non, make that have become real to me.
Penny has a way of developing three-dimensional characters; on the tv screen the characters were barely one-dimensional. If I am so angry, how must Louise Penny feel?

The towns farther south towards Sherbrooke are a LOT like these, especially around the Hatleys etc. but not Knowlton itself. I lived in the Townships for decades, and the light, the feel and the look ARE right. The lighting and photography are excellent.
However, you are dead-on about the awful direction given to Gabri and Jean-Guy.
The terrible misuse of the actress portraying Gabri actually amounts to ABUSE.
Now that I know the actress is actually an anglophone, I have to say that
this actually amounts to blatant bigotry or racism.
Enter the bumbling francophone fools, right?
Molina is a fine actor who keeps them afloat and deserves better from casting and direction.

Kim, I totally agree!! Alfred Molina is good as Gamache. Not perfect, but good. I really like the casting of Lacoste, but why make her a single mother? I like the actor playing Jean Guy, but that isn’t Jean Guy! Where is the temper and the fire?!?
The rest of the casting is a huge disappointment. Reine Marie is good, but too serious and saintly. Clara is a disaster. Where is the quirkiness and humour? Gabri & Olivier have switched bodies and lost their personalities. Myrna is way too young and bland. Where is that seasoned sage? They should just recast and start over.

Hi KIm, totally agree with you. I watched the first one and was so upset! First of all in the book they describe the pine trees as hugh. In the TV series they are a joke. Did anyone read the books before they made the series. I watched one and only one. I thought everyone was miscast. So sad, they could have been wonderful

I agree heartily with the disappointment so many readers felt with the incomprehensible changes made to the characters. I can’t think of a single reason for Olivier and Gabri switching bodies and jobs. With the exception of Molina, most of the casting reminds me of the unbelievable mistake of casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher!!

I agree. The Prime Video production is a travesty of LP’s wonderful books. Three Pines and its inhabitants have become sinister. The chief inspector is OK, but the rest of the characters are barely recognizable. The novel to film transition can be done well, e.g., Prime’s rendition of Jack Reacher, but “Three Pines” was painful to watch.

There have been many, many comments that I agree with. Yours almost nails every thought I had about the series. It truly was appalling. I mean…Rene Marie was terribly cast, well – they ALL WERE. I could not have been more disappointed.

FWIW – I’d never heard of this book series at all…until I saw the Amazon version a few months ago. I enjoyed it very much, but couldn’t believe “they” killed off the main character (although I did notice that – ominously circling birds aside – Gamache rather conveniently appeared to be shot in a bodily location which could theoretically allow for a full recovery…in a Season 2…or left as a discussion for the audience to argue over if it’s a one and done). But my point is – that after having seen the series, and in particular because of it, I was compelled to learn more about the characters, and that lead me to the books! And, as if often the case, there is no question the books are far superior. Louise Perry is a delight and a treasure; I love the characters and her sublime wit in unexpected places. I found myself LOL at many of the salty exchanges and wry observations. In closing, just as the Amazon series lead me to her books, my curiosity about “What is the Arnot case?” lead me to this site. It appears I will have to read on to learn more. Voila!

I felt the same way. I was unfamiliar until I watched Three Pines… its my dream home! Truly. I’m in love with the characters and culture. So have read 4 now. I could sit all day and read one after the other. Whimsical, serious, thought provoking, funny and I’ve gained weight just reading about the food! Love Louise! And all her characters.

Each story is like an onion peeling layer after layer. And each book reveals yet another layer about the characters.

The series missed the charm and warmth of three pines and its eccentric inhabitants. Casting? Direction? Scriptwriting? Disappointing.

Sigh. I’m okay with some of the made-for-tv changes, like the expanded indigenous storyline (however not sure why the change in gender regarding the missing teenagers). I was even fine with casting Myrna as average sized and without a Caribbean accent and LaCoste as an indigenous single mom. But some things cannot be forgiven:
*Jean Guy should NOT be rumpled, disheveled, non-confrontational, OR forgettable.
*Ruth should NOT have Rosa yet, mainly because it removes the opportunity for us to witness the character formation/growth.
*Clara is THE artist – NOT a wallflower. Her strength comes from her untamable hair and vulnerability.
*Peter is supposed to be beautiful and pained and petty, not forgettable.
*Gabri’s character puts me in the mind of Eric Stonestreet’s character from the show, Modern Family (would it have been so difficult to ‘copy’?).
*Olivier is the epitome of polished quick wit and secrecy.
And, on top of it all, everyone seems simply neighborly instead of a diverse group of individuals that, when assembled, help to create the thriving community of Three Pines!
If this comment ever makes it across the desk of a show writer, I suggest listening to the audiobooks 1 thru 10, instead of rereading. And, if tight on time, start with book 10, The Long Way Home, followed by books 5 & 6 , The Brutal Telling and Bury Your Dead. Ralph Cosham breathes life into Arman Gamache.

I agree completely. The characters and timing are so jumbled. When Gamache introduced Clara and Peter to Reine Marie, I thought, “huh?” Don’t they all live in Three Pines; aren’t they all friends? And when Jean-Guy spoke about Enid, I thought, “huh?” What happened to Annie (Armand and Reine-Marie’s daughter)?
Gabri and Olivier are utterly wrong in this series. And so, for that matter, is the village and everything in it. The original stories are so wonderful exactly as they are; that’s why the books are such a huge success. Why mess with that? Why go off on such tangents that don’t fit into the Three Pines stories at all? The Indigenous story is fine and good in its own setting, and well done as its own tale… but that story is nowhere near Three Pines — not even when the books expand beyond the community. I felt the producers were pushing narratives at me that they wanted to tell and not the stories that Louise Penny has written.
I won’t continue with the TV series (it’s too irrelevant to the Louise Penny books, and too frustrating — even insulting to Penny and her readers), but I will certainly continue reading the books, where my comfort level lies in familiarity and the characters I have come to know and like so much.

Well analyzed. I even went back to the 1st 2 books to check – I may be old, but my memory isn’t THAT feeble, I thought. And I was right, to say the 1st 4 episodes are3 ‘loosely’ based on the books is generous. They are good to watch – writing, acting, and all are excellent. They are just not the Gamache novels which were brilliant.

I am so unhappy with the television series. I don’t understand why, in the current streaming world, this series didn’t take the stories directly from the books, write the screen plays as near as possible to the novels and produce them like that! No changes needed to be made to the characters! No watering down of story lines due to time constraints, because there aren’t any!
Each one of these novels could be made into a season. Because we all binge watch these days, and with so many people bemoaning the lack of good original material available, why mash together and add to stories that are rich in character studies and plot lines that keep the readers begging for more every time we read one?
Unlike many others, I’m unhappy with the addition of the residential school story line because it and its characters are not part of the novels. That would be an excellent exploration for one of her new novels, but squeezing it in to the new series when you should be introducing the people in Three Pines just doesn’t work.
So many of these characters just don’t seem to match the villagers in the books, and it’s disconcerting.
I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. I really wish this project would be abandoned and started over by people who have a vision for how the novels can be brought to life. With all the detail and care they deserve.

Yes. I fully agree. This series is just wrong and I feel like it hurts the book series in that nobody will want to read these books I love so much after seeing this insipid non-adaptation.

I was so disappointed in this adaptation. For all the reasons mentioned prior, but it was especially galling the the writers thought Eleanor and Henri were queen and king of France. Untrue, she was queen of France – married to Louis…but then she married Henri and the were King and Queen of England.

I thoroughly enjoyed Three Pines, especially with the adaptations of the First Nations inclusion. I watched knowing Louise Penny had some control over the series.
The Gamaches were well done. Their matured and passionate relationship were reflected in the actors portrayal, as well as their interest in arts and enthusiasm for life.
The addition of Blue Two-Rivers apparition and her family was brilliant. I liked that the indigenous family guarded their relationship with Surete and were unrelenting to seek justice.
I thought I’d missed a book of Louise Penny because the story was seamless.
Other scenes took me back to stories that I’d read. The early scene of CC’s execution style murder was accurate as I recalled. The characters usually were well cast. I may have had different images in my head, and know them better as revealed in book series.
I was wishing for continued shows. The skeptical responses make that doubtful. Quelle damage.

I googled to see if there was a second season of 3 Pines. There is not. The final episode of the TV series was a huge disappointment, especially after finding out there would not any resolution …

Dear Louise Penny, please know how much I love your books. I pre-order them on Audible and anxiously await the release dates. You have created a world I want to live in – dinners at Clara’s home – discussing books with Myrna – and sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire at the Bistro. But the TV show isn’t that world. I agree with the others, the show is a poor adaptation of your books.

My wife and I just finished the first season. We enjoyed it. Neither of us has ever read the novels. I’m glad, because apparently the shows producers really crapped on everything remotely good about the stories and characters. Maybe I’ll read a book or two so I can be annoyed too.

Ho appena finito di vedere Gamache steso sull’erba che nella sua ingenuità è bontà ha dato le spalle all’amico fraterno che gli ha sparato..la mia curiosità è la speranza di vedere una seconda stagione dove l’ispettore, che chiaramente si salverà, affronterà il mistero delle ragazze scomparse e magari saldera’ i conti con l’amico assassino Pierre…comunque sicuramente inizierò a leggere i libri della Perry in attesa di una seconda serie che secondo me è ben fatta e mi ha fatto amare Gamache con tutti i suoi pregi e difetti di un uomo sensibile e poliziotto serio e integerrimo che vorrei esistesse anche nella realtà. Tatiana

I know a series is not the books and they have to make some allowances, but wow! So disappointed in the production. Not only doesn’t miss out on the spirit of the books, but it is so slow and poorly cast that I fell asleep during the second episode. Granted, I was tired, but not that tired- a good script would have held my attention.

What a shame!

I felt the same way. I was unfamiliar until I watched Three Pines… its my dream home! Truly. I’m in love with the characters and culture. So have read 4 now. I could sit all day and read one after the other. Whimsical, serious, thought provoking, funny and I’ve gained weight just reading about the food! Love Louise! And all her characters.

Each story is like an onion peeling layer after layer. And each book reveals yet another layer about the characters. O

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