A prolific writer, screenwriter, and screenwriter, François Avard has this irreverent side that pleases. He uses his love of words to stir the cage, highlighting absurdities and pointing out flaws in our society.
Teen shows (Ramdam, Réal-IT, Cochon dingue), comedies (CA, Bob Gratton, Les beaux malaises, La Maison bleue) and a few bye byes are all on his resume, with multiple creators citing his judgment as much as his flair. Almost 20 years ago, with his accomplice Jean-François Mercier, he breathed life into the Bougons and allowed more daring in a more consensual television. For a second season, he and his co-writer Daniel Gagnon seek happiness in a world that is not in order.
What goes wrong is good breeding ground for humor. Despite all his pitfalls, will François continue his quest for happiness in the countryside this season?
He was ready to return to the city after dragging his family down that rat hole against their will. Melanie has her bed and breakfast project and he can’t go back to town because he loves her. He still has plans to write a novel, and by staying it’s a way of getting rid of everything that’s bugging us. But he will have to make a living and be forced to return to private tuition. He will teach future teachers. I’m not sure if he’s the best to coach anyone right now.
Photo agency QMI, Joël Lemay
Is it harder to make humor these days? The second season is said to be darker. You need to, do you need to weak (moderate)?
The dimmer is controlled by the broadcaster, the producer. But I have to say that we actually had no borders. We make black humor. I don’t see why we should tone down the humor. Our role is to focus on what is wrong. In Happiness we rail against the rich, against religion, against impotence. The Bougons have been very proactive in a world where we wanted them to remain silent. Francis expresses his powerlessness. He has no control over anything.
They work closely with some of our popular comedians (Martin Matte, Louis-José Houde). When creating this character, did you have a special bond with Michel Charrette?
It’s very rare that the writers are invited to the sets. The one I have the most connections with is Daniel Gagnon, my co-author. We’re on the same wavelength, we talk to each other every day. We make plans, we give each other ideas, we connect, we break lines. We have a beautiful community of spirit. Same humour. He was also a teacher. History. I have a high school diploma in teaching French. You can’t tell who wrote what in an episode. It’s emulation. It’s contagious. We are heavier and better. Michel did something extraordinary with François. He inspires us. It feeds us.
happiness Is it a barometer of our society?
There are all kinds of people. Those who have rose-tinted glasses have a more constructive, optimistic vision. And the most sarcastic, caustic. But nobody listens. We’re looking at the same company, but it seems we don’t care about the solutions.
The year in reviewinfoman ended with an increase in milk from François. It picks up on a scene that has gone viral since the beginning of season one. How was it finding your character on this occasion?
It is extremely flattering to know that this scene is marked. The Infoman team called us, Daniel and I, to write the lyrics. It was a treat. Daniel and I don’t have the opportunity to wait too much for the news because the broadcasts in fiction are made much later. We must remain in a long actuality. But there it allowed us, talking about lost cows and remembering that the UPAQ has never caught anyone …
happiness Wednesday 9:30 p.m. on TVA