At this point, I consider myself a connoisseur of Spanish television series on Netflix. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show that didn’t come with heavily accented dialogue — and I can probably tell you which of the 10 Spanish actors Netflix seemingly has on rotation starred in which series, like your own personal IMDb.
Or just offer you some random but fun facts. Like, for example, if the show stars Blanca Suárez or Yon González, you can guarantee there will be a love triangle involving one (or both) of the stars or that Gran Hotel is the Law and Order of the Spanish TV world, in that there is a very high chance at least one actor on every Spanish show on the streaming platform has made a cameo in the 66-episode series.
Which brings me to Élite — the latest original drama coming to Netflix via España. For those who are also self-proclaimed telenovela aficionados, Élite comes across as a mix of the aforementioned Gran Hotel and Rebelde (without the catchy pop songs). For newbies to the Spanish genre, think of it as Gossip Girl meets Riverdale, with a bit more blood.
So, what is Élite about?
The show centers around three teens from working-class backgrounds who enroll in an exclusive private school and follows their struggle to fit in with their privileged classmates. Ultimately, this clash of the classes results in a murder – and an investigation is launched to find out who the killer is. Could it be Samuel — played by Itzan Escamilla, who you might recognize as young Francisco in Cable Girls — who was called a “waiter” by the school’s bully on his first day and has to deal with his trouble-making older brother (Money Heist’s Jaime Lorente) trying to steal his crush? Fellow scholarship kid Nadia (Mina El Hammani) who is Palestinian and forced to remove her headscarf or face expulsion?
Or is it Christian, aka Río from Money Heist, who finds himself in a love triangle against one of the more popular guys at Las Encinas?
Then there is rich girl Marina — María Pedraza, also of Money Heist fame — who is harboring a deep secret while planning her big quinceañera debut. (SPOILER ALERT: She is HIV-positive). Anyone could be responsible for the murder, but it’s the mystery surrounded by sex, drugs, and typical high school angst that makes Élite a must-watch.
Will there be a Season 2?
Netflix has yet to announce plans for a second season, but seeing as this is just their second original series from Spain, it’s looking good for Élite. Netflix’s first Spanish original Cable Girls was just renewed for a fourth season and Mexico’s Ingobernable was green-lighted for two seasons very early on. Plus, given the success of other teen dramas on the streaming platform – i.e. To All the Boys I Loved Before, Insatiable, 13 Reasons Why — it would come as a huge surprise if Netflix did not confirm a Season 2 release date ASAP.
Tune in to watch Élite when it premieres on Netflix on Oct. 5.