Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Servant of the People: Final Episodes

Previously I was able to watch the first season.  After awhile Netflix offered the remaining two seasons.  More recently was I able to fiinish the series.  What makes it unique is it ended because Zelensky became the actual president of Ukraine.  Check:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2022/03/servant-of-people-season-one.html

 It is not a coincidence  Throughout the series there was a lot of satire comedy, but the last few episodes had the feel of a campaign. 

Much of the humor was local.  Donbass, Luhansk and Crimea were mentioned, even the USSR.  A reference to Galicia where some of my wife's family came from.  One censored bit was a joke made regarding Putin's Hublot watch that had been used for an anti-Putin chant.

Zelensky was cast as an opinionated history teacher whose students liked his views.  Over the series he is portrayed in conversations with Plutarch, Abraham Lincoln, Ivan the Terrible among a few others.   There were pleas for national unity realizing there is strength in diverse unity.

The over riding issue from start to finish seems to be corruption.  In the first seasons Zelensky is always fighting corruption.  Near the end Zelensky is jailed as he has upset corrupt factions that are able to cook up phony charges.  He is rescued by international forces and some honest Ukrainians who realize his sincerity and honesty.  

The last 2 episodes to be honest seem like campaign advertising.  It seems idealistic (like many campaign promises), but Zelensky seems like a leader.   A segment has been added in the last episode that looks back on the events of 2015-2019 where promises made have led to a much better life.  Medical students who at first weren't interested but in reality had taken the good life for granted.  A campaign promise was to pay back debts as main mission to earn real independence.  Another one was to advocate for language equality--Zelensky's first language as with many other Ukrainians is Russian.

On March 31st, 2018 a political party was registered with the government, taking the name of the show.  On April 21, 2019 Zelensky was elected president.

From my first blog the available information of the crew was very sketchy and is now a little better.  Am listing some partly because I fear they may be lost to history.  

Writing staff included Andr Yakoviev, Oleksiy Kiryushchenlo, Yuriy Kostyuk, Yuriy Mykulenko with  Volodymyr Zelensky a creator and also a producer.

Serhiy Koshael was the cinematographer.  Andriy Kiryushchenko wrote music.

The series had been telecast not only in Ukraine, but also Belorussia  (in prime time) and even Russia. After the Russian invasion over twenty nations picked up the series including Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova and Finland.

Ukraine is under fire.  Putin's ego has put him in a corner.  The easy romp turned out to be more difficult.  Many of his own people have turned against him.  He belittles Zelensky, but in fact Zelensky is perhaps the most admired leader in the world  He says the right thing and talks to the world.    Perhaps his producer background has taught him the importance of marketing. He has been allowed to talk to many international parliaments and has talked with such popular cultural institutions as the Cannes Film Festial.

Financial squeeze is not as total as it could be as some countries are resistant, mostly autocracies as Saudi Arabia, but also much of South America, Africa, India.  China has tried to keep a distance, but is wary of the example that could be used against it regarding Taiwan    One worries that Putin will be desperate, but helpless.  The U.S. has picked up a battle axe and marshaled other nations to send weapons and financial support.  One result has been the price of gas and for many it will be the price of food.  

As you watch you have the advantage of a backward view of history.  Tv. is not real, but it does express idealism and you can appreciate the leadership of Zelensky.

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