Why you need to watch Netflix’s “Élite”

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Emma Lewandowski, Co-Editor in Chief

“We play at being adults, but half the time we don’t know what we’re doing.”

Over the course of three seasons, this Spanish teen drama follows a group of students attending a prestigious private school in the fictional town of Las Encinas. The first season, released in October 2018, begins with the introduction of three students attending the school on an academic scholarship. The following seasons track the students and their classmates as they navigate the stressful private high school environment mixed with the darkness within their families, friends, and selves.

Now, before you blow this off as another cringey, pre-pubescent high school experience show that glamorizes what it’s really like to be a student, and overdramatizes cliché plotlines like the bully and the prom queen, Élite dispels this almost immediately.

The three scholarship students that are introduced in the first episode of Season 1 all come from diverse backgrounds – Nadia, an intelligent Arabic woman within a traditional Arab household (and who has a brother that is secretly gay, and hiding his drug dealing) and working in her parents’ convenience store; Samuel, a working-class boy making ends meet with a waiter job (and who’s brother recently got out of his incarceration); and Christian, a bisexual and charismatic student (but more partier).

Throughout the three seasons, each character is developed and explored in complex ways, being portrayed in such a way that seems to reflect genuine human experience and emotion (even if this experience may involve a family-wide money-embezzling scandal, drug dealing, murder, and more).

From LGBTQ+ representation, to cultural diversity and social class inclusion, and even the painful experience that comes with a cancer diagnosis, this show presents complex and thrilling plotlines that demonstrate not only the difficulties with growing up, but also challenging moral and ethical questions.

I’d best describe the show as a combination of EuphoriaSkins (UK version), and even having CSI-esque hints, but ultimately Élite establishes itself as its own unique, thrilling story. So, if you want a modern and progressive show that is sure to keep you engaged and emotionally attached to its characters (and is being renewed for a fourth and fifth season that are already in the works), check out Élite on Netflix.