As audiences, we are captivated by the dazzle and glitter of the silver screen and its stars. We hardly think about the hard-working people behind the screen who start from the first task of connecting a director with the vision to the correct actor for the role. And today’s stars don’t bloom suddenly, they are identified years before and then nurtured, trained and tolerated. These are the tasks that talent agents do. Call My Agent! (Dix pour cent), the French TV Series follows four such Talent agents – Mathias, Andréa, Gabriel, and Arlette. The comedy-drama covers the competition along with the mistrust that exists between them, the challenges in their personal lives and the idiosyncrasies of the actors they ‘manage’, which are humorous. I loved the series and I had binge-watch the four seasons (till date) over the last few days and I give the show my Ripe rating happily.
ASK is one of the two topmost (fictitious) talent agencies in Paris. Its founder Mr Samuel suddenly dies after swallowing a wasp while holidaying abroad. This sends the agency into turmoil, how do the four senior agents working there save the agency from the jaws of their rival StarMédia is the crux of the series – they try everything at their disposal. In parallel to work issues, Mathias is struggling with his marriage and the echoes from the private life of his past, Gabriel is having relationship issues, and Andréa is trying hard to woo the lady of her heart. Joining them are their three young assistants: Camille, Noémie and Hervé, who bring their own complexities onboard. I liked how these six characters interact with each other and with others around them. None of them is perfect, each has shades of grey and that makes them interesting to follow.
The series shines brightly due to the perfect casting for the lead roles. Fanny Sidney as young Camille Valentini steals our hearts with her innocent country behaviour and can-do attitude. Camille Cottin as Andréa Martel and Grégory Montel as Gabriel Sarda bring to life their confused roles effortlessly and they don’t have it easy. Laure Calamy as Noémie Leclerc and Nicolas Maury as Hervé André-Jezak were a joy to watch, they save all the dull episodes. Many of the popular french stars make cameo appearances.
Unlike Hollywood TV series, each season here consists of six episodes, with a running time of 60 minutes per episode. An ideal length to explore the story at hand unhurriedly and in detail; I enjoyed the pace but it may be a bit slow for others. The series is based around the french work culture and society, and it seems to do a good job of showing them. Don’t miss this show which is available on Netflix.