TV: Out on Prime ‘Pesci Piccoli’ by The Jackal, Balsamo ‘we still have to learn’

The comedy series will be available from Thursday 8 June. Six episodes made of hilarious moments and everyday life in a modest agency that grows together through difficulties and victories

‘Small fish – An agency. Lots of ideas. Little budget’ will be released on Thursday 8 June on Prime Video. It is the first comedy series produced and conceived by the content factory The Jackal with Mad Entertainment. In the cast the protagonists are the members of the comedy group (and video production company) Fabio Balsamo, Gianluca Fru, Aurora Leone, Ciro Priello with the new entry and debutant Martina Tinnirello. Many important guests of the six episodes of the show: Herbert Ballerina, Achille Lauro, Giovanni Muciaccia, Gabriele Vagnato, Valentina Barbieri and Mario ‘Il Ginnasio’ Terrone.

The title came to Aurora Leone’s mind. “We had no idea what to call the series – says Ciro Priello at the press conference at the Cinema Barberini in Rome – and one day on the set Aurora says ‘but why don’t we call it ‘little fish’ as ​​a metaphor for the fact that we are a small agency in a sea ​​of ​​bigger agencies?'” In reality the first title was ‘Big fish’ but it seemed “ambiguous and even pretentious”, according to Fabio Balsamo. “We still feel like small fish because our mentality is that we still have to learn and grow – he adds. The aim is to tell the small working contexts of the province. “Since we too started from a small context – explains the director Francesco Ebbasta – and we asked ourselves: how do these human beings live with the fact that what they do will not change the world? The ability to live everyday life within a group is explored”.

The first two episodes are crackling comedy. Fru is at his best describing the lives of colleagues in voice-over, into a karaoke mic. The “mariophone” of the character Marione (Dino Porzio) stands out above all, used to make futile communications, such as inserting the new snacks in the large bubble provided. “It really exists in our agency,” says Fru. The series focuses on the joys and sorrows of a small advertising agency in Naples seen through the eyes of creative director Greta (Martina Tinnirello), ostracized by her previous agency for a meeting with a client (Achille Lauro) that ended badly. The girl will have to get used to the ways of Ciro, Fabio, Fru and Aurora, friends and colleagues immersed in the tiny reality of provincial brands and minor and tragicomic influencers. Together they will discover that a normal existence, without success assured by millions of followers, hides something precious if you have the right friends. In the background a Naples told in a different way, not that of pizza, Vesuvius and mandolin but that of everyday life in a series shot completely indoors. “The characters bring the city with them for accent and musical choices such as ‘Core ‘ngrato’ interpreted by Raiz of the Almamegretta – explains Ebbasta – We wanted to keep a reference to tradition while dealing with a modern topic such as web agencies”.

In working together The Jackal have not had particular moments of disagreement because they are used to rub shoulders. “We live there so much every day that what we have to say we say to ourselves every day – explains Balsamo – We arrived on the set in a very transparent way”. For Ciro Priello, “our luck is that we always talk about everything”. The first day of production, however, seems to have been a party because “it’s been a long time since we’ve all been together to shoot a long project”, specifies Priello. Tinniriello got on very well with the boys: “It was glorious. It was like entering the world of Alice in Wonderland. I hadn’t done anything before this experience”. Her presence was necessary for the director Francesco Ebbasta because “the trigger of every sit-com product we are fond of always takes place through an external element that is introduced within a now stable equilibrium”. He also reports that he had no particular problems managing the supergroup. “The thing that surprises me about them is not so much the heterogeneous talent they have but their rare sensitivity of being able to recognize even after fifteen years of experience that they want to do things better with a team”.

Among the funniest scenes of the first two episodes is that of a briefing with Greta in which Ciro scribbles on a notebook. At the end of the meeting the girl praises him for having taken notes of her but the other of hers denies it by showing him the name Michele in relief written repeatedly on her papers. The scene is inspired by a true event: “Before starting the series, during the brainstorming – says Ebbasta – I turn around and notice that Ciro is taking notes and Michele is writing”. A name drawn from time to time in a compulsive way that derives from Priello’s childhood in which he could not write the name of his favorite, Michael Jackson. There are also homages to the sitcoms loved by The Jackal. The fourth episode honors ‘The Office’, shot entirely in mockumentary style. “There’s also the ‘Community’ series for using cross storytelling structures.”

The series is conceived by Francesco Ebbasta and Alessandro Grespan who wrote the story and the screenplay with Luca Vecchi and Stefano Di Santi. The cast is completed by Amanda Campana, Anna Ferraioli Ravel, Angelo Spagnoletti, Veronica Mazza, Giovanni Anzaldo, Sergio Del Prete, Flavio Pellino, Sara Penelope, Dino Porzio, Francesca Romana Bergamo, Alessia Santalucia, Gianni Spezzano, Marina Zanchi, Mario Zinno.