Casa de Papel: Money Heist deserves more love
Remember the viral Netflix show of people that wore red jumpsuits and iconic looking masks that was from another country? IF you said Squid Game you are wrong. I was talking about Casa de Papel The Paper House or Money Heist as it was called in English. A Spanish show about a bank heist in Spain that became a hit in every spanish speaking country. For some reason it didn’t catch on with English speaking audiences despite even Ryan Reynolds doing a crossover commercial to promote his own show. If I had to describe it’d be like Death Note and Breaking Bad had a son. So let’s talk about the best show you likely haven’t watched.
Originally before being picked up by Netflix the episodes were edited different but Netflix recut the episodes and because there’s constant drama it worked. I mention it’s like Death Note since there are plenty of Xanatos Gambits from both sides. It’s all because of The Professor a mastermind who wants to make the biggest heist in the history of the world and he has planned it all. The show is divided into 5 seasons, the first two correspond to the original story and the next 3 to a sequel story after Netflix picked up the show. He gathers a group of expert criminals in their area so he can achieve this, the first heist is for the Royal Mint of Spain so that they can print the Euros they want. The second is to steal all the gold from the Bank of Spain.
Between the recruited staff you have experts in digging, a hacker, the leader, the expert in falsifying, the muscle etc. Each of them are given names after cities to remain anonymous so you have Tokyo who is the narrator of the story, Naiobi, Moscow, Stockholm, Denver, Rio, Helinski, Oslo, Palermo, Lisboa etc. Some of these appear until the second story but they each have very specific personalities and you’ll definitely have your favorites and hate some of them. I personally loved Berlin. Other important characers include the Investigators, most specifically Raquel and later Alicia.
Of course things are not as easy when you are just a few thieves inside one of the most heavily secured places in the country. Inspite of all of the professor’s planning there’s plenty of things that arise and that’s what’s fun about the show. It’s a battle of wits and seeing who can upstage the other one. It’s a blast, and it keeps things exciting to see the back and forth. It’s a show worth watching.
The relationships with the characters and outside factors like say Arturo all change the plans that the professor has made. There are tons of interactions that make you continue watching to see how it all turns out, the relationships are complex and fun. The iconic outfits of the red jumpsuits and Dali Masks were really just one part of the professor’s plan but because of their popularity they kept them through out the entire run of the show. The first part is great and has an ending that won’t disappoint anyone.
The second story is another thing, the basic premise is that despite what happened in the first series they catch one of the members so they must try to save him. The only way they think of is by doing another heist and doing an exchange. And so they do a different heist. Now that the had a much higher budget you can definitely tell as everything here is like the first series but bigger. In a way it’s a retread of some similar ideas but enough twists that it’s fine, and yes every stake here is bigger and they let you know that for better or worse. I mean the length of this series is also longer to be able to handle all the new stuff.
The team are now considered modern heroes like Robin Hood which is a bit odd, I kind of like it but not sure if it makes complete sense but I’ll let it slide. Some of the best parts are the prequel scenes that take place before the original series, since it helps bridge the gap between the two series and see some old faces as well. The Professor is legendary by this point and he makes sure to use all of his contacts and smarts in this season as things get tougher since it’s him versus the entire countries resources basically.
There’s a new bad guy with Grandia that messes things up and you might have different opinions on him. There’s a nice twist that ties things together as well near the end. And sadly not as happy of an ending thanks to Tokyo being a brat. This is definitely a more over the top season that seems far less realistic but it’s still fun to see the characters again. It makes sense in that regard so while the original series was better, this second one is a nice extra adventure sequel if you really want to see the characters again, and after the first series well most really do want to see more of them so it works. It’s popular enough that Korea got their own version of it and Berlin is getting a spin-off.