Straight out of the gates, the series is very much a carbon copy of its French counterpart. However, if you're a newbie to the franchise, you'll fall in love with this English-language adaptation.
'Ten Percent' is based on the award-winning French series 'Dix Pour Cent' ('Call My Agent!') which ran for four seasons and secured fans the world over. This UK counterpart is basically a tête-à-tête rehash of the same premise - a successful talent agency with a book bursting with big names is struggling to keep up with the demands of their celebrity stars, resulting in lies, deceit and awkward occurrences unfolding. There are also the egos of the talent agents to contend with - and the poor assistants who are oftentimes left to clean up their messes.
For those who are fans of the original, the beginning of 'Ten Percent' offers nothing terribly new. Like other TV remakes such as 'The US Office' and 'Skins', the series falls into the hole of recreating scene-for-scene and actor-for-actor pretty much all of the moments from the French series. Gone is ASK in Paris, and in its place is London's Nightingale Hart, led by the executive in charge, Richard Nightingale, played by Jim Broadbent.
Everything from the original remains intact, even down to Stella (Maggie Steed) having a little pooch in the office (named Matthias as a nod to the original's main character). Jack Davenport stars as Jonathan, Richard's self-involved son, who has to deal with the arrival of a mysterious young woman in the agency (played by Hiftu Quasem), and the fallout from the season premiere's ending. There are also top agents Dan (Prasanna Puwanarajah) and Rebecca (Lydia Leonard), who bare the most striking resemblance to their French counterparts - the former being a pushover who is afraid to tell his clients the truth, with the latter being a bombastic force of nature.
It's incredibly difficult to judge 'Ten Percent' as its own independent series when the original was so popular. An English remake of 'Call My Agent!' does sound like something that would excite viewers of the series, and makes total sense, given the huge talent that the UK is known for producing. Helena Bonham Carter, Phoebe Dynevor, Emma Corrin, Kelly MacDonald, Dominic West and many more appearing as guest stars? Sign us up.
However, when you actually sit down and witness the same scenes being acted out in a different language than before - it comes off a little stale and ultimately underwhelming. But - that's not to say that you should not watch the series - on the contrary, if you haven't seen the original, you will find a lot to love in the chaotic nature of it all.
Having been a fan of the original (as if you couldn't already tell), it's quite disappointing then that 'Ten Percent' is aimed at viewers who have not already seen its French counterpart. It would have been exciting to see some changes be made in terms of character developments - and certainly in the awkward scenarios of the guest stars - but it's pretty much the exact same thing, but this time in English.
Should the series return for a second season, here's hoping that 'Ten Percent' decides to go in the direction of 'The US Office' and fully leans into developing the established characters and brushing aside any need to be a side-by-side comparison of the original. It's an incredibly familiar start to the series for fans (the phrase "déjà vu" jumps to mind all too often) but, with some tweaks going forward, the series could set itself apart by using the source material as a guideline instead of a bible.
'Ten Percent' begins on Prime Video on Thursday, April 28.