I promise I’m not being dramatic when I tell you that Money Heist is the best show on Netflix — possibly on the whole internet.
Also known by its original title La Casa De Papel, the Spanish-language drama/thriller is the most watched non-English shows on Netflix. And if you’re not already watching, it’s high time you got on board.
Without going into too much detail, it’s about a group of strangely lovable criminals, who stage a huge heist to rob Spain’s national Mint. Everyone in the cast is smoking hot, and there’s a healthy dollop of sexual tension and romance thrown in with all the action.
If you’re looking for a show to see you through self-isolation; this is it. Within five minutes switching it on, you’ll have forgotten about everything that’s been going on and be fully invested in the story. I’m aware that calling anything a “rollercoaster” is a bit of a cliche — but it’s truly apt in this case. Just as one tense moment ends, you’re thrust into another explosive scene.
While bank heist shows aren’t really everyone’s cup of tea — myself included — this is something different. Rather than your usual male-centric gang of thieves who use violence and intimidation to get their way, Money Heist is narrated by a female named Tokio. There are a couple of stereotypical-looking bearded hulks in the group, though in reality they’re the most emotional and caring. The heist itself is done as an act of love, orchestrated by the glasses-wearing and awkwardly charming Professor.
Set inside the Mint after their heist begins, the story also flashes back to the months that the gang spent planning the robbery and snippets of their past lives before they were recruited by the Professor. The end result is a cast of characters to whom you quickly get attached, to the point where you’re yelling at the TV in every episode. Or maybe that’s just me.
A word of warning: this show is addictive. Once you watch one episode, you won’t be able to move until you finish at least the first season. The combo of high drama, plus subtitles that you need to give 100% of your attention to makes for a perfect storm of unputdownable TV.
Normally my attention span wanes while I’m watching Netflix — I’ll look at my phone or talk to other people in the room, or half-watch while doing chores. But the fact that you need to keep your eyes on the screen at all times while watching means that you’re sucked into the storyline even quicker.
Yes — you can watch the dubbed version. But believe me when I say that watching the original Spanish version with English subtitles is literally 1000 times better.
When I say this show is engaging — hoo boy, you have no idea. Strap yourself in. Literally every second is filled with drama, heightened even more by the show’s excellent soundtrack which is almost a character of its own. Each episode ends on a cliffhanger…as do most of the seasons.
I watched the entire second season on a plane, and can confirm it’s definitely a show best consumed all in one hit. It’s got an uncanny knack to make you root for the “bad guys”, who of course are all actually good guys deep down.
The first two seasons can stand alone. They originally aired on Spanish TV in 2017 with no plans to film any more episodes. But when Netflix picked it up and distributed it globally in 2018, its popularity skyrocketed throughout Europe and Latin America. Season three came in July of last year, while season four dropped on Netflix last week.
It’s still a fringe show here in Australia, and in other English-speaking countries like the US and the UK. But if there was ever a time to jump on board, it’s now. You’ve got four seasons of watching to do, and a whole lot of dead time that needs to be filled.