Let's talk: Call My Agent
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
I'm putting it straight out there. I really need Call My Agent! (Dix pour cent for the français) to do another season. It's seen me through the darkness of the third lockdown with glamour, devilish scheming and a picturesque backdrop of Paris, where I'm more desperate than ever to return to.
This comedy-drama captures the chaos and glitz of a Paris talent agency. Four talent agents desperately try to manage their often demanding and slightly bizarre actors, alongside their dishevelled personal lives. Each episode features a guest star from the who's who of French cinema; Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jean Dujardin, Isabelle Huppert to name a few. Oh, and Sigourney Weaver pops up too.
It was a glorious binge which I ingested so quickly, it almost felt as if I watched one extended season. There's only 6 episodes in each of the 4 seasons so it's an easy watch. In the days of standard 10-episode seasons and the mammoth 22/3 traditionally in the US, 6 episodes feels meagre particularly when the content is so good.
The agents are nothing short of magnificent, each with their own charms and pitfalls which make the audience adore and despise them in equal measure. The charismatic yet devious seasoned agent Mathias, the affable and frenetic Gabriel, the surly self-labelled impresario Arlette and my new tv Queen (sorry Fleabag), Andréa. Fiery and uncompromising, Andréa provides the edge to the show. Cliched she is not, she represents a woman fuelled by a passion for her work and dedication to her clients. She feels tangible, a woman at the top of her game who is juggling managing a personal life alongside the responsibility she feels for her work family. She messes up, gets things wrong and there isn't always a happy ending. She also has the best wardrobe on TV, perhaps coming a close second to Killing Eve's Villanelle.
Let's not forget the remaining members of the group. The young and vibrant assistants who simultaneously salvage tricky situations for their agents, and then promptly contribute further to the madness of contract negotiations and artist relationships. Camille, the naive and optimistic newbie, melodramatic joker Herve and the passionate, crazily-in-love-with-Mathias Noémie. Add in a suave shareholder Hicham and aspiring actor Sofia in to the mix and you result in a surprise pregnancy and a complex artist-agent relationship.
If the show's desire was to capture the accuracy of working for a talent agency then it has succeeded, as it has not made me want to become an artist agent at all. Perhaps as I'm not familiar with French tv, it actually took a while to remember that the agents were in fact actors themselves and this wasn't a fly-on-wall documentary. The guest stars provide an authenticity to the world in which the agents inhabit. You may think you watch to see who appears next, but the real stars are the cast. Flamboyant and terrifically French.
Season 4 of Call My Agent! is now available to watch on Netflix.