You’ll need several TV seasons, not just episodes, to tell the story of a man like Bernard Tapie, but Netflix does a commendable job with this condensed version anyway.
The real-life Tapie may be more or less interesting than the Tapie Laurent Lafitte brings to life in Class Act, but that doesn’t really matter. The series introduces the French tycoon as if he were a completely new character, which is helpful to those of us going in the series blind. There is drama, there is scandal, and since Tapie is so tied to French life, there is also history. But more than anything else, there is business. Tapie is by no means perfect, but he is a smart businessman, and Class Act’s sharp and strong writing brilliantly conveys the addictive highs and soul-crushing lows of commerce. Narrative cliches are inevitable, but that doesn’t make this well-crafted series any less enjoyable.
Every episode already starts with a disclaimer, but just the same, take everything you see with a grain of salt. Tapie is a convicted man, but he’s given the anti-hero treatment here. Sure we see the dirt he’s left on his journey to being a multimillionaire, but we’re also asked to feel for him during these moments. Lines are blurred between his good intent and malicious deeds, perhaps more so than in other biopics, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it makes one wary of possible idolization.
What did you think? Who should watch it?