Review: Elite

There is no doubt that, if you are a fan of shows like Gossip Girl and Riverdale, 90210, and the older classic Waterloo Road, you will, quite easily, be hooked on watching this popular Spanish Netflix series, now currently in its third season. Full of drama, cringe- worthy or not, it is a show you can enjoy both on your own for some quality down time, or one to talk about with your friends, gasping when that shock- horror scene comes into the picture. It is a guilty pleasure of a show, and one that every teen  series lover should really appreciate. 

Elite follows the story of three students (Samuel, Nadia, and Christian) with working-class backgrounds who receive scholarships to study at an exclusive and elite high school, Las Encinas. As they try to fit in with their fellow wealthy classmates, a whirlwind of clashes occurs that lead to a mysterious murder. Created by Spanish TV writers Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona, it is a highly relatable series for any high schooler, with the theme of love triangles and the exploration of one's sexuality being at the centre of each episode’s storyline. 

It is also a series that is up to date with the  social cultural norms of the 21st century. One of the most compelling of its storylines is the relationship between two homosexual and multi-ethnic boys, Ander (Arón Piper) and Omar (Omar Ayuso). The reason why is not because of the matter that they are a same sex couple, but because of the guilt that Omar feels about his sexuality affecting the relationship he has with his traditionalist father. There are also the typical high schooler character stereotypes- and a good mix of them too. You have the class clown, the arrogant Christian, (played by Miguel Herrán); the typical ´mean girl´ characters; the geeks; the sidekicks; the drug dealers; and the mysterious shy strangers who you have to gradually chip at in order to get them to uncover themselves, for instance, the new girl, Nadia.

To keep the series going, in terms of its ability to keep the viewer on their toes and concentrated on what will happen next, the show incorporates the structural devices of flashbacks and fast-forwards, making you stay focused on the action. The flashbacks mainly arise in the scenes where the students are being held at the police station for questioning as to what really happened. If you ́ve watched the show Big Little Lies, you will be familiar with this technique, for it is also included there. The technique allows for each character’s story line to be explored. 

All in all, it is a show that includes a variety of themes and characters that are important for any teenager to engage in. Important topics such as classicism, racism, xenophobia and homophobia are highlighted, as are the subjects of toxic masculinity and the effects of STDs, all of which are told in an informative way. Relationships between both family and friends are explored, as are the all-so-familiar themes of betrayal and game-playing. 

No high schooler experiencing school life, peer pressure, and social hierarchy will feel alone after they watch this series. 

5/5 stars