This week, the Internet was full of jokes for a headline: ” An Orbán MEP resigns after participating in an orgy in full confinement by the pandemic .” Suddenly, the European Union and Brussels seemed like a much more exciting universe than we ever imagined.
That the sex party host blamed “rival orgies” for the tip-off painted another layer on a plot seemingly taken from Eyes Wide Shut . Some journalists surely ran to ask their boss to transfer to that city where it rains 200 days a year, eats mussels with potatoes and whose most visited statue is a dwarf boy pissing in a boxed fountain.
It is true that in the Parliament series , available on Filmin, there are no orgies, and not even good mussels. What’s more, they spend much of their first season arguing about shark fins.
Even with those ingredients, it has become the funniest thing that came from the European Parliament in this fateful 2020. At least it was before learning the paradoxical story of the ultra-conservative Hungarian.
“The problem in Europe is not only a deficit of love, it is also a deficit of presence and visibility. Thanks to Veep , House of Cards or The West Wing of the White House , we are all familiar with the American political system.
And that their federalism is not more complicated than that of the EU ”, explained the creator of this crazy comedy, Noé Debré, to Le Figaro . ParliamentIt is funny and scathing, and it squeezes out all the topics available, but these scenes of reality are at the same time didactic.
Although it seems incredible for the genre, with its trips, stabs and bad temper, the series ends up defending between the lines the values of the union, and everything that the system provides, better than any politician.
Amid sheer chaos, placing the EU in the collective imagination gives the organism relevance by itself, a position in the culture war. Just like, no matter how many times we see the White House explode in the cinema, the Oval Office remains that icon that fits so well on the screen.
Young French assistant Sammy Cantor is our entry into this seemingly boring, bureaucratic world. And it didn’t take long for us to discover that the EU is a cage of crickets of lobbies , civil servants, inept MEPs and some Swedish Nazis, but that there are also touches of affection in their offices.
Even when involved in the fight against finning (the practice of savagely ripping sharks’ fins), an issue as unintelligible as the EU is to the average citizen. Luckily, viewers who think this is an insider documentary can rest assured.
That’s just a mere excuse, a macguffin, so that the viewer knows each part of the organization, from Brussels to Strasbourg, and to be able to insult the Spanish nobles a little.
Although it did not know it needed it, the EU deserved its own Armando Ianucci (creator of Veep and The thick of it ), and yet, Parlement (in its original French version) does not get carried away by fashion.
Who wants to find unscrupulous politicians and mouths full of insults, this is not your series. This is a sweet and conciliatory political satire, closer to the classic Hollywood screwball comedy like New Moon.than British cynicism.
It also does so by appropriating one of the great values of the continent: linguistic diversity. You can hear French, German and English, an ideal ingredient for your own misunderstandings.
Sometimes they even deign to the cameo of the Spanish and Catalan, although the Iberian peninsula is clearly ignored by the French neighbors, which will embarrass a Juan Carrasco called to be a great MEP.
Worst unemployed is the United Kingdom. The European Union returns its blow in the form of satire, that element for which they always stood out, given that, after years watching how the British exceeded in political comedy – from Yes, Minister (also available, and essential, in Filmin) to The Thick of it -, the post-Brexit era has left us orphans of its gaze (they are already preparing a series of Boris Johnson in pandemic ).
Thus, Parliamenttravels back years in the past to try to be the work that portrays Brexit at its peak of follies and lies. Rose, a British assistant, is our gateway to the UK. A highly prepared woman who watches her world fall apart. Her MEP was pro-Brexit, but now she realizes that will put her out of a job.
The unreason of a movement turned into surrealism and sadness, and, years later, into comedy. Who needs an orgy with these elements? This is the series that Orbán, nor his now famous deputy, will not like.