Web Video / Les Operateurs

Les Opérateurs is a French webseries from 2012 made by Frenchnerd, like Le Visiteur du Futur and J'ai jamais su dire non. It is directed by François Descraques (who also created Le Visiteur du Futur) and Slimane-Baptiste Berhoun (also main actor of Les Opérateurs, J'ai jamais su dire non, and an important supporting character in Le Visiteur du Futur. The series has one season of ten episodes and reached its end.

Les Opérateurs deals with Slim, new employee of a firm named [.] (really). He doesn't understand what the firm does and his coworker (including Fran, the one with which he shares his office) act in a very strange way.

Les Opérateurs provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Almost Kiss: With Fran and Slim just after interroging the Human Resource Manager. They are interrupted by Simon.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: According to classified documents found on Charles computer, [.] objectives (told by a series of subliminal images) include "manipulation", "brainwashing", and "orange chicken".
  • Artificial Intelligence: The Human Resource Manager of [.] is a very intelligent computer.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: In the offices. Fran believes that the small boxes serves this role. We don’t receive any explicit answer about this item (altough nothing happens when Slim finally tosses one through the window of their office), but then we (not the characters, but it is shown on the screen) that there is actually a camera hidden in the office, behind a plant.
  • Brick Joke: In the beginning of the series, Slim makes the hypothesis that the coded data he and Fran puts in boards refers to office supplies. Fran answers that coding such stuff would make little sense, except if [.] was smuggling paperclip. The last scene of the series shows an alien who seems to be behind the whole firm and who holds some paperclips.
  • Celebrity Star: The French famous actor and humorist François Rollin plays the doctor of [.].
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the beginning of the first episode, Slim receives a wage bill (blank, because he has not being paid yet : he just joined the firm). In the fourth episode, we learn that [.] doesn’t have male / female separated bathrooms but three types of bathrooms designed by Greek letters. The letters refer to the hierarchical position of the employee and they appears on the wage bill.
  • Closest Thing We Got / Not That Kind of Doctor: The doctor of [.] began studies of medicine but stopped them before the end of his first year. He has an actual doctorate… in German.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Fran and Charles. Charles acts slighlty more sane with some occasional strange sentences (there is a whole sequence in which he speaks with Slim and Fran – standing right in front of him – like he was phoning), Fran is more paranoid. Most of the cast has some shade of it.
    • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Sort of, for Fran. [.] is really conducting some kinds of psychological experiments on its staff, but is not controlled by aliens.
      • The End... Or Is It?: The Shareholders answers "yes" to all Fran’s questions, except the one where she asks if all of this is an alien masquerade. Then, the last second of the show is a weird tentacled thing (we only see its tentacles) watching what happen in [.] through cameras, including the home of the Seventh Shareholder.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: How does Slim managed to make the security men go further from Charles office (which allows Fran and him to enter in it)? By saying them "Hey, both of you, there is something wrong with Anna in the restaurant. She is totally drunk… and naked!". Both of them run to see it.
    • Note that she was actually drunk at this moment (although she was sober when Slim left her there).
  • The Ditz: Simon is the janitor and the repairman of [.]. For example, Tuesday is the day when he cleans the ceiling, so in Tuesday he doesn’t look the floor.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Remember Simon, the Ditz janitor (or "Multisurface Operator")? He is the Seventh Shareholder.
  • Exact Words:
    • This discussion between Fran and the for Human Resource Manager, which decided Fran to enter in Charles office, which is technically true, but Charles does this only to incite her to finally enter his office. He spent his vacation days hidden in the closet of his office.
    Where is Charles?
    Charles has just took some vacation days.
    • Latter in the series, when Slim and Fran are busted by Charles after entering his office and reading the classified document on his computer:
    Fran: So… you won’t kill us?
    Charles: Me? I kill nobody [Then everyone laughs]. There are people paid for this [Slim and Fran suddenly stop laughing]. Stay still, I call them.
  • First-Name Basis: The usual way to speak to your coworkers in [.].
  • Hypocritical Humor : When Charles makes Slim visit [.] at the beginning of the first episode :
    Charles:The more you respect them [the coworker], the more they will respect you. [Then he puts his mug on the top of the head of Simon, who was working on a machine in the corridor]
  • Married to the Job: When asked, the Human Resource Manager answers that Charles computer password is "The name of Charles wife". The true password is the name of the firm.
  • Mathematician's Answer: When discussing with the (informatical) Human Resource Manager:
    Who is the Seventh Shareholder?
    The Main Shareholder. Regards, DRH@[.]comnote 
    Who is the Main Shareholder?
    The Seventh Shareholder. Regards, DRH@[.]com
  • The Men in Black: The security staff of [.].
  • No Ending: Although the plot seems to be resolved in the middle of the last episode, the minutes who follows shows two twists who doesn’t make sense and are left hanging (since the series is officially finished). Those two twists are:
    • When Slim and Fran discover a parallel [.] in which they are supposed to work (both of them are recognized by a supposed coworker and Slim notices that he has a look-alike (or himself older) in the place.
    • And then, the last image is a kind of tentacled thing watching the whole firm (including the place of the Seventh Shareholder).
  • No Name Given / Only One Name: None of the characters have their surname revealed in the course of the story. The major characters (Slim, Fran, Charles, Anna, Simon) are only known by their first name, some of the others (the doctor, the reception girl, the security guys, the Six Shareholders) don't have their name revealed at all.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Charles.
  • Non-Indicative Name : Most of things in [.]. For example, in the first episode, Slim and Fran argues to decide who is the boss of the other (Slim is "Refering Operator", Fran is "Operational Referent"). Both can’t explain what his / her task is supposed to be.
  • The Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Shareholders. Note that the Six Shareholders are not very powerful without the Seventh.
  • Only Sane Man: Slim. In-universe, he feels that Anna is one, too. She eventually reveals that she doesn't know what is happening in [.], but she is totally aware that she doesn't know.
  • The Password Is Always "Swordfish": The password of Charles computer is [.].
  • The Plan: The idea behind [.] is to test how far a manager (like Charles) can abuse the people he leads, and Slim and Fran are his testers (without knowing it), but the managers have received false instructions and believe that the plan is to test the employees to see how far they can go to bey absurd instructions without asking any question. Then, there was a plan behind this plan: the Seventh Shareholder managed to make Slim and Fran fall in love because they would be more efficient at this work. The final twist with the parallel firm and the alien (?) implies another potentiel plan behind this plan, but it isn’t explored at all.
  • Potty Emergency: The whole fourth episode is about Slim suffering from one and looking for a bathroom in which he is allowed to go (see the Chekhov's Gun entry above). He eventually finds the proper bathroom and… discovers that the toilet bowl hasn’t been installed yet. He finally pees in the pipe of the wall.
  • Schmuck Bait: The "Do Not Touch" warning on the small boxes refers to this, but we never learn why we shouldn’t touch it.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The office in which Slim and Fran work is the number 42.
    • Employees of [.] are divided in hierchical categories named after Greek letters. This element could be a reference to Brave New World.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Slim: Nobody is watching us.
    • He says it just when the screen shows that they are observed by a camera hidden in their office.
  • The Unpronouncable: The name of the firm. It is written [.] and is pronounced with a kind of short musical sound.
  • The Unreveal: What are the small boxes for?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The doctor suddenly disappear from the series after being caught for lying at his job interview. Not for being doctorate in German instead of being doctorate in medicine, but because he didn’t notified being daltonian.