If you are over 30, you may not know what “Askip” means, an acronym for “As it seems”. Commonly used by young people, this term is also used as the title of one of the most popular TV series of the moment among college students. The first season, launched on Okoo during the lockdown in April 2020, has accumulated more than 1.8 million views in less than a year.
“Paradoxically, this dive behind the scenes of a college, at a time when all establishments were closed, allowed young people to reconnect with a familiar reality and to escape the anxiety-provoking climate”, analysis Benoît Masocco, creator and director of the series.
Journalist at the Capa agency, within which he produced surveys and documentaries (“Cameras under lock”, “The sinking of the Titanic”, “The Spark”), he had long sought to portray this key age , between 9 and 14 years old, “Period when we abandon the carelessness of childhood but where we do not yet master all the codes of adolescence”. Faced with the difficulty of obtaining authorizations to film real schoolchildren in situation, Benoît Masocco had the idea of a fiction recounting the shooting of a documentary, a series combining realism and pure comedy.
“This mix of genres makes it possible to tackle serious subjects, such as grossophobia, homophobia or divorce, with the right amount of distance and humor. Discreetly “, he says. A supervisor and teachers, consulted for the writing of the first season, provided situations and anecdotes to the team of six writers. For the second, Benoit Masocco immersed himself for a week in a college in the south of Paris, attending classes from the back of a classroom and interacting with the students of the theater option.
“Basically, the questions and discomforts of adolescents are the same as they were fifteen years ago, but some attitudes and expressions had to be brought up to date”, assures the 41-year-old director. On screen, the handful of adult comedians, all professionals, are stolen the spotlight by the new generation.
During very intense filming in an establishment in Sète, empty during the school holidays, the fifteen young actors, a third of whom are starting on the screen, quickly created a troupe spirit. Despite very written scenarios, validated by France Télévisions, they have the freedom to appropriate the dialogues, to add their two cents, provided they avoid any rudeness.
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In season 2, put online gradually since Friday (at the rate of three episodes per week), five new characters have joined the small band, such as Noa, a Congolese refugee, or Dorian, very committed to ecological issues. Dyslexia, puberty, grade repetition, cyber-bullying or eating disorders will be part of the topics covered but not the Covid-19, “So as not to date the series”, specifies Benoit Masocco, big fan of “Friends”, “the” timeless sitcom. While entertaining tweens, Askip also hopes to get them thinking and providing parents, who often look over their shoulders, with some conversation starters.