‘Elite’ Netflix series keeps you thinking

Megan Keane, Columnist

On October 5, Netflix released ’Elite’, a Spanish teen thriller about three working-class students who get the exclusive opportunity to finish their education at Las Encinas, a private school for the wealthy.

These students are met with judgement and hostility from their higher-class peers, but Samuel, Nadia and Christian are determined to make the most of this opportunity. But, of course, there’s a twist. 

In the first episode, the audience is already clued in that these students’ time at this school leads to them involved in a murder. A murder of who? You’ll have to watch to find out.

This series takes place in Spain—the show is completely in Spanish (disregarding little nuggets of English in the students’ English class), but don’t let that discourage you from watching this suspenseful show. When you select it on Netflix, it automatically starts the show with English dubbed over it. This means that you will hear the show in English.

I, personally, preferred watching the show in Spanish with English subtitles. I’ve heard that sometimes the translation gets lost with the English dub—this can also happen with the subtitles, I’m sure—but there’s something about watching a show in its original language. Also, you don’t have to deal with that dissonance of English words not matching with the actors’ mouth movements.

It’s been compared to the likes of ’Riverdale’ (and it kind of reminds me of a thriller-esque ‘Degrassi’ or ‘Skins’), but it’s better. I promise it’s better.

I’ve been a big believer that the first season of ‘Riverdale’ was the end-all be-all of teen thrillers. I was grappling for evidence of who the murderer was, I was falling into every twist and turn, and I found myself really enjoying the characters. ‘Elite’ has all that, but it’s done … in a much cooler format.

You ever watch a movie or a show where you’ve been shown where the story ends up, but you’re left to figure out the specifics? ‘Elite’ mixes the present with the past—the past being the operative story where we’re watching the developments of relationships, families falling apart, but we’re also seeing the characters’ interrogations post-murder. It’s very consuming.

Once it’s revealed who was murdered, I found myself projecting motives onto every character. Nobody was safe. By the end, I was sure any of the cast could have killed the murdered because they had motivation to.

Murder aside, the show also has elements of other crime (robbery, drug dealing, as well as an (unclearly) bisexual character, a polyamorous (-ish) relationship, a character living with HIV, a gay character and a Muslim family—which is cool to see where their culture intermixes with these upper-class kids’ and where it differs.

There are three love triangles, a teen pregnancy and all that other great high school drama, but with money. Hedonistic culture makes everything just that much more interesting, doesn’t it? And, it’s already set up for a second season! Seriously, watch the first ten minutes. You’ll be hooked.

Megan Keane is a senior English and psychology major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].