Over the years, right before the Korean Wave, induced by Squid Game, grappled the world in 2021, Netflix had been producing a wide array of international content. The Spanish content, in particular, has been of incredible standards. From thrillers like Money Heist to school dramas like Elite, from series like Cable Girls focusing on the lives of working-class women in 1920s Spain to political thrillers like Ingobernable, Netflix is home to brilliant Spanish titles that are highly engrossing.
While Money Heist and Elite belong to vastly different genres, a secret connection threads the two shows together.
In 2021, the greatest heist in history came to an end, with the final season of Alex Pina’s Money Heist hitting the streamer in early December. Money Heist has had an undeniable impact in generating increased interest in Spanish content besides becoming a pop-cultural sensation in its own right. From resuscitating the heist genre to bringing immense popularity to the remix version of the Italian folk song of rebellion, ‘Bella Ciao’, the show has set off an increased interest in red overalls and Dali masks that adorned the mastermindProfessor’ss band of delinquents on their quest to rob the Royal Mint of Spain.
Subverting the typical heist genre and giving it a strong and distinct Spanish identity, the show starred Alvaro Morte, Ursula Corbero, Pedro Alonso and more. Although fans desperately craved the sixth season, the showrunners decided to bring an end to the intense conflict and tension within the series to protect the sanctity of the genre.
Elite is nothing like the typical high school dramas. Created by Carlos Montero and Dario Madrona, this 2018 series revolves around three working-class students who receive a scholarship and enrol at a private school in Spain that is full of rich, elitist students. They soon find themselves sparring with these students who try to cover up the dirty laundry that might dethrone them in the school as well as in society.
Steeped in gender conflicts, class and financial struggles, the series deals with jealousy, sexual tension, financial upheavals, criminal activities and more. The show questions and subverts teen drama cliches and raises solid issues regarding the contemporary social injustices plaguing modern society by juxtaposing it against a teen high school premise.
Fans of both the shows have noted certain similarities between the two series that have amassed their individual fanbase. A lot of characters in Elite have been a part of the Money Heist universe.
Jaime Lorente Lopez, who plays Nano in Elite, was seen as the quick-tempered Denver, while Miguel Herran, known as Christian in Elite, was seen as Tokyo’s love interest, Rio. Maria Pedraza, who was seen as the British Ambassador to Spain’s daughter, Alison Parker, in Money Heist, starred in a pretty unnoticeable role in Elite. She played the role of Marina, whose departure from the series was marked early on by her gruesome murder.
Elite has announced a series of spin-offs focusing on its lead characters, while the first-ever Money Heist spin-off is scheduled for a 2023 release, that will focus solely on PedroAlonso’ss Berlin and his trajectory.
Stream both the shows on Netflix now.