By Alex Berkman
In 2017, the first season of Money Heist was released; soon after, it grew to become the single most watched series in all of Spain, France, Italy, Argentina, and Brazil (The Guardian). With each season, the show has grown increasingly popular on a global stage and within our own country. In fact, last spring, as Tiger King took America by storm, it was actually Money Heist that drew in more Netflix member accounts (65 million to 64 million), according to Forbes. And while on a much smaller scale, every one of my friends has jumped on the Money Heist bandwagon as well. Additionally, the show has been renewed for a fifth season and is expected to come out in September of this year. So, the question remains: what makes Money Heist so special?
Set in Madrid, the show follows a mysterious man known as The Professor and an unusual group of eight robbers as they carry out an ambitious plan that involves robbing 2.6 billion Euros from the Royal Mint of Spain. After taking 67 people hostage inside the mint, the team plans to remain inside as they deal with elite police forces and a scrappy inspector. On the outside, the premise is simple and, frankly, unoriginal. However, Money Heist is so much more than your ordinary binge.
Whether it be Tony Soprano, Walter White, or pretty much any character in Game of Thrones, you may find yourself often rooting for the traditional “bad guy.” You acknowledge that what you are doing is wrong but nevertheless refuse to change your stance. Where Money Heist is different is that you never even question yourself as you root passionately for the robbers and hostage takers. To you, they are indisputably the “good guys,” and there are numerous reasons why. First, unlike most bank robbers, the eight, who are given city-based code names, technically do not steal anybody’s money. Rather, by printing the 2.6 billion Euros from the mint, their robbery becomes a symbol of defiance that the people of Spain rally behind. But beyond that, behind each Dalí mask lies an extraordinarily unique, complex character.
Here’s a breakdown of some important characters: there’s The Professor– a mysterious criminal genius who seemingly has an answer to every obstacle thrown his way. Police Inspector Raquel Murillo is a woman who refuses to be outsmarted by The Professor, but at the same time maintains a complicated relationship with him. Then there’s Berlin, the heist’s leader. While morally corrupt, he is the single most fascinating individual in the entire show. There’s also Tokyo, whose fiery personality seemingly brings chaos wherever she goes. There’s Helsinki, who despite his menacing stature, secretly has the softest heart out of the group.
I must warn you though that once you start the show (if you choose to do so), there will be no escape. University Observer offered the suggestion that Money Heist is the “TV version of a page turner. One episode is never enough,” and they are absolutely right. The show is fast-paced and highly intense. There are twists and turns and all types of surprises. The only thing there isn’t: enough episodes.