Here it all begins: why the character of Eliott is so important in French series - News Séries à la TV

Here it all begins: why the character of Eliott is so important in French series – News Séries à la TV

Eliott, in a relationship with Greg recently in the daily TF1, recently discovered his asexuality, which leads him to question the definition of the couple. How does this character stand out so much in our French fictions?

Small daily window in the life of the French who watch them, soaps have always reflected the societal themes of their time. Whether it is gay marriage in Plus Belle la vie at the time of the Taubira law, transidentity or more generally the representation of genders and sexualities, daily series have always been one step ahead, in embodying diversity and raising public awareness of societal issues at prime time.

In Here everything begins on TF1, Eliott, a young student played by the brilliant Nicolas Anselmo, stands out from the first episode, and not only for his promising cooking skills. Shimmering outfits, sophisticated hairstyle and neon eyeliner on the eyes, he is immediately taken to task by Greg and Lionel in the locker room. The two self-proclaimed tyrants of the early years section chain insults and gritty innuendo over her appearance, pretending to wonder if it’s a girl or a boy in front of them.

Far from letting himself be unsettled, Eliott undresses and shows off his genitals in front of them to cut short any debate, and dots the i’s with sarcasm. A gesture that particularly disturbs Greg (Mikaël Mittelstadt), whose homophobia we discover later in reality hides a deep denial of oneself (as such, seeing a character repress his homosexuality under openly homophobic behavior towards his victim, of whom he ends up by falling in love is a commonplace often used in the series, from Sex Education with Eric and Adam to Plus Belle la vie with the couple Tom-Luis.)

Right off the bat, Eliott detonates. He first defines himself as non-binary, which means that he does not affiliate exclusively with the masculine or feminine gender to define himself (although he chooses to use masculine pronouns to gender). Later in the series, following yet another provocation from Greg about his sexual orientation, Eliott specifies that he is pansexual, in other words attracted to a person regardless of his sex or gender.

After many adventures, Greg ends up admitting his homosexuality, but especially his attraction to Eliott. But when the young couple finally decides to take the plunge and sleep together, Eliott finds himself totally destabilized. If he swears to love Greg, yet he feels no sexual desire for him. First of all, blaming this state on the nervousness due to his virginity, he ends up understanding by exchanging with his friends that he is asexual.


Greg (Mikaël Mittelstadt)

As defined by AVA, the association for asexual visibility in France, asexuality is a sexual orientation, just like heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and pansexuality. According to the AVA, asexual people do not feel the need to engage in sex. The percentage of asexual people in the population is around 1% of the population, as Eliott points out in the series when he learns about the subject, a sign that the production is doing a real educational job with the public.

Very rarely represented in fictions, if not never, except for a series like Bojack Horseman in 2017 with the coming out of the character of Todd, voiced by Aaron Paul, asexuality is often unrecognized, even misinterpreted: no, asexuals are not exempt from the desire for physical contact or tenderness; yes, living as a couple with an asexual person is possible, etc.

The intrigue around Eliott in Here everything begins not only sheds light on an orientation that is all too often neglected, but also to raise awareness of the public in relation to the received ideas that we can have on it, while defusing any concerns of the people concerned about their partners.

In the case of Greg, who longs for Eliott, he has never slept with a boy before. Worried to see her boyfriend frustrated on the sexual level, Eliott then proposes to him to sleep with other people, while remaining exclusive with him on the sentimental level. Greg refuses the offer, convinced that Eliott wants to get her away from him. But by dint of communication and exchanges, Greg understands that Eliott only wants his good, and agrees to try to meet people to experience his sexuality.

Recently in French series geared towards teenagers, season 2 of Mental also approached this theme from a different angle with the character of Harmattan (Julien Lopez), a new supervisor who arrived in the psychiatric institute including one of the patients, Simon (Louis Peres), fell madly in love. But unlike Greg with Eliott, the revelation of Harmattan’s asexuality is a profound upheaval for Simon, for whom sex is an outlet and a means of filling an emotional void. Unable to imagine a sexless relationship, and struggling with his own demons, Simon ends up spoiling their budding story.

If at this point in the broadcast of Here it all begins, the series does not yet say if the experience will prove to be successful for Greg, the love he has for Eliott seems strong enough to overcome what may appear to be a incompatibility of size in an emerging couple. Greg’s reaction to Eliott thus shows an example of a positive representation and reaction for asexual people and those around them.

This plot once again proves the desire on the part of the creators of the daily TF1 to offer a modern soap to the (young) audience it targets, in tune with its time, by offering ever more varied models of identification. by fulfilling its entertainment mission.

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