Boris 4: It was not necessary but we needed it

In 2007 a television series was broadcast on Fox that resembled no other in the Italian panorama but which, over the years, would become a real cult phenomenon through word of mouth, revealing itself for many as one of the rare examples to go to. proud for made in Italy TV: Borisscripted by Giacomo Ciarrapico, Mattia Torre And Luca Vendruscolowill go on for three seasons of 42 episodes in total, plus a film, over a period of time ranging from 2007 to 2011. The tragicomic story of a ramshackle troupe led by director René Ferretti (Pannofino), his prevarication in a ‘ odyssey of poor quality fiction and cinema in search of a project that is at least artistic and not humiliating, between shark producers and scazzatissima labor forcewas the narrative propellant for a story that was able to satirize an entire sector, that of the film industry and Italian-style television dramas, which after years of improbable stuff like “The eyes of the heart”(Sequel annexes) did not seem to stop producing garbage on garbage, in squalid working environments with terrifying power dynamics. This, at least, was the panorama more than ten years ago told by Boris, which over time has become so cult that it introduces idioms, phrases or jokes into everyday life. Has anything changed today? Probably not on generalist TV. And if anyone has doubts about it, try to see Survivorsaired on Rai Uno in recent weeks, passed off as ours “Lost Italian style”- which is an idea that seems to really come out of Boris.

After 11 years from the film (and 12 from the third season), however, the serial world has really changed radically for us viewers: Netflix in the first place and the competition that landed in Italy (Prime Video, Disney +, Apple TV, Paramount +) have introduced a new way of seeing TV series, with binge-watching binge-watching and monthly passes. But certain things have never changed and never change in the industry, even when they are passed off as a never-before-seen novelty: Boris he came back to remind us with one fourth season which seemed to be unnecessary and instead in its own way it is, managing to be more fun than the third – if it must be said, even if the first two are unattainable – and which works wonders when the cult characters we have learned sentences by heart they interact, go back to the set, detonate any claim to quality (already weak in itself) and try to take the loaf home by throwing everything in caciara. The generalist TV of the past is now outdated: now the scenario to look at is that of Platform international, with the terrible algorithm to decide life, death and miracles of scripts and tastes of the public. Embarked on yet another bankruptcy project, René’s troupe tries this time to get the okay for a project on the life of Jesus – not at all original on paper, as always – to be streamed. The problems remain the same as always: the maniacal protagonism of Stanis La Rochellethe terrifying acting of Corinnaintrusions into the production of politics or organized crime, strikes, bribes, interference from the upper echelons, the madness of Mariano Giusti, drug that runs on the set. But there is something new: even if it is a new that hides the old, as planned.

It is in the news that Boris 4 returns to the scene of the crime to show us how his philosophy a la Tancredi del Leopardthe one that vulgarly says that everything must change so that nothing changes, remains the perfect metaphor to explain not only a work industry but the philosophy of an entire nation that always likes “shit”That René Ferretti, in moments of pure delirium and mental exhaustion, exalted in past seasons. Themes such as inclusivity, social communications, the obligatory teen story, theauthenticitythe maniacal respect on the set of rules of good conduct, are recent urgencies and are declined by the screenwriters and directors Vendruscolo and Ciarrapico (the prematurely deceased Mattia Torre is missing) not in a reactionary key, but for what they become when managing them is a multinational interested in market disruptions: therefore a forcing of the facade to be respected at all costs, a Gattopardian dynamic on a global scale, and which does not really impact on work or on a true inclusiveness in everyday life, but is addressed only to a specific target: the one who will watch the series from behind a screen, ignoring the truth behind the scenes with the power relations that are hidden there and that will return to show themselves in all their violence to cameras – and PCs – off. See the brutal He mumbles trying to get by with the schwa and kindness towards colleagues is deadly. But it is also discovering how the teen story will be grafted into a life of Jesus by the Screenwriters (who are always three, even if one helps them from beyond) in order not to have the project canceled.

Boris 4 it is therefore genuinely amusing, it has absolute matadors on its side like Pietro Sermonti And Antonio Cataniaof the guest stars who monopolize the vision like Corrado Guzzanti And Giorgio Tirabassi, creates new jokes ready to become cult and meme, telling for the umpteenth time the collapse of quality in the name of profit and the worst conservatism. And there are all, absolutely everyone: Arianna, Duccio, Alessandro, Sergio, Alfredo, Karin, Cristina, Martellone. After 11 years it is not strange that Borisback on Disney + and therefore ready to make satire of it, still makes us laugh: it is tragic that he succeeds because we stayed there, like the characters of René’s troupe.

There are defects: the most serious is that the new characters almost never manage to carve out a decisive space or interest (the character of Lalla/Aurora Calabresi), almost always becoming incomprehensible contour figures or without a true narrative direction; moreover, at the end – largely predictable – there is like a loss of bite and rhythm, plus a parody sequence to a famous film that is completely out of place. Yet despite this, Boris always remains Boris. In fact, the Italian custom-built car had managed to carve out a special place for itself because it did not resemble any other product. Today this entails the difficulty of screenwriters in having to confront themselves and the little myth they have created: how to keep the comparison in 2022 with dialogues and iconic lines, with the “come on come on come on!“, The Tuscans who have devastated this country, the too Italian attitudes, the cursed ca (g) na, the cocaine on the set, the slave interns, the thrill in the script, the roles (which now plays them all Broad bean), the initials (revised for the occasion by Elio and the tense stories) and clips from the old seasons? Vendruscolo and Ciarrapico succeed with intelligence: they reuse archive material such as flashback when needed, not limiting oneself to a stale repetition of what has already been heard or pure fanservice (which is not lacking, it must be said): indeed, they expand those same icons that have contributed to making them cult (see the joke on Favino) making them a source of new misunderstandings and new laughter.

Finally, while not giving up on a certain type of cynicism “no hugs, no teachings” at the Seinfeld, Boris 4 it is also the most melancholy series of all. Inevitable it is. The departure of Roberta Fiorentini (who played the editing secretary Itala) who is greeted in one of the first scenes with a funeral to the character, and the premature death of the screenwriter Mattia Torre, force the story to deal with the passing of time more than all the rest, more than algorithms and inclusive policies. The affectionate gaze of Vendruscolo and Ciarrapico towards their colleagues during the eight episodes is felt and is intelligently inserted into the metanarrative fabric of which it is made Borisand for which Boris lives: the character of the screenwriter played by Valerio Aprea (one of Torre’s best friends, who has already acted his monologues in the past), is clearly their way of continuing the never really interrupted dialogue with a friend who has left prematurely.
Becoming a tribute to himself and his history, then celebrating himself with affection (let’s face it: he has earned it), Boris 4 is a love letter to those who love this grotesque narrative world, a series that does not look for new fans but caresses those who have seen and reviewed the old seasons: those with people who do things “like hell” and which are now an integral part of our lives.

Nicola Laurenza

5 x thousand Survival

Boris 4: It was not necessary but we needed it