s a French person, I accept accomplished the success of Call My Agent! with the aforementioned pride I brainstorm parents feel back their adolescent takes their aboriginal steps. We French bodies are acceptable at a lot of things – sulking, gazing into the abysm with a blow of ennui, and rebelling adjoin any and all forms of ascendancy – but television isn’t our arch suit. We adulation watching it, usually in English and with subtitles. Of course, there are some acceptable TV shows blame about (Spiral, The Returned). But abundant French TV shows? They’re like solar eclipses. They appear about already a decade, and back they do, it’s absolutely a afterimage to behold.
Call My Agent! is a rare, absolutely abundant French TV show. Set at a fabulous Parisian aptitude bureau alleged ASK, it tells the adventure of a accumulation of agents aggravating – and generally declining – to accumulate their acclaimed audience blessed and successful. Each adventure focuses on one or several bedfellow stars – real-life French celebrities who ball absurd versions of themselves. Past guests accept included Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Monica Bellucci (Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Irréversible, Spectre), and Isabelle Huppert (The Lacemaker, The Piano Teacher, Elle).
The alternation aloof allegedly captivated up with a fourth season, although co-creator and co-producer Dominique Besnehard has teased a accessible fifth instalment on French television. In any case, the fourth alternation has been met with acclaim, including by The Independent, which gave it a four-star review.
I can alone approve. But as I devoured the latest season, I begin myself apprehensive how abundant of the show’s humour ability become absent in translation. Best of Call My Agent! is accounting in a way that gives the appearance broad, all-embracing appeal, but the alternation is additionally brindled with added alcove references to French pop culture.
As mentioned above, I’m French. Really French. Grew-up-watching-primetime-TV-in-France French. Went-to-school-with-the-guy-who-plays-Gabriel-in-Emily-in-Paris French. But I’m acquainted not anybody had the (mis)fortune of advancing of age in France in the Nineties – a time back the country was accomplishing rather ailing at the Oscars (10 submissions, four nominations, one victory) but excelled at football (won the ’98 Apple Cup).
If you’ve watched division four of Call My Agent! and would like to accept who Dany Boon is, why anybody keeps calling the amateur in adventure one Patrick back it’s acutely declared that his name is Franck, and what the big accord is about Télérama, apprehend on. Actuality is my apprehensive adviser to the French references you ability accept absent in Call My Agent!. Pairs able-bodied with blah crème brie and a nice Merlot.
Why does anybody accumulate calling that one guy Patrick like it’s the best amusing affair in the world?
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Franck Dubosc, the capital bedfellow brilliant featured in adventure one, is a actual acclaimed amateur and amateur in France. His credits are many, but amid them is the blur alternation Camping. Over the advance of three films appear amid 2006 and 2016, Camping has told the adventure of Patrick Chirac, a man who loves to go, well, camping. Amid the franchise’s catchphrases is the infamous: “Alors, on n’attend pas Patrick?” – which translates to “So, you’re not cat-and-mouse for Patrick?”
Uttered by a speedo-clad Dubosc to a accumulation of band who cartel accept drinks after him, the book has become so abominable that alike this writer, who has never watched a Camping movie, got the antic back it fabricated its way assimilate Call My Agent!.
Who is Mimie Mathy and why does she breeze her fingers in the elevator?
Mimie Mathy is one of the best-known faces on French television. For two decades, the amateur has portrayed a guardian angel called Joséphine on the constant alternation Joséphine, Ange Gardien (Joséphine, Guardian Angel). In the aperture adventure of Call My Agent!’s fourth season, a annoyed Mathy severs ties with the bureau and storms out. Already central the lift, she tells the agents block her that their business accord is absolutely over, again snaps her fingers. As she does so, a aside “ding!” can be heard afore the doors accelerate shut. The feel snapping, complete with the accompanying ding, is a Joséphine move: it’s how the angel activates her ability in the eponymous show.
What’s the accord with Dany Boon and all that food?
Dany Boon is additionally a acclaimed amateur in France (do you see a affair here?). A key allotment of his persona – and of his banana routines over the years – is the actuality that he’s from the arctic of the country. Best notably, he co-wrote and directed the 2008 ball Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Welcome to the Sticks), a 106-minute on the arena and its culture.
In Call My Agent!, back abettor Andréa Martel tries to ingratiate herself to Boon’s above abecedary (in a bid to argue Boon to abide with her agency), she campaign arctic and is promptly presented with a all-inclusive arrangement of bounded specialties. The accord becomes clear: if she wants to cosy up to Boon’s confidant, she needs to eat. This representation of aliment as bonding is evocative of Boon’s autograph in Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis.
Why is Sigourney Weaver so agog on filming with Gaspard Ulliel?
Gaspard Ulliel is accepted for assuming clothier Yves Saint Laurent in the 2014 biopic Saint Laurent. He is additionally accepted for starring in a Chanel ad directed by Martin Scorsese in 2010. In added words: he’s young, he’s French, and his face is Scorsese-worthy. Why wouldn’t Sigourney Weaver appetite to blur with him?
What’s activity on with Jim Morrison’s grave?
The Sigourney Weaver adventure is abounding with discreet, allusive references, so adapt for a brace added of those. Towards the end of the episode, Weaver is apparent cuddling with a adventurous adolescent man abutting to Jim Morrison’s grave – yes, The Doors’ Jim Morrison. The artist died in Paris in 1971 and was active in the acclaimed Père Lachaise Cemetery in the in the 20th arrondissement.
Morrison’s grave is accessible to the accessible and is frequently visited by admirers and tourists from about the world. The cairn is usually covered in flowers, letters, and added tokens (such as the odd canteen of Jack Daniel’s). It has become a abode of afterthought and celebration. And – booty this writer’s chat for it – it’s a arresting atom for a aboriginal date.
Franck Dubosc and Tony Parker in Call My Agent!
When Sigourney Weaver dances, it’s not to any old song
No, there wasn’t any acceptable acumen for Sigourney Weaver to aback alpha Lindy-Hopping in the average of a French bar, but that ball arena was badly enjoyable. And Weaver wasn’t activity to achieve for any accidental French tune. No, back Sigourney Weaver Lindy-Hops in Paris, she does it to a animated estimation of La Marseillaise, the French civic anthem. Naturellement.
What was that about Jean Reno?
Born in Morocco to Spanish parents, Jean Reno is one of almost few French-speaking actors to accept begin acclaim alfresco of France (you ability apperceive him from the 1994 Léon: The Professional starring Natalie Portman). But back his name aboriginal comes up in adventure six of division four of Call My Agent!, Camille Valentini reacts with a hardly dismayed: “Godefroy de Montmirail?”
Godefroy de Montmirail is the acclaimed appearance portrayed by Reno in Les Visiteurs (The Visitors), a 1993 ball about a time-traveling charlatan and his servant. It sounds iconic because it is.
We charge to allocution about Jean Gabin
The dogged abettor Arlette Azémar is rarely apparent after Jean Gabin, her admired pooch. Jean Gabin additionally was a allegorical French actor, accepting starred in films such as Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion and Marcel Carné’s Le Quai des Brumes. The absolute Jean Gabin has additionally been asleep back 1976, which leads to a actual ambagious chat amid Arlette and Jean Reno in adventure six.
Jean Reno and Call My Agent! brilliant Camille Cottin
(Christophe BRACHET – FTV/ MONVOISIN PROD/ MOTHER PROD)
Walking out at the Césars
In February 2020, amateur Adèle Haenel absolved out of the Césars back Roman Polanski won Best Director. While adventure one doesn’t accomplish an absolute advertence to this moment, the bald actuality that it appearance three walkouts from the commemoration – and the staffer’s affirmation that walking out afore the end is technically banned – absolutely reads as a call-back, advised or not.
In adventure one, abundant is fabricated of whether or not Franck Dubosc will be featured on the frontpage of Télérama. That’s because Télérama, a account magazine, is one of the foremost cultural publications in France. Think of it as a cantankerous amid NME and Vanity Fair, with a blow of New York Magazine.
As a benefit annular of sorts, a few added broadcast French thoughts:
This wraps up our comment of French references in alternation four of Call My Agent!. As they say in my hometown, merci cascade votre absorption and à bientôt.
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