“I have found that I am much more Lesbos than the Greek island“. The Elite 5 reviewthe series Spanish streaming available on Netflix from 8 April, it starts here, to make you understand what the level of the script is now. Saying these words is Rebeka (Claudia Salas), who, as we had seen in season 4, had shown a fondness for girls, bonding with the newcomer Mencia (Martina Cariddi). The relationship between the two is still at the center of season 5, of which we have seen the first three episodes. But what we want to say immediately is that the Spanish series tends more and more to strike, to scandalize, both with explicit language and with rough situations. If situations of this type have always existed, but they were functional to a plot whose engine was the “rules of attraction”, which led to betrayals and crimes, here they seem to be the engine of the narrative, which proceeds precisely by accumulation of hot scenes. According to that scheme we were talking about about season 4, a sort of “automatic sexy scene generator“So a series that had its own vitality and sensuality has become mechanical. And a format that focused on the teen drama with crime formula, a la Riverdale, is moving more and more towards what perhaps it always has been: a soap opera.
Las Encinas, the story continues
Ari (Carla Diaz) is still in shock from risking his life on New Year’s Eve that was the focus of last season. Her relationship with Samuel (Itzan Escamilla) continues, but she appears to be in a tired phase. But is Samuel really interested in her, or in the fact that her father, Benjamin, the new CEO of the Las Encinas school, seems to be betting on him, and becoming the father he never had? As we have told you, Mencia (Martina Cariddi) and Rebeka (Claudia Salas), undoubtedly attracted, leave and recover, amidst spite and jealousy. Patrick (Manu Ríos), the brother of Ari and Mencia, is attracted to a new boy who has arrived at school, the son of a famous Portuguese footballer (!), Who, however, seems to be attracted to Ari himself. Omar (Omar Ayuso), who shares a job and an apartment with Samuel, meets a refugee named Bilal, and plans to help him. All this while Phillippe (Pol Granch), somehow still tied to Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), is accused of rape by a girl in a video.
Elite, the protagonists speak: “The rich transgress because they are bored”
Samuel, the Brandon Walsh of Elite
After Carla (Ester Expósito), Lu (Danna Paola) and Nadia (Mina El Hammani), Gumzan (Miguel Bernardeau), one of the most charismatic faces of Élite, has also gone Ander (Arón Piper). The Spanish series continues to move forward by making a profound turnover, as one would say with football jargon. The most loved faces pass, and new ones arrive, which however seem less charismatic than the old ones. On balance, the characters of the first season of Elite remained Samuel, who has the face of Itzan Escamilla, who has always been a bit like the Brandon Walsh of Elite, the symbolic character, the good guy, and Omar, that is Omar Ayuso , but in season 1 he was mostly Mina’s brother, and then slowly gained space. The new actors who arrive are always handsome, but they don’t necessarily have to be charismatic and interesting.
## Carla Diaz, sexy in a non-cheeky way
Among the new entries, we said on the occasion of season 4, the most interesting face is undoubtedly that of Carla Diaz, sexy in a less cheeky way than the other female characters we’ve seen here, an almost retro charm with an old-fashioned face, upturned nose and short raven hair. Here, too, her Ari is at the center of the story. And it also allows us to talk about the costumes, which, from season 4, are much more refined: each character has her style, which denotes her “rank“, his personality, his style. Tell me how you dress and I’ll tell you who you are, in short, even reinterpreting the Las Encinas uniform. In this regard. The Chanel-style suit a la Jackie Kennedy reinterpreted by Ari is an example.
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In the name of Pedro Almodóvar
By the way, for the first time in Elite, the “world“around the school, understood as Spanish culture and art. We are talking about cinema, in particular that of an artist like Pedro Almodóvar, explicitly mentioned as the favorite director of one of the characters, and at the center of an episode where the protagonists are they go to a Drive In where a review dedicated to the great director is underway. In particular, the images of Legami !, the frames of Victoria Abril and Antonio Banderas scroll on the big screen. And we witness the reactions of the characters to the film’s sensuality. on the one hand it is a good thing that a series set in Spain also lives on the cultural humus of the nation it is in. But on the other hand this does nothing but underline the distance between the true transgression of an artist like Almodóvar, and that a little forced by a product like Elite.
Scenes from the class struggle in Las Encinas
The scenes of the class struggle in Las Encinas also fade away. And, whenever the Elite script tries to bring some topical element to the series, it always does it superficially. Let’s take Bilal, the migrant who enters Omar’s life: far from reflecting on the theme, he only ends up becoming another element in the character’s love life. Or: in episode 1 there is talk of avoiding gatherings, of social distancing, but there is no direct reference to Covid, but only the umpteenth attempt by Benjamin to control the students of Las Encinas in increasingly harsh ways. Just as the arrival of Isadora, an influencer with millions of followers, never manages to become a reflection on social media.
Inspired directing moments
In all of this there are also moments of inspired direction, such as when neon lights envelop Rebeka’s face at school, and then, with an editing cut, show us that she is in a nightclub. In that disco we will see everything. It is now, and wants to be this, a world where there are no rules, where everything is valid, where everyone can become and be anything. The eye of the beholder is certainly struck, a little less the heart and the head. Elite can no longer excite.
In the review of Elite 5 we told you about a series that had its own vitality and sensuality that has now become mechanical. And a format that focused on the teen drama with crime formula, a la Riverdale, is moving more and more true to what perhaps it has always been: a soap opera.
Because we like it
- The series manages to entertain by offering a portrait of teenagers that is not too unreal
- The approach to storytelling is dynamic and able to entice you to binge watching.
- The new arrivals in the cast are not up to par with the previous actors.
- The fifth season aims more and more to hit and scandalize in a mechanical way