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Life after “Call my agent!”

Fanny Herrero, according to Madame Figaro“the most famous of the French showrunners“. Not so long ago there was no such thing as the French. showrunneror, for that matter, French showrunner– “a new profession, like a troll or a taster of organic bread, but more useful”, Echo noted in March. Herrero is best known for her work on Call My Agent! (original French title is “Dix Pour Cent”), which became a huge international hit after Netflix bought it from public broadcaster France 2. She left the show after three seasons in 2018, citing a work environment that might could be of benefit. due to a noisy negotiation or two (when Herrero asked for more help after the show started, the producers said yes, but someone would have to pay for it), and her desire to “tell other stories”. (Her show Standing Up, about rising Parisian comedians, is now on Netflix.) The other day, Herrero, 48, was sitting in a cafe on the banks of the Seine talking about the “industrialization” of French television. how the ducks and the traffic cone sailed by. Showrunners now in large part because of her insistence, in a traditionally director-author-oriented culture, on recognizing the creative authority of writers. In “Call my agent!” she eventually received the title, if not compensation. “I was not a co-producer, so even with the show’s great international success, I will never make any profit,” she said. “It’s okay, that’s life.”

Herrero grew up in a family of muscular, eccentric leftists in the right redoubt of Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast. Her parents were soixante-huitards, physical education teachers, naturists. Her father, Daniel, is known in France not only for his trademark white beard and red bandana, but also for coaching the Toulon rugby club from 1983 to 1991. always hanging around the locker room. “My father used to say that there are players who need to be petted and reassured that they are the best. And there are others – you have to be brutal with them.” She continued, “My whole job is to find an angle to maneuver with each individual and then with the group. Psychologically, it’s a crazy experience to be a good coach, to be a person in a team.”

Herrero got a Netflix deal for her new show called Droll in France, but she didn’t spend much time in Hollywood. Her formative experience in California dates back to 1989, when she arrived there as an exchange teenager. She recalled, “I was like, ‘San Francisco, woo,’ and then I got there, and it was a suburb called Hayward, and I was going to community college.” As for commuting, she opted for a three-hour round-trip bus ride between the dorm and her classes, as well as driving lessons. “All you had to do was take the test,” she said. “I was a danger to society. I’m ashamed that they gave me a license.”

In “Standing Up,” Herrero explores a younger, happier, more diverse environment—a beer-soaked workplace of emerging talent with no coaches to mold them, no agents to call on. “Stand-up here is not as much of a tradition as it is in the US,” she said, comparing the nascent scene to the hip-hop scene of the eighties and nineties. “A sixty-year-old stand-up comedian – this does not exist in France. They are all between twenty and thirty-five years old. The show’s four protagonists are class-spanning and come from families originating in Vietnam, Senegal and Algeria, as well as the posh, predominantly white District Six. “More multifaceted, natural and even dirty,” Herrero said of the Paris she chose to portray. “Not necessarily glamorous, but full of energy at the same time.” She continued: “I don’t want to talk bad about ‘Emily in Paris’, I understand that people love it and it’s good for them. But I don’t know – politically I don’t like it. Because it makes people smaller, it makes the world smaller.”

Herrero was waiting for a call to see if Standing Up would be renewed. She was not thrilled by his prospects. “Honestly, it’s not easy,” she said. “We’re not good enough for Netflix.” But she never had such strong support, so many people told her that one of her shows meant something to them. It was difficult to reconcile the purposefulness on the numbers with the show’s premise. “I never envisioned Standing Up as a blockbuster,” she said. “I understand that this is a narrower series – even if there is ambition in its form, it is. He has an air of modesty and voilaWe don’t have an official answer for Season 2 at this time.” She added: “We can always hope for a small miracle.” In mid-May, Herrero received the news. Canceled. No miracle. The show only aired for twenty-eight days. The algorithm was more powerful than showrunner. ♦

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