The most daring opening scene in the history of Russian TV series. In the very first shot, there is a naked man’s backside, the owner of which slightly, but not completely, covers a naked young woman from us in an unambiguous pose. After a few seconds, we realize that this is another take of oral sex in a porn studio. We are shown several sitters and sitters, after which they “introduce” a girl who is clearly in a movie like this for the first time. It was her turn to work, and now cameras are surrounding her and three naked men for a new porn video with group intercourse. Stylistically, this episode resembles Requiem for a Dream, so when the crossed out title Happy End pops up, everyone already knows that the title is ironic, and the blonde who has just been shown has had better times.
Streaming more.tv generally relies on tough products so far. The two seasons of “Difficult Teens”, “Chicky” and “Crazy” – the series is far from funny, although with humor everything is in order there. Now, after the start of Happy End, we can say with confidence that this online service has decided to occupy a completely definite niche in the market in terms of content produced. Let’s try to highlight its main features. This is, firstly, uncompromising content: a lot of obscenity sounds from the screen, the characters are not afraid to be naked in the frame and depict sex realistically, and if they fight, then they are also very close to how it looks in the normal world, that is, with blood, snot , dirt and some special awkwardness. Without the grace and choreography of professional MMA fighters.
The second sign is a conversation about modernity and topical issues that are understandable to any viewer. Overload with loans, difficulties in creating your own startup, cyberspace traps, webcams, bitcoins, homosexuals, transgender people, surrogacy – all this immediately captures the audience, but does not seem speculative. It’s just that this is also our world, our Moscow and our province, we recognize ourselves in the heroes and can easily imagine ourselves in their place.
At the same time, more.tv does not let politics into its shows, so even the most sarcastic hypocrites in the frame never make comments about the agenda. In Russia, which is shown by streaming, there are no conservatives or oppositionists, the heroes do not fight hysterics about paid parking or taxes, and do not go to rallies. True, this can be explained by dramatic considerations: the characters are interested in love, sex, money and success, but nevertheless, it is this factor that does not allow us to say that the more.tv series fully “spell out the time,” as Alexander Rodnyansky puts it.
The third is the discovery of new names. Or new qualities of already known names. Competitors more.tv often put on a media supercast, and this streaming made Varvara Shmykova and Alena Mikhailova stars after “Chick”, made everyone believe in Konstantin Bogomolov’s acting talent in “Psycho” infrequently), in the same place he discovered Paulina Andreeva as a screenwriter – and Fyodor Bondarchuk as a showrunner. Happy End – benefit performance by Lena Tronina and Denis Vlasenko. The latter could be seen in Ivan Tverdovsky’s “Toss”, Tronina starred in the pilot of the series “Identification”, but right now they will become famous throughout the country and will be in great demand, because, and this is also important, somehow in their own series more. tv all the artists play very well. Often better than one would expect from them. And there is no logical explanation for this phenomenon. Finally, we add that the director of the Happy End is the star of the Gogol Center Yevgeny Sangadzhiev, who has this debut as a film director. And also very convincing. Coincidence?
Fourth, the more.tv shows target different age segments at once. For example, Happy End first presents itself as a youth story. Here are three 19-year-old heroes. The provincial drug dealer Max (Alexander Gorchilin), frightened by the bandits, set up his girlfriend Leroux (Tronin) and his best friend Vlad (Vlasenko). They had to urgently flee to Moscow, and there Vlad, a talented programmer and a convinced masturbator (both are symbols of independence for him), convinced Leroux that you can earn a lot of money through webcam services, which he himself regularly uses. Webcam is when a model in front of a computer demonstrates herself naked on the bed, and from another point in the world an invisible client looks at her via video link and throws money into her account. This is not prostitution, not striptease and not flirting, but something different, special, and this is not the first time Russian cinema has turned to this amazing business, just remember the festival hits Sheena667 and Kitboy.
And this story would have remained a story about youth without complexes, if the authors had not introduced into the narrative the metropolitan single mother 40+ (Lyubov Tolkalina), who is stuck in credits, who is in no less constrained circumstances than Lera and Vlad. As we quickly understand already in the first episodes of the show, she will definitely try herself as a webcam model. Although more.tv does not report this directly, the very logic of the narrative is arranged in such a way that a woman with an adult student son, who requires constant financial investments, cannot get away from selling her virtual image, and this decision will be symptomatic: it is impossible to make a living humanly, you have to get out and make compromises. Just this move should catch the older audience, and there, perhaps, the parents of the heroes, who were already played in the first episode by the brilliant artists Alexei Agranovich and Evgenia Dobrovolskaya, will also catch up to the main plot. Then, as if the “adult” line did not outweigh the youth.
Finally, fifthly, the more.tv series is just very bold. It is clear that the abundance of relevant details is fully justified by the Happy End theme and should work to attract new subscribers, while it does not contradict Russian legislation. But still, the audacity of streaming should be surprised and welcomed: the risk in the field of content today is worth its weight in gold, even if it is virtual.
The author is a candidate of philological sciences, a columnist for Izvestia
The editorial position may not coincide with the opinion of the author