C’est moi le chef is a sitcom available on Disney+ that follows the daily lives of a middle-class American family in Colorado. Mike’s father is a marketing manager for a sporting goods company. Alas, his boss Ed tells him that he must give up antics for the end of the world. In return, he offers to open a video blog on the site.
Dad makes noise
We like to portray people in their fifties and other older age groups as digital morons. On the show, on the other hand, Mike shows that he has figured out how to create buzz on the Web. Everything goes: politics – Obama is the devil himself – his couple, his family, his job, but managing to promote hunting, fishing, camping and shooting products from his store.
In short, Mike was one of the first influential people, so to speak. The series deals with the explicitly pro-Republican bias of the Obama era. Nothing out of the ordinary: we’re in Colorado, and since Dr. Quinn, a female doctor, the mentality has evolved more slowly than broadband. At first glance, there is some kind of reactionary complacency, but this must be overcome a priori. Indeed, when you dig, you realize that the first layer is used to highlight certain events as well as sensitivity.
The writers had a lot of fun shaking up the American Republicans on the show, in particular by integrating characters that are far from the ideal representation of the American Republican family. This explains why the series works.
Human and conventional challenges
First challenge: management of a pregnant teenage girl. The eldest in the family, Kristin, became pregnant after her high school prom. Instead of studying, she leaves the child, little Boyd and her boyfriend disappear. He reappears later, with a little more maturity. Mike doesn’t pull out his shotgun right away, and even though he’s often irritated by the liberal side—if you mean the socialist side—of his son-in-law Ryan, he ends up sticking to it, and sometimes even agreeing with it. Obviously, as with any American family show, unwanted pregnancies are carried to term, but since we’re on a sitcom, all is well in the best of worlds.
In the middle we have Mandy. A rather frivolous woman who has trouble counting to ten, she manages to set up an online fashion business and grow it. Along the way, she falls in love with an employee at the store where Mike works, the charming Kayla, who is just as confused as she is. One might wonder how these two could have survived in the real world, but then again, it works. On a side note, Mike’s advice to Mandy to thrive online makes sense and can inspire our current aspiring entrepreneurs.
Finally, we have the youngest, Eva, who looks a bit like the boy in the family. While Mandy can’t survive without mascara – and we understand her – her youngest daughter literally discovers what a dress is like when she enters high school. At this level, it is no longer a clash of cultures, but a clash of galaxies. She wants to become a soldier, but her plans do not come true the way she wants.
Unlike the French, who like to talk about politics but forget to vote, Americans are practically not politicized. If we were to condition football season viewing on the equivalent of a voter card, we would reduce abstention by 25 points. Since the Bush Jr days, we’ve started to see some references to domestic politics in TV shows, including family sitcoms. But, in the end, it was from the mandates of Barack Obama that the writers decided to increase the line.
In Empire, we have a pro-Obama version presented as some kind of messiah, which he was not, and in I am the boss, as the devil, the source of all American ills, whatever he was. We also understand—even if it’s not necessarily the goal or explicitly stated—how Americans were able to vote for Trump. It will be said that this is a chronologically absurd analysis.
The family depicted in the series has no real difficulties. They have a good roof over their heads, they live in a charming neighborhood, they are in good health, their children have been educated like their parents, they are white and Protestant. Locked in a social bubble, they are also locked in an ideological bubble, according to which a good American is a patriotic and hardworking American. One who does not earn his living properly is lazy. We can laugh all we want at these Americans who voted for Trump, but we have their “cousins” in France who voted for the extreme right because they work and are not entitled to any help. The series ended when Trump arrived at the White House. So it’s interesting to watch: it’s an intellectual journey.
We said it: Mike uses his vlog to both capture everyday life and sell accessories. Feel free to take notes, especially if you’re new to YouTube. For example, when he talks about fishing, we see the skin of the website and the fish starts moving while he talks.
At the beginning of the video, we zoom in on Mike’s image and gradually back out to see the site’s home page, which allows us to see ads for the products he’s talking about embedded on the side. His sketches are presented in such a way that it seems quite natural to us that he tells us about camping tents, hunting knives, guns, etc. There are several great ideas that you can pick up for your own marketing, and for this alone it is worth paying attention to.
But, this time, the American series speaks well of the French and, in particular, the Basques. Mike’s boss is a Basque, which gives rise to rather cute humorous skits over the episodes. Admittedly, an American TV series that speaks well of the French – with the exception of the Iraq War – in the mouths of Republican Americans, is still not so widespread. The younger ones don’t recognize some of the show’s guest stars, and that’s completely normal. Not everyone recognized the author of his lines. Moral of the story: more television and less parliamentary sessions. But let’s get down to business: I’m the boss! a good family sitcom, without sexual or scatological jokes, which can be watched with children. So if you’re a Disney+ subscriber, give Mike and his colorful tribe a try.