I have spent the last two weeks binging "Money Heist" in the mornings before I start my days. A show I originally took minimal interest in — I only started watching it because my brother was and refused to turn on anything else — I quickly changed my tune as I delved into the characters and subplots in this international crime drama.
Currently the No. 9 show on Netflix, the series consists of two seasons, and thus two major heists, broken into four parts. Each part consists of anywhere from eight to 13 episodes, making the series a quick, yet worthwhile, binge. The show has since produced a short one-hour documentary as a follow-up to the main action. Parts five and six are expected to premiere in April 2021.
The primary roadblock facing the show is the fact that it is originally filmed in Spanish, featuring Spanish actors and direction. Since Netflix bought the rights to the series after its first two parts aired in Spain, the show has been voiced over in English to broadcast to American audiences. This results in an obvious delay in the audio, and at first is incredibly bothersome while watching. However, I barely even noticed this detail by the second episode, as I became enthralled by the incredibly detail-oriented plot.
Another interesting note about the show: when it was originally released in Spain in 2017, it was an absolute flop. Ratings for the series took a sharp decline after the premiere, and the actors and directors alike accepted the fact that it was a failure at the time. When Netflix bought the rights, no one expected much of the international series. In fact, the show was not even advertised by Netflix at first. Gradually, the public discovered the series in the depths of Netflix’s stock and took a rampant interest in it. So much so that, at one point in time, the show ranked second all-time in television series, only coming in behind “Stranger Things.”
“Money Heist” is the perfect binge for anyone who loves a good crime show, but also is looking for a taste of drama. The actors’ Latino backgrounds help elevate the passion shown on screen and make it very easy to fall in love with each respective character. By the end of the first season, viewers end up rooting for the loveable band of burglars and develop deep connections with each of their stories.
However, take caution in connecting too much with the characters, for no one is sacred in this show. The series has no issue with eliminating main characters throughout the course of the action, which makes the show that much more realistic and engaging. I definitely cried more than once while watching, which to me means that this is a fantastic production.
Furthermore, the directors obviously left no detail untouched, for the series is incredibly believable despite the sheer insanity of the plans. The Professor, who portrays the mastermind of the heists, accounts for seemingly every scenario imaginable when conducting the heists and has an intricate plan for each of them. The directors of the series must have spent countless hours and many sleepless nights researching the details involved with the plans, and with production. The bulk of the series only takes place over about 80 hours or so, with some episodes portraying just an hour of “real time” during the heists. This serves as a reflection of the time and effort the production crew spent in creating intricate scenarios, providing viewers with the entire picture.
Personally, I know I’ll be anxiously waiting on the edge of my seat for the release of new episodes next year, and I recommend getting caught up now. Each episode is more thrilling and dramatic than the last, and each season the same.
I highly recommend adding “Money Heist” to your quarantine binge list. After you finish the main show, take a look at “Money Heist: The Phenomenon.” The show’s accompanying documentary delves deeper into the creation efforts of the directors, producers and cast members. I found it very insightful and enjoyed learning the ins and outs of crafting an epic international crime drama.