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Servant of the People (Season 1): Volodymyr Zelensky's Magnum Opus

Updated: Dec 24, 2023


Volodymyr Zelensky has experienced a meteoric rise from the role of a comedian and actor to that of a fierce and courageous leader as the current president of Ukraine.


One of the best works of Zelensky as an actor was the TV series Servant of the People which was produced by his company and starred him in the leading role. Considering the current conflict in Ukraine I wanted to take a look at the series out of sheer curiosity.


Plot of Servant of the People


The story of this series revolves around the high school history teacher Vasyl Petrovych Goloborodko (Zelensky). Vasyl is shot into the limelight after a video of him criticizing the corrupt government of Ukraine goes viral and his students and everyone he knows push him to run for President.


The humble Vasyl

What follows is the whirlwind crash course doled out by the former Prime Minister Yuri Ivanovich, who is hand-in-glove with the Oligarchs of the country who employ corrupt practices and drain the country's resources for their own ends.



I understand that the director wants to show Oligarchs as the bad guys, but the stereotypical mustache-twirling, cigar-holding image comes off as a bit juvenile and really corny. They could have depicted them better at least in the first season.



Servant of the People
The Shady Ukrainian Oligarchs could have been shown better


With time, Vasyl realizes how broken the system is, and tries to fix it with a new, functional government. The history-teacher side of his persona is shown as he tries to have full-blown conversations with historical figures in his mind both, in tense situations when awake and while asleep. This is not bad, and actually a bit funny in places and shows us that he is an idealistic dreamer.



The twists and turns of this series are a bit predictable, but enjoyable nevertheless. Zelenksy is a great actor who delivers an amazing performance in this series.


The real-life parallels between this series and Zelensky's life are nothing to sneeze at, with Zelensky using the momentum of the popularity this series brought him to run for President.



Should You Watch It?


If you are looking to get to know the on-screen persona of the current President of Ukraine, then, yes it is a great watch. In terms of plot complexity and mystery, it does not offer much. But entertainment value? absolutely! It is currently available on Netflix (India).


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