SKILLS – Reading


La casa de papel (Money heist)

I’ve heard about how good Money Heist is since it started back in 2017 but for some reason I kept put off watching it. I finally gave in and started watching it recently and now I can’t stop, it’s every bit as good as everyone says it is. Some of it is absolutely ridiculous but that won’t stop you from having fun watching it. The writing and acting are both excellent, there are so many twists and surprises that it will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing throughout the entire series! It’s a Spanish show but you can either watch it with subtitles or watch it dubbed in English. Just a little warning…once you start watching it it’s hard to stop, you’ll want to binge it as quickly as possible!

A band of robbers, lead by a man known simply as ‘the Professor’, infiltrate and rob the Spanish National Mint. They appear to bungle it, ending up holed up in the Mint with 67 hostages. But it’s all part of the Professor’s plan. If it succeeds, they’ll make off with over $2 billion Euros.

Entertaining, initially, and could have been a masterpiece. The initial plot – the plan to secure the Mint and make off with over $2 billion Euros – was very clever and intriguing. It was also engaging: you got to know the individual characters of the heisters, as well as who they were up against. From here on I expected a taught, gritty battle of wits and wills between the robbers and the police.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Instead of being tight, the plot diverged into silly escapades. One escapade lead to another: robber has to fix some error, fixes it, unwittingly causes another issue, now has to fix that, rinse and repeat. What’s worse, the errors, solutions and escapades were incredibly implausible, just being antics for action sake.

In addition, having established their characters in the first few episodes, the robbers then do several things counter to their characters. It was as if the writers wrote each scene independent of what had happened before. It could not have been more random if they brought in a different writer for each episode, and told them not to read the scripts of the previous episodes.

The further into the series one went, the worse it got. During the first season the good, clever plot developments generally outweighed the random, implausible, stupid ones. By Season Two it was open season, with dumb stuff being the norm. The dumb plot developments became predictable, eg you have a situation where a character has a choice and the logical thing, the thing people would do 100% of the time in real life, is to do A. However, A would mean the series ends, so the character does B, and the series continues.

So the plot only makes sense if you’re mind-bogglingly stupid.

By the end I just wanted it to be over, so my intelligence would no longer be insulted. And yet it still got drawn out, by about 2-3 episodes too many.

And apparently there’s a Season 3 in the works. Considering how it ended, not sure how that’s possible, but the producers did manage to turn what should have been a 8-or-so episode mini-series into a 2-season, 22-episode series.