Elite (TV series)

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Elite
Title Screen for Élite.png
Genre
Created by
  • Carlos Monte
  • Darío Madrona
Starring
Composer(s)Lucas Vidal
Country of originSpain
Original language(s)Spanish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Carlos Montero
  • Darío Madrona
  • Diego Betancor
  • Iñaki Juaristi
Producer(s)Francisco Ramos
Production location(s)Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid
Cinematography
  • Daniel Sosa Segura
  • Ricardo de Gracia
Editor(s)
  • Irene Blecua
  • Ascen Marchena
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time47–56 minutes
Production company(s)Zeta Producciones
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (16:9 UHDTV in high dynamic range)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original release5 October 2018 (2018-10-05) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Elite (Spanish: Élite; stylized as E L I T Ǝ) is a Spanish drama thriller web television series created for Netflix by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona. It follows students at an elite secondary school and their friends. The series stars María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Ester Expósito, Omar Ayuso, and Danna Paola. Jorge López, Claudia Salas and Georgina Amorós joined in season 2, and Sergio Momo and Leïti Sène, in season 3. Many of the cast previously featured in other Netflix works produced or distributed through its Spain and Latin America body.

All episodes of the first season were released on Netflix on 5 October 2018, while the second season was released in its entirety on 6 September 2019. They were met with positive reviews. The third season is scheduled to be released in March 2020. The series has also been renewed for a fourth and a fifth season by Netflix.

Elite explores concepts associated with teen dramas, but also features more progressive issues and other sides to its clichés. These include many diverse sexual themes. A main theme of the series is the concept of appearances being everything and not as they seem, explored in different ways. Beyond these, structurally, the series employs a flash-forward plot, unravelling each season's mysteries through a combination of storytelling and motive-building before, and interrogations and investigations (all conducted by the same recurring police officer, played by Ainhoa Santamaría) after.

Response to the series was positive. It was seen as enjoyable, and a series that did more with the classic high school crime drama than others had.

Synopsis[edit]

Season 1[edit]

After their school collapses, three working class friends—Samuel (Itzan Escamilla), Nadia (Mina El Hammani) and Christian (Miguel Herrán)—are given scholarships to Las Encinas, the most exclusive private school in Spain, where the elite send their kids to study. The scholarships are sponsored by the construction company at fault for the collapse.

At Las Encinas, the three are initially ostracized by the wealthy students. However, Samuel soon befriends the rebellious Marina (María Pedraza), whose corrupt father controls the construction company. At the same time, Nadia becomes close to Marina's charismatic but arrogant brother, Guzmán (Miguel Bernardeau). Guzmán's girlfriend, Lu (Danna Paola), dares him to take Nadia's virginity. Meanwhile, Christian becomes involved in a polyamorous relationship with aristocratic couple Polo (Álvaro Rico) and Carla (Ester Expósito).

Outside Las Encinas, Nadia's closeted brother Omar (Omar Ayuso) secretly sells drugs to make enough money to get away from his conservative parents. He soon befriends the son of Las Encinas' principal, Ander (Arón Piper), who is also Guzmán and Polo's best friend. Omar and Ander begin a secret relationship. Marina and Samuel begin to date but she also begins an affair with Nano (Jaime Lorente), Samuel's elder brother who is fresh out of prison and has debts to pay.

As the school year progresses, their lives intertwine in a clash of lifestyles, resentments, envy, and sexual attraction.

Through a series of flash-forward scenes of police interrogations, the audience is shown stories of the character's relationships that somehow lead to a murder.

Season 2[edit]

After the revelation of the murder, the second season deals with these relationships and flash forward scenes are shown to find out about the disappearance of a student and how it is linked to the plot of getting the murderer to pay their price.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • María Pedraza as Marina Nunier Osuna, Guzmán's sister and love interest of Nano and Samuel.[1] (season 1)
  • Itzan Escamilla as Samuel García Domínguez, one of three transfer students, who is the love interest of Marina and later falls for Carla.[1]
  • Miguel Bernardeau as Guzmán Nunier Osuna, adopted brother of Marina, and Lu's ex-boyfriend, who falls for Nadia.[1]
  • Miguel Herrán as Christian Varela Expósito, one of three transfer students, who gets into a relationship with Polo and Carla.[1][2] (season 1, guest season 2)
  • Jaime Lorente as Fernando "Nano" García Domínguez, Samuel's older brother who just got out of prison, who is also a love interest of Marina.[1] (seasons 1–2)
  • Álvaro Rico as Polo Benavent, Carla's ex-boyfriend and Cayetana's love interest.[1]
  • Arón Piper as Ander Muñoz, son of the principal who falls for Nadia's brother, Omar.[1]
  • Mina El Hammani as Nadia Shanaa, one of three transfer students, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and the love interest of Guzmán.[1]
  • Omar Ayuso as Omar Shanaa, Nadia's brother and a drug dealer who falls for Ander against his father's wishes.[1]
  • Ester Expósito as Carla Rosón Caleruega, Polo's ex-girlfriend who later falls in love with Samuel.[1]
  • Danna Paola as Lucrecia "Lu" Montesinos Hendrich, Guzmán's ex-girlfriend who shares an incestuous relationship with half-brother, Valerio.[1]
  • Jorge López as Valerio Montesinos, Lu's half-brother. (seasons 2–3)
  • Claudia Salas as Rebeka "Rebe" de Bormujo Ávalos, a rebel, wealthy girl, who has a crush on Samuel. (seasons 2–3)
  • Georgina Amorós as Cayetana Grajera Pando, the daughter of a cleaning lady who lives a fraudulent lifestyle and is the love interest of Polo. (seasons 2–3)
  • Sergio Momo as Yeray. (season 3)
  • Leïti Sène as Malick. (season 3)

Recurring[edit]

  • Ramón Esquinas as Ventura Nunier, Guzmán and Marina's father
  • Jorge Suquet as Martín, a school teacher (season 1)
  • Ainhoa Santamaría as the police interrogator
  • Irene Arcos as Pilar Domínguez, Nano and Samuel's mother
  • Abdelatif Hwidar as Yusef Shana, Nadia and Omar's father
  • Elisabet Gelabert as Azucena de Muñoz, the school principal and Ander's mother
  • Rocío Muñoz-Cobo as Laura Osuna, Marina and Guzmán's mother
  • Alfredo Villa as Antonio Muñoz, Ander's father and tennis coach
  • Farah Hamed as Imán Shana, Nadia and Omar's mother
  • Lola Marceli as Beatriz Caleruega, a marchioness and Carla's mother
  • Rubén Martínez as Teodoro Rosón, Carla's father and Ventura's business partner
  • Liz Lobato as Andrea, one of Polo's mothers and CEO of an important magazine
  • Alberto Vargas as Pablo, Marina's ex-boyfriend (season 1)
  • Marta Aledo as Victoria Pando, Cayetana's mother
  • Eva Llorach as Sandra Ávalos, Rebeka's mother

Guest[edit]

Production[edit]

Development and themes[edit]

I am excited at producing Elite at this stage of my career. This is a lot of fun. With the golden age of series, I can now achieve in TV what I wanted to do with movies in the last few years. [...] Producers, directors, and writers can now go back and forth between film and TV, Netflix especially has been very good in this sense in that that they bring together two different media.

– Francisco Ramos, producer[4]

On 17 July 2017, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season;[5] it is the second Netflix original series in Spain after Cable Girls.[6][7] The series is created by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona who are both credited as executive producers of the series;[5] as Netflix announced the order, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the series' team "boasts one of the most successful writing teams in Spain's current TV landscape".[7] Montero and Madrona came to develop the series after being told that Netflix was looking for a teenage show and were asked to produce an idea, with Montero coming up with the basic premise; the pair worked on it before presenting to Netflix a month later.[8]

Erik Barmack, Netflix's VP of original series at the time, said that Elite would be "a very different kind of teen thriller that will cross borders and affect audiences globally".[7] Still, the creators said that the series has a lot of Spanish themes and Spanish identity, to give it "a sense of place and time, that it is a series of this moment and of this country", and to prevent it from becoming a "series that could happen anywhere in the world [because if they try to make something] that can be understood everywhere, in the end it is not understood anywhere".[8] In September 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on 5 October 2018.[9] Producer Francisco Ramos spoke about some of the decisions in creating the show in an interview before it was released. He said that the choice to set the mystery drama in a high school was important because "it is the time of your life when things matter the most", allowing them to explore the pressures of fitting in as an elite alongside the other plot lines.[10]

On 17 October 2018, Netflix renewed the series for a second season. During this period it was increasing production in Spain after having constructed new production facilities in Madrid.[6][11] As Netflix renewed the show, it announced that there were still discussions on which characters would appear.[6] The second season was released on 6 September 2019;[12] it began production after the viewership for the first season was known, in January 2019, though it had been written before season 1 had been released.[13]

The internal structure of the show uses flash-forwards to advance the plot and the mystery, which Variety compared to that of Big Little Lies. When speaking of the innovation in the second season, co-creator Darío Madrona said that they "wanted to keep the fast-forward formula as a staple of the series, but at the same time be different".[13] Madrona said: "In the first season we were conscious that we were making a series for Netflix, and tried to put everything into it [...] For season 2, we thought that we had the opportunity to explore the characters and the new ones as well. But it was an instinctive decision."[13] Variety wrote that the second season therefore may be similar to Stranger Things season 3 in the way it compares to its more plot-driven predecessor seasons and how it "drives deeper into [the characters'] interaction, in continued coming of age narratives which are deeply inflected by class and economics".[13] The production values and costs were also raised for season 2, to allow the creators more freedom.[13]

The character Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), introduced in season 2, is said to tackle the topic of appearances being everything–a theme of the series–from a different angle. She is a social media influencer and, according to Amorós "isn't at all what she seems".[13] Social media is another theme examined in season 2, with Darío Madrona and actress Mina El Hammani commenting on how it gives a perception of someone being good if people like who they are on the Internet, which can be dangerous.[13]

On 29 August 2019, it was reported that the series was renewed for a third season,[14] before the second season had aired.[15] The third season's logo has been stylized as "ELIT3".[16] Actress Danna Paola stated in an interview that season 3 is to be released before summer in 2020;[17][18] on 10 January 2020, it was announced that it is scheduled to be released in March 2020.[19][20]

On 20 January 2020, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth and fifth season.[21][22]

Casting[edit]

Danna Paola during an interview in September 2018 02.png
Festival de cinema de Sitges 2018 (44456640114).jpg
Georgina amoros red carpet.png
Danna Paola, Jaime Lorente, and Georgina Amorós (L-R) are among the actors who had already starred in Netflix-distributed works before being cast in the Netflix original series

Variety writes that the show's characters all "border stereotypes" but "escape total buttonholing"; director Silvia Quer said that she was attracted to the show because of the well-constructed characters.[13] The series creators have been questioned on their choice to continue with the tradition of casting adult actors for all the teenage roles, reporting that it is "a purely practical matter" based on labor laws, as well as noting that most of the actors were aged between 19 and 22 when filming, whereas American series often use actors closer to 30.[8] The production was involved in casting for the show.[8]

The initial main cast was confirmed before the series' debut, featuring several actors from other Netflix series and films either created or distributed by Netflix España y Latinoamerica,[a] including Itzan Escamilla of Cable Girls,[23] Danna Paola of Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo,[24] and María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, and Miguel Herrán of Money Heist. However, acting newcomer Omar Ayuso was also cast, as a character (Omar Shanaa) bearing his own given name.[23] For season two, another actress from a Netflix series, Georgina Amorós of the Catalan Welcome to the Family, was added to the cast.[25] Announced shortly before its release, she was joined by Claudia Salas[26] and Jorge López.[27] Two new members of the cast for season 3, and their characters, were introduced in a short Netflix video shared by actress Ester Expósito, on 4 October 2019. They are also actors from other Netflix series: Leïti Sène of Welcome to the Family and Sergio Momo of The Neighbor.[16]

Paola has said in interviews that she almost lost the chance to audition for the show, as the message was sent over email but landed in her spam messages folder. However, she retrieved it and sent in a video audition; the sides for this involved an early scene where her character (Lu) is having a tense conversation with the character Nadia. In the scene, Paola says that she ad-libbed using the sarcastic term of endearment "darling", which the creators liked and has since become a catchphrase on the series.[28]

Filming[edit]

Though the school in the series, Las Encinas, is located in mountains, it is filmed in Madrid, including parts filmed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial.[29]

The first two seasons were shot entirely in 4K.[6][7] In the tweet shared by Expósito in October 2019, the actress revealed that the third season had already completed filming.[16]

Episodes[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
185 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
286 September 2019 (2019-09-06)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Bienvenidos""Welcome"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero and Darío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Three working-class students are transferred to an elite private school after their public school collapses due to building issues. Nadia catches Guzmán and Lu together in the showers. Lu dares Guzmán to take Nadia's virginity. Carla seduces Christian. In the future, Marina is revealed to have been murdered, and investigation commences.
22"Deseo""Desire"Dani de la OrdenCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Marina and Samuel work on a class project together. Guzmán, to Nadia's annoyance at first, does not stop pursuing her. Against her wishes, he attempts to introduce himself to her devoutly Muslim parents, with slight consequences. Nadia gradually lets her guard down with him. Meanwhile- when he becomes concerned about Ander after seeing him with Omar, Guzmán tells Ander's parents that he is doing drugs. Carla and Polo continue their scheme with Christian, who remains oblivious and is under the impression Carla truly likes him.
33"Sábado noche""Saturday Night"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Nano, with the help of Christian, decides to use documents regarding the corruption of Marina's father in order to blackmail him and, in the process, get money to pay off his debts. At Samuel's party, Marina and Nano decide to go to her house- although Samuel wanted to admit his feelings for Marina, he gets drunk and throws up on her, never getting the chance. Searching for his sister, Guzmán accompanies Nadia to the party, where she drinks drugged punch and gets high. As a result, she asks Guzmán to swim in his pool with her. Realising her state, he refuses and calls a cab to take her home. At school the next day, Lu sees Nadia and Guzmán being friendly. Jealous, she reveals to Nadia that Guzmán made a bet to take Nadia's virginity. Nadia confronts and slaps him in the face. Meanwhile, Marina tells Samuel she is HIV positive after he admits his feelings to her. Carla and Polo have a threesome with Christian after seducing him. Ander attends Samuel's party, where he gets high with Omar, to Guzmán's anger. They fight. Later, asking for more pills, Ander gets into trouble and gets his hand broken. Samuel tells Nano about Marina's condition, and he confronts her, well aware of Samuel's feelings for her. He asks her to stop toying with his brother.
44"El amor es una droga""Love Is a Drug"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
To her annoyance, Lu realises that Nadia received the top score on a recent exam, putting Lu in second place overall due to a grading curve. To get the top score, Lu investigates and finds out that her teacher is planning to adopt, but is having a tough time doing so due to financial issues. Using her family influence, she bribes her teacher into giving her the top score on the exam. Meanwhile, Guzmán tries to earn Nadia's forgiveness by buying her gifts. She tells him he must act like a Muslim and beg forgiveness from her parents for trying to take her virginity and disrupting her honour. When Guzmán obliges, she forgives him. The students attend a charity event organised by Marina and Guzmán's parents. Marina invites Samuel, and they finally start a relationship. To his disbelief and anger, Guzmán sees his father doing drugs in the winery, leading to an argument at dinnertime. Samuel and Guzmán also see Omar and Ander making out in the winery. Each confronts his friend, and each friend reveals new information- Ander doesn't really like tennis, and Samuel learns that Omar is a drug dealer. Carla, Christian and Polo step out of the party. Nano is offered a deal- he must shoot someone in the leg, and he won't owe any more money. However, he doesn't, which gets him stabbed and puts him into even more debt than before. Marina finds him and helps him, promising to keep it a secret from Samuel.
55"Todos mienten""Everyone Lies"Dani de la OrdenCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Marina offers Nano a way to make fast money in order to pay his debt. Lucrecia reveals her and Guzmán's bet. Omar and Ander have a disagreement.
66"Todo va a salir bien""Everything Will Be Okay"Dani de la OrdenDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Nano learns that one of his stolen watches is more valuable than he thought. Marina is caught with drugs at school, and turns in her dealer. The investigators reveal that Marina had been pregnant.
77"Todo estalla""Everything Explodes"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Carla grows suspicious of Marina and her potential involvement in the disappearances of the watches. Omar's father hears shocking information about his son. Guzmán goes after Nano.
88"Assilah""Assilah"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero and Darío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
The circumstances surrounding Marina's death are revealed, and the police make an arrest. Polo has in fact murdered Marina inadvertently with the trophy she received after a heated argument about her involvement with Carla's Dad's watches. However, Carla consoles Polo and tells him what to reveal to the police to prevent himself from being suspicious to the police. After interrogations, the police arrest Nano. Samuel begs Christian to help him to which he denies and leaves to see Carla.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"20 horas desaparecido""20 hours missing"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
A student goes missing. In flashback to three months earlier, Guzman still grieves the loss of his sister while Christian struggles with his secret about who killed Marina. Three new students arrive: Cayetana, a rich socialite who lives alone; Valerio, Lu‘s halfbrother, who shares a incestous relationship with her and Rebeka, a nouveaux-riche girl, who says her family won the lottery. Nadia and Omar‘s father has a stroke. Christian leaves a party to confess the murderer to the police, when he‘s hit by a car. He survives but may never walk again. Carla‘s father offers to pay for his therapy. Carla suspects her father to be involved in Christian‘s accident, so does Samuel. In the present day it is shown that Samuel is the missing person.
102"34 horas desaparecido""34 hours missing"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Seeking the truth about Marina's death, Samuel attempts to seduce Carla. Lu's new friend, social media guru Cayetana, hosts an impromptu party. In the present, Carla reveals to Lu that Samuel is not missing but is in fact dead.
113"36 horas desaparecido""36 hours missing"Ramón SalazarBreixo Corral6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Polo and Ander have a heart-to-heart. It is revealed that Cayetana is in fact the daughter of the school's housekeeper and had come on a scholarship. Guzmán and Nadia rekindle their relationship. Omar tells his parents he wants to stop working at the grocery store. Polo reveals to Ander that he in fact killed Marina.
124"59 horas desaparecido""59 hours missing"Sílvia QuerAbril Zamora6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Pressured by his friends, Polo is overwhelm by his guilt and he tries to commit suicide. Cayetana and Ander rescue him. While on a double date with his boyfriend Omar, Lu, and Guzmán, Ander doesn‘t find the courage to tell Guzmán about Marina‘s murderer. After a party, Guzmán has sex with Nadia at Rebeka‘s house. Samuel starts working for Rebeka‘s mum, who is actually a drug dealer. Cayetana‘s secret is threatend to be revealed. Nano is released from jail.
135"63 horas desaparecido""63 hours missing"Sílvia QuerJaime Vaca6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Rebeka arranges a Halloween party at her house where she finds out Cayetana is the school cleaner's daughter. At the party, Nano threatens Rebeka to stop involving Samuel in her family‘s drug dealing business. While searching for Samuel, Nano sees Samuel making out with Carla. Samuel walks in on Lu making out with her brother.
146"66 horas desaparecido""66 hours missing"Sílvia QuerCarlos C. Tomé6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Lu blackmails Nadia to fail her exam or she will tell her parents about the relationship. When Nadia tells Valerio, he tells her to not worry and rather blackmail her about the "Valerio thing". Lu suspects Samuel to have told Nadia. After the exam, Valerio then tells Nadia that he‘s in love with his sister, which disgusts her. In the future, Guzmán is interrogated about Samuel's disappearance. Carla warns Samuel he will be in the same state as Christian, if he gets further into the murder mystery.
157"84 horas desaparecido""84 hours missing"Dani de la OrdenAbril Zamora6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Cayetana and Lu work together to start a fundraiser. Valerio films Nadia and Guzmán having sex in the boy‘s locker and sends it to Lu, who then sends it to the whole school. During the fundraiser, Lu finds out about Cayetana‘s secret and tells the whole party. Carla tries to warn Samuel about her father. The scene ends with Samuel running away on his bike from a speedy vehicle.
168"0 horas desaparecido""0 hours missing"Dani de la OrdenBreixo Corral6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Lu and Valerio's father catches them in an explicit situation. It is revealed that Samuel did not disappear but was hiding in Guzmán‘s grandparents house to trap Carla into confessing about Marina‘s murderer. Polo gets arrested. Guzmán breaks his friendship with Ander for hiding the fact about Polo. Ander and Omar reconcile. After two weeks, Polo reappears to everyone‘s surprise.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Elite was met with critical acclaim. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a 100% rating with 10 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Elite is highly digestible, technically strong trash TV for anyone with a guilty pleasure palate."[30] Other reviewers also refer to the show as a guilty pleasure. Natalie Winkelman from The Daily Beast gave the first season a positive review, saying that "with Euro-cool style and compelling characters, Elite is trashy, diverting fun."[31] John Doyle from The Globe and Mail likewise complimented the first season in his review, adding that "Elite is no masterpiece but is one of those oddly satisfying, binge-worthy curiosities."[32] Taylor Antrim of Vogue also said that is worth a binge-watch and "goes down like a cold glass of verdejo".[33] Antrim wrote that the series is an example of Netflix "airing global TV shows that slavishly borrow television tropes", saying that "If it were a CW show I'd hardly give it a second look. But a Spanish prep school is seductive terra incognita" in the positive review.[33]

Élite does indeed include countless teen show clichés, but it also relishes the opportunity to dig a bit deeper and twist them into more interesting shapes. It interrogates the very tropes it indulges by finding new gears in old plot engines. And with the addition of a smart flashback structure keeping its central murder mystery afloat, Darío Madrona and Carlos Montero's drama quickly proves addictive.

– Caroline Framke, Variety

Writing for Variety, Caroline Framke also comments on the series' use of tropes. She notes that being introduced to the show as a combination of many other teen dramas, she was concerned that taking on so many tropes would make it "an overstuffed Frankenstein of a show", but that she was quickly proven wrong when watching it.[34]

Framke compares many of the characters' individual plots to other high school series and films. Of these, she finds the "love triangle between Marina, Samuel, and his brother Nano [to be] one of the show's only duller features".[34] She concludes by saying that "Even given a million other options on Netflix alone, this tantalizing and whipsmart entry to the teen show pantheon proves itself worthy of the spotlight".[34] David Griffin of IGN also identifies the series in the same way. He gave the first season an 8.8/10, highlighting that it sets a "new standard for how a high school drama series should be done" and "may be the best high school drama on TV."[35]

In a similar take, Lena Finkel of Femestella looked at how the series was different to many of its counterparts by how it tackled contentious issues. Finkel lists explicitly examples, including that when Elite has sex scenes, they are often about the woman's pleasure; that a character who believes abortion is murder is still pro-choice; that when a male character is come onto by a drunk girl that he likes, he sends her home; that it explores social and class differences when young people come out; that the gay male sex scene is sensual as well as explicit; and that it features characters including a young man unashamedly nervous to lose his virginity and a straight, white, wealthy, woman who is HIV-positive.[36] She writes that the series "absolutely lives up to the height", congratulating it both on including these features and for "a great job depicting each issue, no matter how complex".[36] However, she does note that the trailers "made it seem like yet another cheesy, over-acted teen drama".[36]

Also looking at how the series addresses diverse issues and modern society, Grazia Middle East wrote about the representation of Nadia. Writer Olivia Adams says that the show explores some of the more everyday struggles of racial discrimination towards Muslims by having Nadia be forced to remove her headscarf in school, something that has been considered at some real schools in Europe. She also notes how the home life of the Muslim family is explored, not just the teenagers' interrelations, giving a fuller view.[37]

Genevieve van Voorhis of Bustle notes that the series can feel aesthetically more like a horror than a teen drama as it pairs "wide shots of the school [that] are almost Wes Anderson-like in their color coordination and perfect 90 degree angles" with eerie music.[38]

Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture stated in a positive review of the series that though "Elite is not pushing new boundaries in television, it’s not a self-serious reboot of an old property" and that "in spite of that — or more likely because of it! — its commitment to breakneck melodrama is undeniably enjoyable."[39] Kemi Alemoru of Dazed recommends watching the show because it is "extra", relishing in showing the excessive world of the elite students with extravagant parties and the means to escalate small fights to high-expense drama, and also for its positive representation of topics.[40] Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya from Thrillist recommended the first season in their review of the series by stating that "Elite might be the only show that could give Riverdale a run for its money when it comes to excessive slow-motion shots."[41] Decider's Joel Keller also compares the show to Riverdale, saying that it is "trashy and scandalous, but no moreso than anything you might see coming from American producers" and the latest of the "dark high school dramas" that became popular; Keller recommends to stream it.[42]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 83% based on 6 reviews.[43]

Framke also notes that Netflix in the United States[b] automatically defaults to the show with an English dub, and suggests changing the audio back to its original Castilian Spanish for the best experience.[34]

Popular response[edit]

On 17 January 2019, Netflix announced that the series (the first season) had been streamed by over 20 million accounts within its first month of release.[44]

After Netflix posted an image of gay characters Omar and Ander to Instagram, it received homophobic comments. The streaming service responded to one with rainbow emojis.[45][46]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2019 Premios Feroz Best Drama Series Elite Nominated [47]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Scripted Television Series (Spanish-Language) Elite Won [48]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Of the various works, Cable Girls and The Neighbor are the only Netflix originals. Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo is a Mexican film that streams on Netflix; Money Heist is a Spanish television series from channel Antena 3 that was distributed on Netflix, with more seasons later produced by Netflix as an original; and Welcome to the Family is a Catalan series from channel TV3, its first season streams on Netflix.
  2. ^ Netflix in the United Kingdom automatically defaults to the original language with American English subtitles (Netflix does not produce British English subtitles).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Personajes Élite. Reparto de actores". FormulaTV. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ "La 3 Temporada de Élite no contará con la participación de Miguel Herrán (Christian)". Instagram. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
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