One of the best streaming treats of late is “Call My Agent!” It’s a French series that Netflix has imported, and I’ve spent weeks savoring each episode of the light-hearted and witty drama — there are four seasons in all, each containing six episodes. I highly recommend the show, especially if you enjoy series like “Extras” that go behind the scenes of the world of entertainment.
It’s about a group of high-powered talent agents, specifically those in a Paris agency called ASK. In each episode, some real-life actor — from Juliette Binoche and Jean Dujardin to Isabelle Huppert and Sigourney Weaver — plays a comic version of his or her self, which is great fun; “The Larry Sanders Show” was a model of this kind of meta material. The agents do their best to pamper their stars, even when the stars are at their most prima-donna-ish. Mostly though, we follow the personal lives of the nine characters who work for ASK, as they deal with personal and professional challenges.
The ensemble is excellent, none of them caricatures of crass, greedy agents who’ll do anything for money, like Ari Gold in “Entourage.” I couldn’t get enough of them all, but two in particular. Camille Cottin plays agent Andrea Martel, a lesbian who makes her way through a long line of women — until she falls in love. Cottin plays out this arc, which includes a baby, with withheld charm and barely-averted farce. Andrea is a workaholic whose first allegiance is to the movies and the stars she cares for; she doesn’t suffer fools, unless they’re creative geniuses. Can she care for her own child with as much passion and commitment as she brings to her work? Cottin makes it fly, the camera always loving the unusual lines of her face.
The other actress I couldn’t get enough of was Laure Calamy, who plays an assistant named Noemie Leclerc. At first, Calamy plays Noemie as a loyal helper with a crush on her boss but not enough confidence to act on it. She made me think of Jane Krakowski in “Ally McBeal,” and she appeared to be there primarily for comic relief. But each season, her character becomes less exaggerated and kooky, and more of a heroine who can hold her own with the bigwigs of the cinema. Like so much in “Call My Agent,” she is a treat.