Now available on Netflix is the comedy series Servant of the People, in which Volodymyr Zelenskyy played a President of Ukraine before becoming the President of Ukraine in the real world. But the parallels to reality are no coincidence…
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of February and the associated war in the Eastern European country, Volodymyr Zelensky has become world famous. As Ukrainian President, he is in the middle of a conflict, an important decision-maker and with his public appearance and announcements such as “We need ammunition, no rides” he sent important signals of resistance against Russian superiority in dire need. It’s hard to believe that this man, who now fearlessly defends an entire nation, was once a comedian. In fact, Selenskyj’s professional roots lie in entertainment: His comedy series Servants of the People is now available in its entirety on Netflix.
If you don’t have a Netflix subscription, you can watch the first season for free in the Arte media library. The remaining two seasons are to follow there by the end of May:
›› “Servant of the People” on Netflix
›› “Servant of the people” in the Arte media library
This is “servant of the people”
“Servants of the People” is a political comedy with a satirical character. It is about the history teacher Wassyl Holoborodko (Volodymyr Zelenskyj), who lets himself be carried away in a lesson in a rant against Ukrainian politics. His students film the freak out and put the video on the internet, where it spread rapidly and was very popular. Without his intervention, the students organize an election campaign and ensure that the newly divorced teacher, who lives with his parents, is actually elected president.
Of course, he is hopelessly overwhelmed with the situation at first. But at least he’s not as corrupt as his predecessors, which is why he manages to unite the country without any prior experience…
Did this series foresee or even bring about reality?
“Servant of the People” ran from 2016 to 2019 and only shortly after the broadcast of the third season did the real presidential campaign start, in which Volodymyr Zelenskyy was actually elected President of Ukraine. Anyone who believes that this is a supernatural or accidental prediction of the future, as the “Simpsons” are often accused of, is wrong. In fact, Zelenskyj’s role in the series was an important part of his election campaign. Finally, the party Sluha narodu, with which Komiker won the election, even named itself after the original title of the series.
Servant of the People was a huge hit in Ukraine, and it’s probably thanks in part to the popularity of Selesnkyj’s satirical comedy character that he won the election campaign with a vast majority of 73 percent of the vote. Similar to his series counterpart, he presented himself as a likeable outsider who had nothing to do with the corrupt political establishment and could therefore bring about change. Political experts are to judge whether Zelenskyy would have ever had the chance to become President of Ukraine even without “servants of the people”. But this series, which is now available on Netflix, definitely played a role in the election campaign.