The best among us
Well, here I am again, this time for my first article in English.
As I said in my previous post, writing texts in other languages is one of those ideas that both terrify and amaze me.
After all, while it’s a challenging task, it’s also a very interesting one that allows me to practice what I’ve learned so far and gives me the thrills to go beyond somehow.
Also, it is related to future plans of mine: I’ve been writing some fictional stuff in Portuguese and I have this curiosity (or would it be a dream?) about writing fiction in Spanish, in Japanese, in Italian, in English as well.
So far, I’ve learned (ehh, still learning, actually) only one of these foreign languages, so… This blog here is helping me with that as well.
And for my first text related to this project, I decided to discuss something that matters to me: television series.
More specifically, great Brazilian tv shows.
Brazilian television. There’s a lot to be said. Sitcoms, soap operas, movies, game/talk/variety/reality shows… While planning this article, I thought of so many good programs that at least deserved to be mentioned. But then, this text is supposed to attract casual viewers, which means I should start from the beginning.
And here we’ll begin with what is easier to be found online while also being impactful and memorable. Below, there are brief reviews of some recent, provoking tv series that can be easily found internationally.
- Segunda Chamada (Second Call)
The first recommendation is for a show I finished last December. One tearful, brilliant, raw drama about a teacher who takes some evening classes at Carolina Maria de Jesus School. It is also about the young, adult, and old students’ lives, their other teachers (and their personal problems, outside and inside school), and major structural problems in our society.
“Segunda Chamada” (Second Call) is quite a ride, I promise you. Released weekly in 2019, the show quickly became a hit, receiving huge praise for its acting and takes on human problems.
With 11 episodes (40min) in its first season, the series focus on many issues regarding race, sexuality, violence, poverty, immigration, grief, domestic abuse, religious intolerance, abortion, substance abuse, and many, many others. “Segunda Chamada” succeeds in developing its enormous group of characters and plots in a way that makes sense. It works, in the end. Each episode follows the problems of at least 3 students while also exploring who the teachers are, which means that the 15+ cast members are mostly given things to do.
However, there is a price for that. Usually, the problems are concluded in the same episode they begin, so the next episode can work on other characters, which means some things are rushed at times regardless of it making sense. Another negative point for me is that there are so many emotional episodes in the mid-season, so many dramatic moments, that they couldn’t properly handle them all.
Without giving away too much, an impactful, huge thing happens in an episode, and in the subsequent one another emotional and shocking thing happens, which means there is no time for the viewer to absorb the first twist, whose consequences are simply ignored and never explored. In the meantime, the second twist is well handled, as it has a true impact on the characters with consequences that are acknowledged and last until the end.
Anyway, these problems are really small near all the profound, cathartic fun one can have while watching “Segunda Chamada”, and can be easily ignored (at least, I was able to do it, no regrets). In conclusion, this show is an emotional roller-coaster for those who love dramatic and realistic stories, and I absolutely think it was worth my time.
Its second season was greenlit long ago, and after some pandemic-related delays, it is expected to be released later this year. You can stream it on Globoplay (available in Brazil and in the U.S).
2. Boca a Boca (Kissing Game): consisting of 6 episodes, 40 minutes each, this Netflix teen drama was released in 2020 and tells the story of a rural town suffering from a virus transmitted through the mouth.
If I had to describe this show in a few words, they’d be “fight for freedom”, as the growing generational conflicts are somehow connected with this notion of how strong, inflexible norms can poison youth (actually, I think the discussion of what the show’s main message is would guarantee a fascinating debate).
Anyway, this is a powerful tale of discovery, friendship, secrets, and parental love filled with emotional moments and supported by a powerful cast.
I really enjoyed this one. However, there isn’t any news about whether it’s renewed or canceled. But don’t worry, you won’t be left hanging: while there are some plots left to be continued in a potential second season, the finale provides a conclusion and could serve as a good series finale.
3. Bom dia, Verônica (Good Morning, Verônica): this one is not for the faint of heart. Also streaming on Netflix, with 8 episodes/40 minutes each, the show adapts Raphael Montes’ novel of the same name, telling the story of Verônica Torres, a police clerk who starts investigating cases involving domestic violence and violence against women. This well-performed thriller will wreck your heart. At least, mine was destroyed after I finished the whole thing. I don’t know what else I can say without spoiling it, but I have to warn you: this show is full of graphic content and heavy storylines, which can be triggering for some audiences. Also, at times, the whole thing can be upsetting: there’s so much going on and there are so many problems that it’s almost impossible to believe in a happy ending. But don’t let it underwhelm you. It’s one of the greatest shows I watched in 2020, with an intriguing investigative plot and powerful moments that will stay with you weeks after its ending.
The second season is expected to start filming this July.
4. Still to be seen
Just in case some of you already knew the shows above, I prepared an extra section with tv series I’m planning to watch very soon. I don’t know if they are good, but they got me interested, and as soon I discover whether they are worth it or not, I will let you know.
- Amorteamo (2015): the picture above is from this miniseries, a gothic tale that reminds me of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride. The synopsis tells that it’s a supernatural melodrama focused on two love triangles. The perfect story for a cold/rainy day. You can watch a teaser here.
- Sob Pressão (Under Pressure, 2017-present): intense medical drama; I don’t know much more. But I hear the acting here is very impressive, as the show has received many awards through the years. Here is the trailer.
- Se eu fechar os olhos agora (If I close my eyes now, 2018): in a small town, a murder mystery is investigated by children. This limited series seems intriguing, also I love this type of story, and the trailer is gorgeous.
- All three of them can be watched on Globoplay.
Oh, by the way, if you watch any of these before I do, let me know, please, leave a comment telling me if they are as good as they seem.
Actually, if you watch any of the shows mentioned in this article, please, tell me what you think! I expect to bring more recommendations and reviews soon, and I’d love to receive feedbacks!
That’s it for today, folks! Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed :)