Elite, a new Spanish-language teen crime drama that debuted on Netflix, has been compared to some of the decade’s most twisting teen dramas. When it comes to excessive slow-motion shots, it may be the only programme that can compete with Riverdale. Like Gossip Girl, it’s set in an exclusive private school where social currency is determined by wealth, sex, power, and following the script. Just like Pretty Little Liars, it has a style of blackmail between students and teachers. It also has a How To Get Away With Murder vibe to it, as it swings between two realities to reveal the major murder mystery.
The story revolves around three working-class classmates, Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani), and Christian (Miguel Herran), who are offered scholarships to attend Las Encinas after a strange disaster destroys their former school. Las Encinas is a prestigious private school where many of the country’s upper crust send their children. The arrival of these three strangers enrages other students.
While “Elite” focuses on the murder investigation behind a student’s death, the show truly revolves around the lives of the main characters prior to the incident and how relationships were formed and destroyed. Although this show was not made expressly for LGBTQ audiences, it does include two powerful gay stories. One couple’s journey delves into the ramifications of coming out for people from different religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Of course, there are circumstances in “Elite” that are Hollywood’s go-to for young love stories. The show bravely explores sexuality, providing new meaning to familiar teen drama cliches. One of them is Nadia, Guzmán, and Lu (Danna Paola), in which your classic bad guy (Guzmán) is challenged by his not-so-official girlfriend (Lu) to win over the uptight new girl (Nadia). Carla and Polo, two wealthy youngsters who have been dating since middle school and are practically married, are another example. When they try to liven things up with one of the new guys, Miguel Herrán’s character Christian, the three end themselves in a polyamorous relationship.
‘Elite,’ a new Netflix drama, tackles Islamophobia in Europe as well. Nadia, played by Mina El-Hammani, is an intellectually driven Muslim-Palestinian girl who is harshly mistreated by her school peers because of her faith and origin. The teenagers are not only attempting to figure out who they are while navigating high school, but they are also coping with stereotypes and obligations. When Nadia defends her hijab after the school’s principal tells her she faces expulsion if she continues to wear it, it is one of the most dramatic scenes in the series. Nadia wears it throughout the series and explains how important it is to her, despite the fact that she obeys and takes it off during school hours.
Another issue that was highlighted was about STDs which was conveyed in a clear and understandable manner. Marina was a free-spirited affluent girl who was more welcoming of strangers than her upper-class family and brother, Guzmán, before her tragic death.
Marina, on the other hand, had a secret that she ultimately revealed to everyone: she was HIV positive but undetectable, so the virus couldn’t spread. Despite her difficulties with that aspect of her life at the start of the series, it’s commendable to watch how she eventually accepts her diagnosis. Her character also serves as a reminder to viewers that the disease can affect anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or economic background.
Toxic masculinity is another theme explored in “Elite.” We know that Guzmán is not only the most popular boy in school but also the toughest of the new “outsiders” as soon as we meet him. He embodies all of the traits of a privileged villain: he is dominating, manipulative, and violent. As the show progresses, though, we get to glimpse more of Guzmán’s layers. It also helps that Miguel Bernardeau offers an outstanding portrayal in the part, displaying the classic bad guy humanising qualities that few TV villains possess.
According to the most recent data for Spain, there are 1,378 politicians accused of corruption. But it’s not just crooked politicians in Elite; there’s also a teacher who takes a bribe from a student in exchange for a faster adoption procedure with his wife. In addition, the school director fails to report a brawl in which his son was involved.
The series itself does not fully depart from today’s entertainment in terms of hegemonic culture, since it still features a high school drama plot, love, and rich students. However, it also brings to light parts of society that are rarely seen in mainstream entertainment. Many of these elements are subtle and rather mainstream, making the series far more compelling and successful.