Boris is an Italian comedic TV series produced by FOX. It's a Dilbertesque
satire of the Italian TV series production process revolving around an awful melodrama named Eyes of the Heart 2
(the sequel of another equally awful series which was cut off after only two episodes, but which the network execs believe was only penalized due to its time slot
) and the unlucky, disfunctional
troupe of the same — a neurotic director, self-serving and self-centered stars, an incompetent and coke-addicted photography director, a dishonest executive producer, slave interns and more. It parodies much that's wrong with the production process of the mainstream networks: politics, blatantly dishonest product placement, cut-and-paste cliché plots
, extreme Executive Meddling
and worse, but even when it's not actively making fun of something, the quirky cast manages to keep the funny coming.
Not entirely unlike 30 Rock
, but exquisitely Italian.
The show has had three seasons so far, having followed the production of the two seasons of Eyes of the Heart 2
and later of the blatant ripoff
of American MedicalDramas Medical Dimension
.There is also a movie
, concerning the same crew involved in the production of the In-Universe
movie Young Ratzinger
.Some of the characters involved with the production
- Alessandro, direction assistant intern and often the viewpoint character.
- René Ferretti, neurotic director who all-too-often has to fix up the mess to get to the end of the day.
- Arianna Dell'Arti: assistant director and Only Sane Man.
- Itala, the wino log secretary.
- Duccio Patanè, coke-addicted chief of photography, most often found on a couch not doing his work.
- Augusto "Slurs" Biascica, ignorant and violent set electrician.
- Stanis la Rochelle and Corinna Negri, protagonist actors of Eyes of the Heart, fickle and immature and too often the cause of the troubles of the day, later partially replaced by Cristina Avola Burkstaller and "Thighs" Karin in season two (of both the actual Boris series and the In-Universe one), and by Fabiana Hassler for season three's Medical Dimension.
- Diego Lopez, network delegate who has to relay the bad news from the higher-ups while keeping those higher-ups happy.
- Lorenzo, photography intern, local slave and perpetual Chew Toy.
- Sergio Vannucci, dishonest executive producer.
The series is named after director René's lucky charm goldfish — the last of a long line of such. It's, in what some may see as a fit of Irony
, produced by Rupert Murdoch's Fox Italia/Sky.The Italian side of The Other Wiki
has quite a bit more about it.
This show provides examples of:
- Ass Pull: A staple of the plots of the In-Universe shows.
- Ax-Crazy: Mariano Giusti, a (In-Universe) recurring guest star who has the villain role of The Count in Eyes of the Heart, is certifiably insane and destructively violent (a fact the troupe tries to defuse by leaving Alessandro to keep him calm — a thing he does under Mariano's threat of death by baseball bat mauling).
Mariano: "No, no, no! It seems to me like the only one between you and me who's trying not to get me to beat you up is me- the one that, eventually, will end up beating you up!
- Cliché Storm: Everything ever written by the In-Universe series scriptwriters, who even have text macros for certain actor expressions (especially "astonished", tied to F4 on their word processor's keyboard and used liberally).
- Ear Worm: the opening, from comedic rock group Elio e le Storie Tese. Also notable since, even while the whole song is sung by Elio, each line is in-character dialogue for one of the characters above (and lip-sync'd by them in the opening).
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The three scriptwriters.
- Executive Meddling: abundant and expected In-Universe. Entire storylines are forced upon the shows, removed, fixed "after the fact" (in one notable case by forcing the troupe to reshoot a controversial episode ending one year after the fact, with all of them scrambling to get all the details right for the airs-next-week deadline).
- Hey, It's That Voice!: René's actor, Francesco Pannofino, is the Italian voice of many Hollywood actors, including George Clooney, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump and CSI's William L. Petersen (Gil Grissom).
- Hilarity Ensues: Constantly.
- Naked People Are Funny: In the season one episode "Like Lars von Trier", everyone is forced to work naked on-set to assuage Corinna's insecurities during the shooting of a sex scene.
- Nepotism: Averted, then played straight. René refuses to let Fabiana be the star of Medical Dimension as she's secretly his daughter and he doesn't want to be accused of this, but he later has to ask them to take the role as the network's designated replacement proves to be utterly incompetent.
- Meaningful Name: Biascica's last name literally means 'slurs' (as in 'to slur', the speech impediment) — a thing he does liberally.
- Ms. Fanservice: The entire role of "Thighs" Karin, due to In-Universe Executive Meddling.
- The Prima Donna: all actors in all of the In-Universe series.
- Replacement Goldfish: Literally: Boris is the last one of a long line of lucky charm goldfishes René insists on bringing on set. Additionally, the last episode of season one involves Boris's apparent death (after being fed a piece of lard) and the frantic search for a replacement so that René won't notice the death. Boris gets better in the end, though.
- Shout Out: Numerous (all of these from The Other Wiki's page).
- My Africa (part 1) includes a parody of LOST's iconic eye-opening season 1 shoot.
- Again in My Africa (part 1), Corinna's arrival on the set has numerous elements that recall Kate Winslet's arrival on the ship of Titanic.
- The beating of Lorenzo in The Daughter of Mazinga is a recreation of "Gomer Pyle"'s beating in Full Metal Jacket.
- In Caught by the network, the network exec gives Lopez an empty blue box, recreating the same scene and subsequent fadeout from Mulholland Drive.
- In The Deaf-mute, the Senator and the Future of Our Country, the ghosts of René's mentors appear in much the same way as the Force ghosts do in Return of the Jedi.
- Split-screen cuts in the episode Use the Force, Ferretti are an homage to 24. Also obviously the name of he episode
- On that note, a ton of episode titles are obvious or less-than-obvious citations from movies, such as The Sky over Stanis (a pun on the original title of Wim Wender's "Wings of Desire", 'the sky over Berlin'); No Logo; Use the Force, Ferretti; The Importance of Being Well-Liked by Lawyers; Back To The Future; Stanis Must Not Die.
- Ultimate Job Security: Almost everyone has it, as literally everyone on the set is protected by (and is there because of) some politician or other person-in-power. This becomes later a plot point as Lopez and Sergio force René to pick someone to fire to cut costs, and he has to pick the one with the "least" protection.