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! 


305 replies on “Three Pines Series Discussion”

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!

I fell in love with Three Pines and all of the characters in the books. Louise Penny is so descriptive about the setting and the inhabitants of Three Pines including all the wonderful mouthwatering food served in the Bistro. It is portrayed to be a little jewel tucked away somewhere in Canada that you would come upon by chance if you were lucky. One could easily dream about living there.
Sadly, the series missed the mark completely. The town is the central character around which all the other characters revolve. The contrast between the cozy, wholesome appearance of the town makes the crimes that occur that much more sinister and surprising.
And where were the Three Majestic Pines that the town was so named? They were more like Three Shrubs!
The casting was also disappointing. I think they got about 20% right. I won’t go on about that. Others have said it before me so I think the point was made.
I was so looking forward to the series but now I am not sure if I want to see more. I think I will reread the books in order to get the image of what was on the screen out of my head.

I agree with the remarks about the village portrayal. The human characters I can make allowances for, but the description of the village was very important to the sense of place throughout the book Still Life and subsequent stories. I imagined a much more picturesque village, more along the line of New England towns. What was shown reminded me of “spots in the road” I encountered living in rural Kentucky, nothing warm and inviting about it. Perhaps in another season ….

I love the 16 Louise Penny books I have read and am extremely disappointed in the Prime series. The acting is mediocre, dialog is uninspiring, the plot is disjointed and the entire atmosphere seems to be inconsistent with the world Louise Penny created. I know, a screen adaptation is not the book.
But this doesn’t even come close.

So agree….live Molina, but he is not Gamache….missing the gracious ness, the quiet strength…..Clara?? You must be kidding….where is the crazy hair and the cheese curd in her hair and the paint on her hands?? To say nothing that she is WAY too young!! Myrna? She should be gracious, flowing in a caftan, professional….not the loud person we saw….can’t even comment on Nicole! What book did the producers read!! She should be surly, unkempt and generally irritating! Only character perfectly is Reine Marie! To say nothing g if the HUGE church! This is so not Three Pines! Where are they, by the way?

I agree, Molina is a great Gamache. It will take more episodes for the characters to develop.

My feelings exactly! So often the facial expressions, the dialogue and even the body language was either wooden or overdone. It reminded me of watching some of the early silent films. But, seen in the context of today’s moviemaking, the stories and the acting have been “dumbed down” for television viewers, thus losing the subtlety and grace of the written novels.

I just finished the 18th book, and I continue to be amazed that Louise Penny creates such unique and detailed mysteries! I loved the book of course. I watched the first two episodes of the series and was most disappointed in the setting. Penny has created a unique location called Three Pines, and I think most of her readers picture a warm, cozy collection of businesses, homes, and scenery, with vintage architecture. What I saw was a very mundane town, that you would find just about anywhere. Three Pines really is a “main character” of the mysteries, and more care should have been taken when the location was chosen.

I totally agree. The actors and story was right on. The town was a disappointment to say the least. Hopefully in the future they show it like we have all imagined it in the books. Looking forward to the next movie

Wow! Excellent job on screen writing, acting, filming. I’m so thrilled to see this series as I am a Gamache follower. I hope Ms Penny is pleased and that the series will cover all her books.

I’ve watched both episodes, and I think it’s a good start. I don’t expect perfection right from the get-go. I was confused at first because Gamache had no trouble finding Three Pines, so I wondered if he had already been there, but it was clear as he drove through it was his “maiden voyage.” Alfred Molina is great in the role, physically almost exactly what I had in my mind, and he portrays Gamache’s humanity so well – both the good and the bad. Reine-Marie and Isabel Lacoste, the spitting image of my imagination. Jean Guy – confusing, he didn’t seem to be as troubled as in the beginning of the books, but definitely as sharp 🙂 I too felt there was more distance from the villagers, but that relationship will improve over the series I assume. It can’t possibly measure up to our imagination of the people & places, as we all have different visions. Three Pines itself wasn’t bad, though the trees seemed at least 50 years younger than in the novels – they are so dominant there. Perhaps when it’s not winter things will look different. Another challenge with a tv series is there isn’t as much time for character development, and relationships and side plots, all of which add to a book’s enjoyment. I did like the first two episodes, and am looking forward to more; there’s a lot of promise. Ms. Penny, I thank you for writing the stories, which have and continue to give me so much pleasure, and also for allowing them to be televised. To Amazon – thank you for doing this series, I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops.

I was so disappointed with the character of Beauvoir. In the books he has experienced his own difficult time, but has come to be like a son to Gamache. Not so in the series. He seemed to be an unimportant character, almost incompetent, with not much to offer.

Totally agree! I also think he was described as a great dresser with crackling energy. Here is middle-aged and non-descript.

I watched both episodes last night on my iPad and got so caught up in them that I took my iPad to bed with me and watched till the end, after midnight. I really enjoyed them and look forward to more. My only dismay was in not understanding the French dialogue in the first episode and I was grateful that they remedied that with subtitles for the second.

Of course Three Pines looked very little like the Three Pines in my imagination; I expect most felt the same so no need to say more about that. While the characters didn’t look the same as I might have imagined them, I think they did a terrific job with the casting. As I tried to pin down how they differed, I realized that I really didn’t have much in the way of imagined physical images in my mind, oddly enough. What has made these characters real for me is, rather, their characters (in the sense of their ethics) and their personalities, so I didn’t feel any great disconnect and I imagine, in time, these TV-version characters will be developed. After all, the characters and their stories developed for us readers over the course of 18 novels! Impossible to achieve anything close in a mere two episodes, or even one book. Meanwhile, I’m happy to now have more complete physical renderings to “use” as I read “A World of Curiosities,” which is waiting here beside me.

There’ve been comments about the score so I’ll use that as an excuse to watch these episodes again and pay more attention. I remember at some point thinking it was nice. Grateful for the books and now grateful for the series!

I preorder the new Gamache series as soon as I know it’s available. I love the series.
I am now watching the first episode on Prime Video. So far the actors are okay with what I had in my mind with two exceptions. Clara is too young and too neat. Clara in the book is described as messy with unkept hair and stuff in it and on her clothes. Myrna is too thin.

>>>there will be no Gamache streaming on my screen… I have inadvertently been exposed to flash seconds of the ads for the series…I immediately eliminated the view… even in that split second of seeing, Gamache is not my Gamache and Ruth is not my Ruth ….PLEASE CEASE MESSING WITH MY IMAGES … THE WRITTEN WORD IS TOO TOO PRECIOUS TO PASTE ALL OVER A COLD TV SCREEN

It’s difficult when novel is turned into movie format because the reader has already formed a mental picture of the characters and settings. I feel the show was much darker than the novels. Armand is still thoughtful and warm, the settings are realistic. I want to see how this effort evolves.

Most loved series on some level disappoint followers when transposed to visual media. For me, the entirety of what makes the Gamache mysteries special has been gutted. Although Gamache so far has been well cast. That’s the only attempt at depth and now is like any other mystery bland series.
Understandably the budget is not of a Harry Potter but if the feelings for the characters and magic had been taken away, it would have been cookie cutter.

I watched both episodes last night and had the same video choppiness; however, episode two cleared up. Watching them I felt these were quite different characters and I didn’t recognize them. I went into this knowing that movie/video versions rarely feel adequate to the books; too much has to be modified for that format. None of the characters resembled the way they look in my head – of course – but still disappointing. I tried to stifle my expectations and simply experience this new version but couldn’t entirely separate them. And I wasn’t happy about the introduction of the indigenous women. It’s an awful truth and belongs but I felt it was premature. For a while at first I kept feeling that I didn’t know which book I was in. It must have been a harrowing experience for Louise Penny to see the story being modified before her eyes and worrying over how much of the original would be retained. Brave lady!

Love all the books and the new tv series. Details and storylines in the books and tv series are outstanding. I watched the first 2 episodes and plan to rewatch them. Hope there is a season for each book.

I’ve read all of Louise Penny’s books and loved them. Last night I watched both episodes. Have to tell you I was very disappointed. Many of the characters were quite different from the descriptions in the books. Myrna was supposed to be a big woman with flowing caftans. Jean-Guy looked to be about the same age as Gamache. The village was not so little and cozy…Although Mr. Molina portrayed the inspector well, he didn’t seem to have as much strength and presence as the books’ description. And I kept waiting to see the majestic 3 pines the village was named after. All in all, the series was a great let down.

My favorite books are the Gamach series. I was thrilled when I read of the TV series, disappointed when I viewed the first. Casting, actions of actors not as in the books. Ganache was believable, though the enormous black glasses dominated the scene. Three Pines was not an idyllic place, architecture, streets, could’ve been the little town I grew up In Oklahoma. Plus, the 3 pines were puny considering they were ages old in book. Too much focus on the missing girl, not inhabitants of Three Pines.

I read the 18th book earlier this week and watched both episodes of White Out last night. What a wonderful week to be able to spend so much time in Three Pines. Though that 18th book was definitely her darkest. So much tension towards the end. I needed more time in the Bistro. I really enjoyed the Amazon presentations. I traveled to Three Pines a few years ago, that is I drove to Knowlton, visited the bookstore and bistro there, saw Lac Brome, and then drove south towards Vermont. I got a little lost, I came over a few hills, and saw so many beautiful vistas. Unfortunately, I must not have been lost as the characters in the books because I never saw it all. But I was there. I loved the overhead shots that show those vistas. The town of Three Pines, while not the perfect circular green in the books did have the feel of the village. While buildings didn’t quite match the descriptions in the book ( Though, I thought the Hadley House was well chosen) they gave me the same feeling.

These productions were rewritten based on Louise Penny’s books. Instead of the flashbacks given in book 6, we get the actual actions parallel to book 2. I thought CC and Petrov were well drawn. She was hateful through and through. And Richard and Crie were nicely portrayed, though that critical scene of CC lashing out at her daughter after the concert should have been there. That explained so much about the family and the town’s reaction to CC.

I love that Bea and Lacoste are First Nation. Also that instead of boys lost, they switched to girls and women. Not a bad move in my opinion, especially given the plot line of book 18. Thank you, Louise, for having the courage to let someone else take your words and churn them up into what could have been a dog’s breakfast, but instead was delight. Thank you for sharing your soul with all of us.

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