If it’s outdoorsy fun you’re after, you can obviously find many of its representatives on thescooterist.com but if you’re a stay-inside-and-watch-a-movie type of person, then we think it’s impossible you haven’t heard about a show that’s literally and metaphorically taking over the world: Money Heist.
This Spanish thriller became so popular, in fact, that it has raised concerns regarding a possible cult in the United Kingdom and it stars brightly as Netflix’s most popular foreign show, possibly ever. Every season is short, intense, and packed to the brim with action, death, love, and drama.
The first season of the full-throttle thriller captured the entire world as its gang – all code-named after major cities to prevent recognition of course – break into the Royal Mint of Spain, take just about everyone there hostage, and quite literally start printing money. To make matters worse, or perhaps better, they did all this clad in revolutionary-red overalls and Salvador Dali masks.
What this last part did is trigger another, more subtle part of the show’s meaning and message. While it is indeed an action-packed drama where you can actually hear bullets whizzing, people screaming, and notice amazing twists of fate due to the brilliant mind of “The Professor”, Money Heist also seems to stand against social injustice, inequality and the power of central banks.
There are not that many times when the word “huge” can be used to describe the impact of a certain thing and still not be enough but this is one of them. Now only was its third season watched by 34 million households in its first week alone, but superfans regularly post photos with tattoos of beloved characters like Tokyo and the Professor.
Furthermore, the gang’s masks and overall costumes have pretty much become the international symbol for resistance and rebellion against the injustices of a system or state. Look up photos from any such display over the last few years and you’ll surely find someone wearing a red suit with a Dali mask. You won’t even have to look that hard.
It also helped that music is an amazingly powerful force in the world and the song of the Italian Resistance movement against the German occupation, “Bella Ciao” (Goodbye, beautiful), sang by arguably the show’s most popular character, Berlin, became an anchor and a glimmer of hope heard around the world.
The Special Style
Another thing that makes the show so immersible is the special style it brings for most people in the world. It’s not an English-styled show with calculated, timed, and precise scenes. It’s not a Scandinavian-style type of writing either. What you’ve got, though, is a perfectly-designed heist by a brilliant man that happens to go extremely bad as Latin emotions come kicking in.
As global as it has become, Money Heist’s style is definitely Spanish and this can be understood from its fundamental message. The country’s literary heart lies in its great foundational text: “To rise up against the system is reckless and idealistic” – Don Quixote. As a whole, Money Heist strives to bring this creed to another level and it very much succeeds.
Restrain seems to not be very high on the show writers’ list of words that should be used. With a growing budget each and every season, action aficionados will get their fair share of high-octane stunts, lavish production episodes, and great-looking scenes in general.
However, do not think for a single, solitary second that the characters have become somewhat bland four seasons in. Some of them die (well, obviously, you have people with guns going up against the police, what did you expect?), some of them evolve, but all of them are going through constant evolution and readaptation, the likes of which you’ll be hard-pressed to find.
Fansites are awash with speculation on what move could be next for each character and this creates a continuous wave of expectation for each episode and each season. Even though they’re criminals, Berlin, Tokyo, and the rest of the gang also come from relatable background environments so it’s easy for the audience to find themselves in one or more of them.
The Deeper Message
As we said, there’s also the slight political edge to the series that some people will definitely like and relate themselves with. The “anti-system” philosophy leaks out all the time, especially whenever the show plays what has become its anthem: Bella Ciao. It definitely aids that skepticism towards government and central powers are quite popular ideas these days.
However, as Alex Pina, the show’s writer explains, this vision would not go down well if it was not presented with an entertaining narrative. As we can see, pairing the somewhat shallow action genre with a social issue and delivering it in a direct, pedal-to-the-metal way will sometimes bring amazing results and change a lot of mentalities around the world.