The HANDICOPS mini-series, written and directed by Alexandre Philip, makes you laugh and think. Available on the france.tv platform since Saturday November 12, it tackles the subject of disability with humor and derision. Added to these ingredients: the codes of the detective series…
Tours, April 8, 2022. That is 17 years after the vote on the disability law. The latter aims “equal rights and opportunities, participation and citizenship of people with disabilities”. In a police station, an unprecedented event, in connection with this law, is about to occur.
The President of the Republic, played by Aude Gogny-Gaubert, inaugurates the launch of a brand new brigade, made up solely of employees with disabilities. It is a strong proposition of his program. If successful, it will allow him to launch all his reforms. A gamble, in short.
From the first episode of the HANDICOPS series, we understand that this brigade will have to prove itself. Some police officers lack experience, others have disproportionate egos. This leads to funny and impactful exchanges.
The motivations of the members of this brigade? The prestige of the uniform or the fact of putting one’s skills at the service of justice. “I have always been judged for what I had less, there, I have a chance to show what I have more”, replies Lieutenant Bodin, interpreted by Alexandre Philip, the creator of series.
Among the workforce, the temperaments are strong and no one has his tongue in his pocket. “A fayot, a rebel, a top of the class and an amateur, I already love these kids”, summarizes, at the end of the first episode, the commissioner Jericho (Jean-Yves Tual), responsible for coordinating the team.
The mission of Lieutenant Pauline Bertani of the IGPN, played by Nicole Ferroni, starts badly. Responsible for reporting to her superiors about this pilot unit, she seems not to believe in the future of this brigade: “If I had to report my conclusions today, I would say that it is the worst recruitment in the ‘police story’.
However, over the 8 episodes 4 minutes of this first season, his character will have to recognize that his new colleagues are as competent (or even more) than valid police officers. Indeed, the handicaps with which the characters must deal will be their strength.
“And if we integrated people with disabilities where we do not expect them: in the police?”Alexandre Philip, creator of HANDICOPS
Because it is the general idea of this series with offbeat humor. “No longer treat our heroes from the point of view of what they have less but, on the contrary, be interested in what they have more!”, Develops Alexandre Philip. “And to highlight all these qualities and create comedy, I want to put the handicap in an improbable, bizarre, remarkable, even abnormal situation”.
In this fiction, two worlds meet: that of able-bodied people and that of the police officers of this brigade of extra ordinary heroes. Without ever falling into the grotesque, certain situations experienced by the protagonists will subtly highlight the difficulties that people with disabilities can encounter in their daily lives.
The actors of the Handicops brigade evolve with the handicap they know in everyday life: paraplegia, autism, Holt Oram syndrome but also achondroplasia. However, the word “handicap” is rarely used by the actors. No, because what is central in HANDICOPS is humour.
Funny, comical and hard-hitting scenes and exchanges, relevant acting… The ingredients are good, the recipe works. “The idea is not to make parody but, on the contrary, real situation comedy with a serial plot, like the best recent series of the genre: Brooklyn 99, New Girl, Arrested Development”, concludes Alexander Phillip.
“Handicops”, a web series of 8 4-minute episodes. Written and directed by Alexandre Philip
Cast: Alexandre Philip, Philippe Sivy, Nadine Moret, Héloïse Gaubert, Jean-Yves Tual, Nicole Ferroni, Aude Gogny-Goubert, Théo Hellermann, Sébastien Lalanne, Matthieu Lemeunier, Roland Dujardin
Production: Portrait Robot (Ervin Le Goaziou and Romain Prouveur)
All the episodes were shot in the Centre-Val de Loire region: Tours, La Riche and Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (Indre-et-Loire).
With the participation of France 3 Centre-Val de Loire, with the support of the Agence Ciclic Centre-Val de Loire, the CNC and ADAMI who contributed to the financing of the series.