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Servant of the People: Comedy starring Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy is now on Netflix

Updated Dec 12th, 2022 3:04PM EST
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks to US Congress
Image: J. Scott Applewhite - Pool via CNP/MEGA

Before he was a real-life servant of the people, Volodymyr Zelenskyy was a comedic TV star. On a political comedy called, yes, Servant of the People.

That’s one of the things that’s so extraordinary about Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy. His leadership of the country amid the brutal Russian invasion has captivated and inspired the world. Prior to the presidency, Zelenskyy also played one on TV. His character on Servant of the People (which is now back on Netflix) was a schoolteacher, whose rant against corruption goes viral and helps him win the presidency. And then, as we all now know, Zelenskyy did the same thing in real life.

Servant of the People Netflix series

The 10-episode first season of the show is available to stream again on Netflix, right here. It includes mostly 25-minute episodes, making this an easy binge.

Fun fact: The name of this series is also the name of the real-life Servant of the People political party that Zelenskyy belonged to when he ran for the Ukraine presidency in 2019. Three years later, he’s now a wartime leader trying to hold his country together.

To drive that point home, on Wednesday, March 16, Zelenskyy gave an address remotely about the situation facing his country to US lawmakers.

“Remember Pearl Harbor, (the) terrible morning of December 7, 1941, when your sky was black from the planes attacking you,” he said. “Just remember it. Remember September 11, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories, into battlefields. When innocent people were attacked, attacked from air, just like nobody else expected it, you could not stop it. Our country experiences the same every day. Right now, at this moment, every night for three weeks now.”

Winter on Fire: Ukraine documentary on Netflix

Servant of the People is one title on Netflix that’s good background on what’s happening in Ukraine right now. It focuses on the leader who ultimately came to power. But there’s also another title on Netflix that focuses instead on the Ukranian citizens themselves.

It’s a documentary, titled Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. And it’s been so highly sought-out that Netflix took the extraordinary step of making it available, for free on YouTube.

This 90-minute film was released back in 2015 and chronicles a period in Ukraine’s history from not so long ago. Eight years back, to be more specific, when the so-called Maidan Revolution ousted a pro-Russian government led by then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. This Oscar-nominated Netflix doc tracks the revolutionary movement that sought to re-establish true democracy in the country. And, moreover, you can draw a straight line from it to the events happening there today.

“I was sobbing my heart out for the heroism and the will to die for what you believe in,” one Rotten Tomatoes reviewer said about the doc. “An absolute must-see for everyone, and I mean everyone. One of the best real-life documentaries you will ever see.”

More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out our coverage of the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.