A Review of the Famous French Show
By CYRINE ETTRIKI | May 12, 2020
Cover photo by Alexander Andrews from Unsplash.
Quarantine is the perfect opportunity to catch up on shows you have never finished, or to discover new ones, expanding on your cinematic repertoire. From Netflix to Amazon Prime, from romance to thriller, the list of choices is seemingly endless. A new find of mine is the French series titled Call My Agent! and after having watched all four seasons in three consecutive days, I can confidently say that I have made a good choice. Here are some reasons why you should check it out.
If you are a fan of the world of cinema and the Parisian lifestyle, this series is for you. The plot revolves around the personal and professional lives of agents who handle actors at one of the biggest film agencies in Paris. The characters are competing for success and are willing to fight tooth and nail to outsmart one another. On top of that, each episode features a new celebrity guest from the world of french cinema such as François Berlé or Audrey Fleurot. The tone of the show is comedic and even satirical at times, which makes for great entertainment.
What I enjoyed most about this show is that it offers a very accurate and realistic depiction of the work that talent agents perform. Behind every actor is an agent that works hard to ensure the actor’s success in the media industry. In many American shows, take Sex and the City for example, we don’t actually get to see what it is that lands Carrie her New York City apartement and elaborate wardrope. It is far from realistic that she has gained her financial independence from writing a couple of blog posts. The directors of the show chose to present an unattainable dream, an idealist version of reality. Call My Agent!, on the other hand, showcases a more realistic picture of the entire industry which makes it evermore interesting to watch.
Another aspect that I particularly enjoyed in this French show is the acting. I find that French media often utilizes a less dramatic tone than, for instance, American shows. In American shows, it is the norm to be presented with extreme positions : a) The very successful actor that is handling their career perfectly, opposed to b) the fallen star that has inevitably been forgotten about. This exaggeration makes it harder for me to identify with the characters. In Call My Agent! the characters are more relatable. They can effortlessly be seen as your neighbour, friend, or classmate going through similar problems that the viewer might be familiar with.
Considering that American cinema has dominated the entertainment industry for the past decades it is refreshing to see that European productions are on the rise. I find it exciting that people are becoming more open to multicultural genres. Call my Agent! is just one example. The Spanish shows “Elite” and “Money Heist” have been well received and I can also recommend the French show “The Hookup Plan” on Netflix, and the Italian show “Baby”.