The Spanish Crime Drama has been an international success and for good reason. This captivating telling of multiple bank heists is TV done right.
First off, if you haven’t watch La Casa de Papel it advertises itself in parts. This is actually seasons. I was told initially it was 2 parts and was like, great a few hours and I’m sorted. Then I realise part 1 is 13 episodes…
Mind you, finding out there was like 21 episodes to watch at the time was great, as I was already hooked.
There’s something about this show that draws you in. Whether its the characters, the back stories, the planning or the actual heist, something keeps you.
That’s how this show is told, everything at the same time. We see the heist of the Royal Mint at the same time we see the planning. It runs in a parallel. Amongst all of this we’re learning about these characters that we initially only know as cities they have chosen as their names.
The exception is the Professor (Alvaro Morte). He orchestrates the whole thing, together with Berlin (Mint Heist) and Palermo (Royal Bank Heist). With each heist they use the same cast of misfits.
The first we meet is Tokio (Ursula Corbero). My favourite character of them all. She is the narrator of the whole thing, keeping you in check with what is going on. She’s feirce, vulnerable, a badass and generally a leader throughout it all. In many ways the whole show is her story, or at least from her perspective.
She forms a relationship with the Professor who she calls her guardian angel. Together they work with Rio, Denver, Moscu, Nairobi, Helsinki and some others here and there. Each with a distinctly different role but the same aim.
As the seasons play out so do the heists. These are expertly clever and almost believable. The immersion for this show is brilliant. It’s only when we get to part 2 that things seem to get a bit dramatic but that’s also the charm.
The relationships during the heist are brilliant. It’s stressful, tense and exciting all at the same time. While they’re in the heist the idea is to become heroes of Spain.
This is where the show is clever in it’s telling of the story. The police are naturally never in charge during the heist, however it may seem. Raquel (Itziar Ituno), the head of the police lets call her, and the Professor seemingly play a chess match the whole time, but it’s like the Professor has seen the match already.
All the while you’re rooting for the guys in the masks all while they’re committing the biggest crime Spain has seen. The masks have become a symbol that is iconic within the show as much as it is outside of the show. Moreover during the heist you’re rooting for the smaller stories. Those relationships and events that are happening throughout the season between these characters.
It’s stressful, tense and exciting all at the same time.
One rule of the heist is to not talk about the heist, okay its not, it’s actually not to form any personal relationships, hence the nicknames. That was always an unlikely rule to be kept and it’s for the better.
Seasons 3 and 4 really build on this and provide heart warming and heart breaking moments as the events play out. I’m still not sure I’m over a certain event.
Neither season is packing loads of action or missing any details. They’re both well balanced in terms of characters and story.
The show isn’t without its draw backs. Each heist is over 2 parts that can feel a bit drawn out, especially the second heist as it’s yet to be concluded. There’s naturally some characters we wish weren’t in it but it wouldn’t be a good show without them.
When the action does get a little bit out of hand it does break the immersion a little bit and you remember this isn’t actually real life.
Overall, I believe this is a must watch. I know some people may not like foreign TV but this is worth getting used to. Either dubbing or subtitles are worth using. The dubbing is well voice acted.
It’s easily a top 5 Netflix show for me. Maybe I’ll do that list soon? Check out my Instagram to see that!
Stole my attention / 10