The EU as a sitcom: remake of West Wing or Un Gars, Une Fille?
I was “dared” by @kattebel to write something on the latest post by the European Parliament web-editors at Writing for (y)EU, regarding the fascination of EU officials at all levels (even the highest) for the West Wing series, and the dual conclusion drawn by Steve that:
“The first is my new working theory, Steve’s West Wing Paradox or the West Wing euro-idealism coefficient. This theory holds that the extent of devotion to an American TV series about American government is a reasonable indicator of the level of euro-idealism among officials of the EU institutions.
The second is linked to this observation, not least because it in inevitably a theory of limited shelf life, and to the second observation that the EU system is maturing and starting to resemble the US system to an ever greater degree. It is simply that the time is surely ripe for an equivalent of the West Wing to be made about the EU…” [emphasis added by me]
Of course, the thought is tempting, and with all the writing talent both inside the institutions and in euroblogosphere, it could probably be done…the problem is: would anyone outside the EU bubble be willing to sit through a one-hour episode about the fascinating interactions of three Presidents and a High Representative, their inner cabinets and outer DGs, etc? Not so sure, quite frankly! I’m a bigger believer in something short and sweet, maybe less in awe of the fascinating wheels of power and more irreverent in the French sense of the word (i.e. “irrévérencieux”, which does not imply a lack of respect, but just an unwillingness to not criticise at the same time, possibly in a funny way).
So how about this alternative: French TV had a great serie called “Un Gars, une Fille”, showing a guy and a girl (Chouchou and LouLou) in 5-minute episodes in their daily interactions, with everything that can imply in a couple and with nice men/women stereotypes.
Imagine the scene above, replace the guys with Herman and José, the girl with Cathy, the shouting step-mom by the Council…close your eyes…yes, you’re getting my drift (though I would imagine Herman to be less hairy).
But then again, this may be a bit intimate an approach and not suite for our respected institutions (I frankly would not be keen on the bed scene translated to our EU leaders…really not).
A more “professional” alternative would be a remake of “Caméra Café”, with Herman, José, Jerzy, Cathy and all their staffers and entourage meeting around the coffee machine and exchanging their thoughts, frustration, master plans, etc.
Here I leave it to your imagination to replace the actors with EU officials…
So Brussels Wing, Three Presidents and an HR, or Caméra Berlaymont? What do you think? Vote and let us know.
[Addition: Oh, and I'm having some fun exchanges on this with Conor from the European Citizen blog, who is definitely rooting for a "Yes Commissioner" version: check out his post and our exchanges here]