Let’s be honest: Prestige TV fatigue is real. Obviously, having a glut of good shows pile up on your DVR or streaming network of choice is the definition of “not a real problem,” but as we head ever-deeper into our first (and hopefully last) pandemic winter, it seems like the socialization we’ve all been missing has been replaced by what we’re watching (or not watching).
From Tiger King to Emily in Paris, Netflix has dominated our pandemic viewing habits, and the trend doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. On the contrary, the streaming giant just released the fourth and final season of the French comedy-drama series Call My Agent!, and unfortunately, it’s well worth canceling Zoom plans for.
The show, which revolves around the hijinks of junior and senior agents at the fictional Parisian talent agency ASK, has a gift for treating high-wattage star power with a light touch; pretty much every major living French celebrity, from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Juliette Binoche to Isabelle Huppert, has had a cameo. That said, the emotional stakes of Call My Agent! are rarely lowered by its stunt-casting; celebrities may come first to the hilariously overworked ASK agents, but the agents themselves—and the personal and professional conundrums that define their lives—are at the center of the story.
Past seasons of Call My Agent! saw no-nonsense Andrea (Camille Cottin) attempt to juggle her booming career with her libertine ways, but Season 4 finds her in a position many remote-schooling, job-holding parents will relate to; overwhelmed by the demands of new motherhood. (As an aside, it’s a surprising delight to see Andrea, a lesbian, demonstrating once and for all that queer parenthood is, in many ways, just like its straight counterpart: exhausting.)
Andrea remains the heart of the show, but its motley crew of supporting players—including sweet, bombastic man-child-agent Gabriel (Grégory Montel), sardonic yet sincere up-and-comer Camille (Fanny Sidney), and traditional, mostly upright boss-turned-defector Mathias (Thibault de Montalembert)—are what make it shine. There’s often a hint of desperation to post-The Office workplace comedies, with efforts wasted on wringing laughter out of dreary meetings and coffee runs. But Call My Agent! makes the weirdness of its mise en scène work for it, balancing the glitz of the European entertainment world with the distinct lack of glamour it takes to actually, say, get an actor cast in a movie.