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! 


286 replies on “Three Pines Series Discussion”

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! The books are great but the series sucks. I’ll watch them all with my friends. I’ll watch them all till the end. 😘

I was open to watching the series, and episodes 1 and 2 were okay. Like Molina as Gamache, as many have said. Can see the producers wanting to ‘update’ the indigenous storyline with the residential schools and missing women instead of what is written in the novel. That is a very poignant series arc. However, agree that Three Pines seems too eerie, unwelcoming. (Where would the bench go?) Miss the scenes in the bistro. Olivier and Gabri mix-up makes no sense, and generally, I feel another missed opportunity to tell a Canadian story. I was disappointed it was made by the producers of The Crown (another series that veered far from the original!) and not Canadian producers. Episodes 3 and 4 are nothing like The Cruelest Month and the characters, especially Peter, are so changed. But, we always have the books. Thank goodness! Won’t be tuning in anymore and sad that viewers who haven’t read the books won’t know what they could have been watching.

The show is all right and Gamache is pretty close to what I had imagined. But correct me if I am wrong, there is not story of missing women in the novels is there? By adding and emphasizing that story, they do not have sufficient time to flesh out all the characters we all know and love. The Bistro is such a central part of the story and the gatherings there. Perhaps this is due to wanting amore controversial series, but it doesnt work for me at all.

I echo the many F.I.N.E. fans’ disappointment with several aspects of the tv series. The physical village is not all as described in the book. I never envisioned a highway going through the middle of town and the church is far too big. While Molina is a fine actor, he lacks the sophistication and polish I expected–just too informal and dressed very sloppily and never carries a gun. Jean Guy is silver-haired already? The only actor fulfilling my mental picture is Ruth. LOVE her (and the duck)! Of course I’ll watch the rest of it, but I far prefer the books.

I agree with you entirely. I was so disheartened, I shut the TV off and went upstairs to reread The Cruellest Month just to rid my mind of the debacle they’ve made of Louise Penny’s finely crafted characters, individual stories, the town misrepresentation and terrible choice of cast.
Louise Penny must be so disappointed in having her work reduced to a hodgepodge of muck.

I love the Armand Gamache series and was hoping that the Amazon series would be at least “good”. First issue:
where are the Giant 3 pines that define the village? I’ve only watched 2 episodes of the series so am withholding more comments (except: Alfred Molina seems very good as Gamache—“kind eyes”). So far I’ve haven’t seen the giant pines. Please let me know if you’ve seen them in any episode. Seems rather silly in a series called “Three Pines” to leave them out!

I listened to all the books and am now listening to the newest one. I’ve formed stronger images of the characters and place than I’ve done with any other fiction I’ve read. In addition, the audio books conveys an added layer to those images. I realized right away that the tv version did not capture and probably could not capture my internal Three Pines nor its inhabitants. I am happy people who haven’t read the books will experience the stories. But I won’t watch another episode because I prefer my Three Pines to that of the series.

I agree with you entirely. I was so disheartened, I shut the TV off and went upstairs to reread The Cruellest Month just to rid my mind of the debacle they’ve made of Louise Penny’s finely crafted characters, individual stories, the town misrepresentation and terrible choice of cast.
Louise Penny must be so disappointed in having her work reduced to a hodgepodge of muck.

I’m very disappointed in the tv series. None of it – the characters or the village (which is a town, not village) seem true to the books. I’m surprised Louise Penny allowed a series so untrue to here books! Such a disappointment!! Also, the film mixes and combines the books.

I agree 100%. The movie “Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery” was so much better, in every way including the casting. I wish they had continued that as a series, with the same actors. I just watched it again tonight and it’s so good. The new series misses the boat in casting and in depicting the village. How can anyone who loves the Three Pines books like what they’ve done with this series? And good grief, those three trees are just pathetic. I’m beyond disappointed.

Like everyone else here, I’m a huge fan of the books. I actually don’t mind a lot of the changes they’ve made in the series except for two things:
– Beauvoir is barely a main character which bums me out and I hope it changes as the episodes continue. His relationship with Gamache is a backbone of the series so I’m suspicious about his lack of involvement in the first few episodes :/
– Why switch Gabri and Olivier’s characters? Seems pointless and just throws me off completely

I like three pines and appreciate that the stories are different then the books. The acting is spot on. I liked that they didn’t try and sublimate the quirkiness of the place but kept the quirkiness of the characters. I can’t wait to see more and to read the next mystery

Just finished watching the 3rd episode. Don’t know whose book this is from but it’s not Louise Penny. The Cruellest Month was about a seance and a woman being ‘frightened to death’, and this episode wasn’t even close. I realize movies are rarely like the books, but usually they’re each very good in their own right, eg. Ann Cleeves and her Vera series and Shetland series.
Having read Louise’s books at least 3 times, maybe I’m just upset they haven’t done ‘my friends’ justice.

I tried watching the third episode and gave up. I am not enjoying the series at all. How can it be that I don’t like the villagers? Having read all the books in the series, I think of the villagers as friends and Three Pines as a place I would like to live. The series seems too cold (not weather related) 🙃 and the creative license is irritating me. Unfortunately, I am done with the series.

Every book was better than the preceding. I have each character’s face firmly imprinted in my mind and when I saw the advertisement for, Three Pines, the movie I could not make myself watch.
You see, had I watched someone else’s vision of Gamache and family, my own memory of the place would be gone. Faces conjured up while reading would be lost.
Thank you for being brave enough to allow someone else’s concept to be allowed but it is not for me! Rather, I would have another long delicious book to read and allow my own fantasies to continue!

So, let’s all be honest here. All Louise Penny followers have their own, very personal connection and imagined idyllic setting which is “Three Pines” We all want to live there to feel the sense of belonging regardless of where we are in life, or what we may be going through. The Gamache’s chose to live there…because it is a safe place.
I’m hopeful that the wait for the promised next 6 episodes will be available sooner rather than later.
And to all the critics out there…Not one casted actor can fill the shoes of ALL of our beloved characters, it’s impossible as we all have our own unique mental picture of everyone of them, especially the village.
Here’s to successful additions, Cheers!

Two new episodes drop on Amazon Prime, supposedly on Fridays…though I just watched them this evening (Thursday), so maybe it’s Friday Greenwich Mean Time or something. I’m in WA State so Pacific Time.

Anyway… 4 episodes in now, halfway through the Series 1. Molina is perfect as Gamache – he’s who I always pictured and I have no idea why, but there it is, and there he is, so it’s a comforting feeling. The rest of the crew I’m still getting used to. Creative license is definitely taken by the show writers. They’ve flipped Gabri and Olivier’s personalities and appearances, and I cannot for the life of me understand why. To what end?

It’s not a great show, but it’s not a bad show, either. And the First Nations sub-plot fits; a lot of people say it has nothing to do with the books. Do they not remember the entire reason Gamache is on the outs with the Surete higher-ups, thanks to what his buddy Arnot and others were doing on the Rez?

Just went on YouTube for the trailers and interviews. Sorry, no. Any Armand Gamache without some Francophone accent is deplorable casting. I thought immediately of the bizarre choices for A Walk In the Woods (Bill Bryson). It would be like watching an American-accented The Crown. I won’t watch any of these shows. As far as the books, I ‘felt’ the entire series went to an entirely other level from The Brutal Telling on. I mean, whoa! Earlier works were great. Brutal Telling to Glass Houses are indescribable. I’ll re-read these like I re-read Tolkien.

I concur. I personally have my own picture of the faces, expressions, actions, personality and voices of each character, and will not give them up for some tv production. Kudos to Ms Penny for being brave enough to try this, but I’ll stick to the books and my own visualization. Louise Penny’s evocation is all I need.

I’m with you Vicci. I adore the books. Have read them all at least four times now and the new one twice. The series is a glimpse at someone else’s perception of what it could be like- obviously not a patch on mine but likeable enough

Hoo boy! As I scrolled through all the previous comments I had to sit back and let my hair settle down. Such vehemence about the visual not being the same as the text seems a little unfair. I watched the first 2 episodes with my husband, who knows nothing about the Three Pines universe. (I warned him I would be shouting out who the various characters are – and I did!) He gave 2 thumbs up for the story, and having no context to bias him, thought it was a worthy murder mystery with a social conscience…and can’t wait for the next episodes to drop! We all have our own internal version of the setting and the characters and although I wanted the village to look like MY version, I appreciate that it wasn’t “Disney-fied” and looks like what I presume is a real village in rural Quebec. These are early days – place and character formation take time. It’s hard not to point out how it’s not exactly like the books but it can’t be. I have all the books, I have all the “Audibles” and that’s my happy place but I’m grateful for this new and improved film version with actors that I like and am going to just enjoy the ride! (If you watched the PBS “Magpie Murders” by Anthony Horowitz, it’s an interpretation of the book that might make you a little crazy but is still a stellar watch – same thing!!)

Deborah, I totally agree with your comments. I have watched the first two episodes, reread the book A Fatal Grace because I didn’t remember it, and then I watched the two episodes again. I believe the way the story is presented by combining elements of the plot and still coming to the same conclusion was effective. The village is what I think a small village in Quebec would look like and I didn’t expect it to be what I imagined Three Pines to look like. It will take getting used to this adaptation of our beloved village and characters and I feel comfortable with it in the first two episodes. I also appreciate that it was not Disney-fied. I enjoyed Magpie Murders very much and have not read the books so I can watch and enjoy them on their own terms. I originally started reading the Midsomer Murder series of books and it took time to adjust to the TV series and of course I love the series.

My initial reaction was not positive. I think I was looking for the series to flesh out the characters and the village that I had imagined in my head. After reading the negative comments from other viewers, I wondered if perhaps I was being unfair. I happened to watch Saving Mr. Banks last week and wonder if Louise Penny felt much of the same angst as the author of Mary Poppins when she allowed others to recreate her Three Pines characters. Then I realized that even if they had completely rendered Louise’s vision in the series, it still wouldn’t match what I had envisioned. So… I just re-watched the first two episodes with this in mind and, much to my surprise, the characters were more “recognizable” to me. Yes, I had imagined a tiny church, smaller village square, heavier set Myrna, better elocution from the duck (haha), etc., but now I’m looking forward to the next instalments to see how this imagined version of Louise’s books develops.

Although I am enjoying the series and the excellent actors because I have been able to separate their physical features from my imagination of them from the books, I am having more difficulty with the portrayal of one of the most important characters: the village of Three Pines. One of the many characteristics I love the most about Louise’s books is the sense of place, not just the appearance but the peace, warmth and community which make it Three Pines. Obviously, the appearance of the village cannot change as the series progresses, but I am hopeful that the emotional blanket encompassing Three Pines will appear.

I had exactly that impression. This new image has changed my love for the village. Not warm and welcoming but cold and dreary.

The original Three Pines movie staring Nathaniel Parker was undoubtedly the best. The characters were perfectly cast. This is a sad replacement and I was so looking so to a Louise Penny’s series.

The movie ‘Still Life’ is streaming on Acorn (subscribe through Prime). The casing is so much better and it remains true to the book.

Thank you, Louise for such wonderful literature. I have been a fan since Still Life. We all have our images of the characters in our minds and I thought Gamache was very well portrayed. The other characters were not like my own visions of them but great anyway. Movies are never totally like the original story and I knew that would be true with this series as well.
I will definitely watch all of the episodes because they take me back to the original ideas and characters. Bravo!

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