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News 2019

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Why do we continue to compulsively quote Boris after 10 years?

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Perchè continuiamo a citare compulsivamente Boris dopo 10 anni?

• tre giorni fa



Sono ormai passati ben 12 anni da quando Fox e FX hanno mandato in onda la prima stagione di Boris, la fuori serie italiana. Eppure le sue battute più famose sono ancora parte integrante del repertorio di series addicted e non. Boris non ha un seguito ampio come grandi serie straniere del calibro di Breaking Bad o Game of Thrones. Ma una cosa è certa: quel seguito è compatto e unito dall'idea comune che Boris sia un capolavoro indiscusso. Un prodotto innovativo e unico nel panorama televisivo nostrano. I fan adorano la serie, la riguardano instancabilmente e la citano compulsivamente a distanza ormai di anni. Perché? Perché ogni volta che Ferretti chiede che una scena venga fatta a c***o di cane perdiamo il respiro dalle risate? Certamente sì. Ma è solo una delle infinite ragioni del suo successo.


Boris non è semplicemente la storia di un bizzarro set televisivo. È una descrizione fine e capillare del Bel paese, della società italiana, e della nostra cultura.


È una metafora del “sistema Italia”, in cui Gli Occhi del Cuore e il suo set fanno da microcosmo narrativo. Mentre i protagonisti sono adattamenti delle più disparate versioni dell'italiano medio.



Definirla satira all'italiana risulterebbe perfino riduttivo. La serie ideata dal compianto Mattia Torre con i colleghi Luca Vendruscolo e Giacomo Ciarrapico sembra quasi un'opera di Neorealismo italiano nell'epoca del satellitare (ne avevamo parlato anche qui). Rivoluzionaria quindi, nel suo essere così stilisticamente nostalgica. Pretenziosa, ma a buon diritto. E il risultato l'ha premiata. Boris è riuscita con successo a suscitare tutte le emozioni che si proponeva, dall'ilarità all'amarezza. Ha saputo descrivere attraverso il proprio pretesto narrativo un intero sistema politico e culturale. E con un cast corale sapientemente scelto che ha saputo inquadrare tutti i livelli della società italiana, delineandoli con tutti i rappresentanti più ovvi.


Potremmo attribuire a questa sua capillarità narrativa la capacità di prestarsi ancora, a distanza di dieci anni, a un ampio citazionismo calzante in ogni contesto.


Ma anche all'impressionante vicinanza alla realtà della finzione messa in scena. Che, tenendo presente la sensazione quasi claustrofobica che la serie è in grado di suscitare, ci porta all'amarezza che caratterizza Boris. La storia di un sistema che non riesce a cambiare, in cui ognuno, volente o nolente, resta intrappolato. D'altronde si tratta esattamente della caratteristica che più di tutte avvicina Boris alle commedie neorealistiche. Una costruzione che ha le proprie fondamenta nella narrazione di sogni e speranze per il futuro che si scontrano con la disperazione e la frustrazione della vita di tutti i giorni. Un racconto sulla verità dell'essere “piccoli” e vivere ai piedi della piramide in un paese come l'Italia.


Un paese che non conosce meritocrazia, che si fonda su obsoleti sistemi di conoscenze e raccomandazioni. In cui il più fine intelletto viene bollato come “fichetto”. Che a questo preferisce il più semplice arrangiamento di cose fatte alla carlona, un tanto ar chilo. Un paese in cui il fatto che un'altra televisione non sia possibile è metafora di una realtà ben più dura: un'altra Italia forse non è possibile. “Un paese di musichette mentre fuori c'è la morte”.



Quella stessa Italia in cui è spaventosamente facile ritrovare nella realtà di tutti i giorni esempi di persone e situazioni che Torre, Vendruscolo e Ciarrapico ci hanno raccontato con goliardia.


Una somiglianza che si prospetta timida attraverso l'impacciato arrivo sul set di Alessandro lo stagista, ma che diventa subito prepotente nel va*******o riservatogli da Sergio appena 20 secondi dopo. Un'attinenza alla realtà di tanti giovani tirocinanti e ormai datati lavoratori italiani che non smette mai di sorprenderci. Dalla filosofia di Biascica “tutto questo un giorno sarà tuo, ma prima... porta un caffè” agli straordinari d'aprile, simbolo di un'Italia che non ha ancora imparato a valorizzare il lavoro della manovalanza. E non solo.


Lo stagista muto, alias Lorenzo, è l'esempio perfetto dell'impopolarità del talento. La sua etica professionale, la devozione e l'innegabile bravura sono cose da niente a fronte della sua fantomatica antipatia. Una caratteristica interamente riscontrabile nello scarso spirito cameratesco, tipico di chi lavora dietro le quinte. Lo stesso vale per altre figure che rappresentano in Boris il talento e il relativo oblio in cui è puntualmente relegato. Come Orlando Serpentieri, maestro dell'arte drammatica, costretto a passare dal Macbeth a fare Gli Occhi del Cuore perchè tra le due cose ce n'è una che si chiama mutuo.


Figure che si scontrano con quelle che rappresentano invece la mediocrità, enfatizzata dalla serie come il segreto del successo.


In questo senso è fondamentale la figura di Duccio: Vate indiscusso di chi si nutre della sua stessa filosofia: “chiudersi a riccio”. Non leggere niente di niente per stare bene, fare tabula rasa. La versione borisiana del ben noto “beato chi non capisce nulla”. O non vuole capire nulla. Perchè Duccio in fin de conti si fa rappresentante di quella fascia di lavoratori in cui rientrano diverse categorie. Dai furbetti del cartellino ai semplici pigri troppo sicuri di un posto di lavoro statale. Di quelli che ti pagano bene per lavorare poco e male, proprio come piace a Duccio.


Boris è stata un'innovazione perchè non ha avuto paura di raccontare tutto ciò schiettamente. La verità di un sistema lavorativo fatto di straordinari non pagati, cavi non a norma e risultati mediocri. Tirocini gratuiti che fanno degli stagisti dei veri e propri schiavi: una parola che la serie infatti non ha mancato di utilizzare col dovuto sarcasmo. Perchè come dice Sergio “questo lavoro lo puoi fare in due modi: o con i sindacati sempre in mezzo o con la passione. Ce vo' passione!”> E ancora le raccomandazioni e l'ombra sempre presente della politica. La puntata divisa in due parti “Il sordomuto, il senatore e gli equilibri del paese” è illuminante in merito all'influenza della politica sulla televisione.



Boris ci ha fatto ridere e ci ha fatto riflettere. Le sue battute storiche hanno saputo racchiudere con efficacia molte di quelle verità raccontate altrove con l'aura di politically correct che in Italia piace tanto. Ecco perchè la citiamo compulsivamente.


Basta pensare alle frasi più celebri. La soluzione di Karin a ogni problema: “In Italia, se vuoi fa' 'na cosa, la devi da'!” L'ossessione di Stanis per tutto ciò che risulta a suo avviso “troppo italiano”, simbolo della secolare esterofilia dell'italiano medio che scade spesso nell'assurdo. La ben nota “A noi la qualità c'ha rotto er ca**o!” di René Ferretti. Frase semplice ma diretta nel definire ciò che spesso in Italia riesce a guadagnarsi il trionfo.


Ferretti è forse il personaggio più completo di Boris perchè rappresenta lo spettro più ampio dell'italiano medio. I sogni, le velleità artistiche, quello che poteva essere un talento ma nel contesto sbagliato, la disillusione, la rabbia e la lotta per la sopravvivenza. Uno spettro emotivo perfettamente espresso dal range di battute affidategli. Da “Viva la m***a!” alla Formica Rossa. Da “cagna maledetta” al monologo in cui riprende la “figlia di Mazinga” (sempre troppo poco annoverato tra i momenti migliori della serie).



Boris ha avuto il grande merito di deridere la tv italiana e l'italiano medio senza peli sulla lingua ma con l'intelligenza di chi di cultura ne ha da vendere.


Perchè non manca di riempire il proprio copione di parolacce e al tempo stesso delle più raffinate citazioni al cinema e alla letteratura. Un accostamento adorato da quelli che oggi verrebbero definiti radical chic. A ogni modo, qualunque sia la ragione per la quale continuate a citare Boris a distanza di dieci anni, non smettete di farlo neanche tra cinquanta. Non si sa mai, magari un giorno incontrate Gesù sulla Roma-L'Aquila e sarete pronti a dirgli:

“Sembra che l'unico fra noi due che sta facendo uno sforzo per evitare che IO ti meni sono sempre io. La stessa persona che però, prima o poi, ti menerà.”

Why do we continue to compulsively quote Boris after 10 years?

• three days ago



12 years have passed since Fox and FX aired the first season of Boris, the Italian off series. Yet its most famous lines are still an integral part of the catalogue of series addicted and not. Boris has not a large following as famous foreign series as Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. But one thing is certain: that following is compact and united from the common idea that Boris is an undisputed masterpiece. An innovative and unique product in the Italian television panorama. Fans love the series, they tirelessly watch it and quote it compulsively years later by now. Why? Because every time that Ferretti asks for a scene to be made to f***ing dog we lose our breath with laughters? Yes of course. But it's just one of the endless reasons for its success.


Boris is not simply the story of a bizarre TV set. It's a fine and capillary description of Italy, of the Italian society, and of Italian culture.


It's a metaphor of the “Italy system”, in which The Eyes of the Heart and its set act as a narrative microcosm. While the protagonists are adaptations of the most disparate versions of the average Italian.



To call it Italian-style satire would be even reductive. The series created by pitied Mattia Torre with the colleagues Luca Vendruscolo and Giacomo Ciarrapico seems like a work of Italian Neorealism in the age of the satellite (we had also talked about it here). Revolutionary therefore, in its being so stylistically nostalgic. Pretentious, but rightly so. And the result has rewarded it. Boris succeeded successfully in arousing all the emotions it proposed, from hilarity to bitterness. It has been able to describe through his narrative pretext an entire political and cultural system. And with a wisely chosen choral cast who has been able to show all the levels of Italian society, outlining them with all the most obvious representatives.


We could attribute to this its narrative capillarity the ability to lend itself, after ten years, to a wide quotationism that is fitting in every context.


But also to the impressive closeness to the reality of the fiction staged. Which, bearing in mind the almost claustrophobic feeling that the series is able to arouse, brings us to the bitterness that characterizes Boris. The story of a system that fails to change, in which everyone, willy-nilly, remains trapped. On the other hand it's exactly the characteristic that most closely brings together Boris to neorealistic comedies. A construction that has its own foundations in the narration of dreams and hopes for the future that clash with the desperation and frustration of everyday life. A story about the truth of being “small” and living at the feet of the pyramid in a country like Italy.


A country that knows no meritocracy, which is based on obsolete knowledge systems and recommendations. In which the finest intellect is branded as “cool”. That to this prefers the simpler arrangement of things done carelessly, approximately. A country where the fact that another television is not possible is a metaphor for a much harsher reality: another Italy perhaps isn't possible. “A country of jingles while outside there is the death”.



That same Italy in which it's frighteningly easy to find in everyday reality examples of people and situations that Torre, Vendruscolo and Ciarrapico have told us with goliardery.


A resemblance that looks timid through the awkward arrival on the set of Alessandro the intern, but that immediately becomes overbearing in the f**k reserved for him by Sergio just 20 seconds later. A connection to the reality of so many young trainees and now outdated Italian workers that never stops to surprise us. From the philosophy of Biascica “all this will be yours one day, but first... bring a coffee” to the April overtimes, symbol of an Italy that hasn't yet learned to give value the work of the laborers. And not only.


The dumb intern, alias Lorenzo, is the perfect example of the unpopularity of the talent. His professional ethics, devotion and undeniable skill are nothing compared to his uncatchable dislike. A characteristic that can be found entirely in the poor comradely spirit, typical of those who work behind the scenes. The same applies to other figures that represent in Boris the talent and the relative oblivion in which he's punctually relegated. As Orlando Serpentieri, master of the dramatic art, forced to pass from Macbeth to play The eyes of the heart because between the two things there is one that is called mortgage.


Figures that clash with those that instead represent the mediocrity, emphasized by the series as the secret of success.


In this sense the figure of Duccio is fundamental: Undisputed vate of those who feed on his own philosophy: “to close like a hedgehog”. Don't read anything at all to feel good, make a clean sheet. The Boris version of the well-known “blessed is who understands nothing”. Or doesn't want to understand anything. Because Duccio eventually becomes the representative of that group of workers who fall into different categories. From the crafty of the badge to the simple lazy ones too sure of a state job. Of those who they pay you well to work little and badly, just as Duccio likes it.


Boris has been an innovation because it was not afraid to tell all this frankly. The truth of a work system made up of unpaid overtimes, non-compliant cables and mediocre results. Free internships that make interns real slaves: a word that the series has not failed to use with due sarcasm. Because as Sergio says “you can do this work in two ways: either with the unions always in the middle or with the passion. It takes passion!” And again the recommendations and the ever-present shadow of politics. The episode divided into two parts “The deaf-mute, the senator and the balances of Italy” is enlightening about the influence of politics on television.



Boris made us laugh and made us think. Its historical lines have been able to effectively encompass many of those truths told elsewhere with the aura of politically correct that in Italy likes so much. That's why we mention it compulsively.


Just think of the most famous phrases. Karin's solution to every problem: “In Italy, if you want to do something, you have to make sex!” Stanis' obsession with everything he believes “too Italian”, symbol of the secular xenophilia of the average Italian that often leads in the absurd. The well known “The quality has fu***d with us!” by René Ferretti. Simple but direct phrase in defining what often in Italy succeeds in winning the triumph.


Ferretti is perhaps the most complete character of Boris because he represents the widest spectrum of the average Italian. The dreams, the artistic ambitions, what could have been a talent but in the wrong context, the disillusionment, the anger and the struggle for the survival. An emotional spectrum perfectly expressed by the range of lines entrusted to him. From “Hurrah for the s**t!” to the Red Ant. From “damned bitch” to the monologue in which he scolds the “Mazinga's daughter” (always too little counted among the best moments of the series).



Boris has had the great merit of mocking the Italian TV and the average Italian without hairs on the tongue but with the intelligence of those who have culture to sell.


Because it doesn't fail to fill its script with swear words and at the same time the most refined quotations to cinema and literature. A combination adored by those that today would be defined radical chic. In any case, whatever the reason for which you keep quoting Boris ten years later, don't stop doing it even in fifty. You never know, maybe one day you meet Jesus on the Rome-L'Aquila highway and you'll be ready to tell him:

“It seems that the only one of us that is making an effort to avoid that I beat you up is always me. The same person than however, sooner or later, will beat you up.”

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