A fun 1980s action formula film with a Latin flavor; fun to watch and highly recommended
It's been a while since I watched this show, but it left enough of an impression that I feel compelled to write a review. Firstly, I'll begin by pointing out that the show contains some ostensible anti-fascist elements. The main characters dress in Communist red and wear Salvador Dali masks. The "professor" (i.e. the mastermind of the operation played by Sergio Martina) and his half-brother jewel thief "Berlin" sing the anti-fascist hymn "Bella Ciao" in preparation for the final stand-off with the authorities. (The original song was not an anti-fascist hymn but rather a regular Italian folk song. It was appropriated by anti-fascists later on and became identified with them). However, the anti-fascist symbolism and rhetoric is forgivable considering that the entire operation targets the Bank of Spain (and later the Royal Mint of Spain) and the banker class in general :-). Plus, the anti-fascists to whom homage is being paid are traditional Italians defending their country, not the annoying antifa hipsters and larpers that harass Christians and conservatives in America. The cast is almost entirely composed of Spaniards, the only exception being Helsinki, who is the tough muscle-bound ex-military Serb who served in the war in Yugoslavia (whom they later make into a gay character after Season 1 unfortunately). There is a definite strain of misandry, with ultra-feminist protagonists like Nairobi and Tokyo (and Inspector Murillo to an extent) who brow-beat and dominate the men in the group. These strong female characters, however, are often mentally disturbed individuals with a troubled past whose independent and free-spirited nature is more a consequence of their troubled life history than an endorsement of some feminist agenda. That being said, the show is still pretty hyper-masculine, and were it not for show creator Alex Pina's Spanish roots, it's unlikely you'd get a straight white cis male character leading the operation. Berlin becomes somewhat of a caricature of old-fashioned Latin machismo and patriarchy but is still a likable and strong character with an appreciation for European high culture. The show emphasizes traditional values, like family, loyalty, and courage. Season 1 has many examples of healthy male-bonding and comaraderie without homoerotic overtones: Denver and his relationship with his father; Berlin's friendship with the professor; and more . After Season 1, they lay on the LGBTQ propaganda very thick, bringing in an openly gay character and even making Helsinki into a gay character as already mentioned. Despite all this, I would say that Season 1 is worth watching because of the predominantly White cast (which is rare in this day and age) and the good pacing and cinematography. It is somewhat of a throwback to the 1980s action genre, with all its tropes and cliches, so I wouldn't call it a work of art but still a fun show that you could watch in one sitting. Just to reiterate, the above review only applies to Season 1. Because of the great success of Season 1, the producers decided to poz up the show and drag it on longer than it deserved, making it become increasingly repetitive and far-fetched.