Sunday, May 14, 2017

Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls) Netflix Series Review

Las Chicas Del Cable (Cable Girls) (2017-)
Season 1 Part 1 - 8 episodes (2017)
Watch Cables Girls on Netflix
Created by: Ramón Campos, Teresa Fernández-Valdés, Gema R. Neira
Starring: Ana Fernández, Nadia de Santiago, Blanca Suárez and Maggie Civantos
Rating: TV-MA

Filmed in Spain, this Spanish language series follows four women hired as switchboard operators for Spain's only telephone company in the 1920's. Jealousy, envy, and betrayal follow dreams for success.
Season 1 is split into two pats, with eight episodes each, season 2 has already been confirmed.

I've only watched the first episode. The setting is intriguing. At first glance this appears to be a companion to Mad Men (2007-15), where we look at the '20s in this case with the hindsight of being in the 21st century. The first episode relies on soap opera like drama. While it may be trying to set up all the story lines as quick as possible, this would benefit from developing the characters first.
The production looks great from sets to costumes, but the modern musical accompaniment is just odd. It's a strange mix that is awkwardly trying to bridge time periods while being completely unnecessary. Embrace the music of the time period.
It depends.

The story of these four women wanting to get a job is a great starting point. They all have different reasons for wanting to work for the phone company, even if their reasons are pretty standard. That alone can sustain the plot, and the phone company was a big deal then, but this turns more towards soap opera.
Alba (Blanca Suárez) has to infiltrate the phone company and steal money for a dirty cop otherwise she'll go to jail. That's not all, one of the directors at the phone company is a man she was separated from a decade ago, her lost love. They haven't seen each other since being separated all those years ago. It's a bit cheesy, and my concern is this show will opt for forced drama instead of letting the characters develop. That's the case in the first episode anyway.

Mad Men is the closet comparison for this show, though Cable Girls isn't in the same class. The dirty cop and lost love plot line could be removed without changing the structure of first episode much. Alba's a thief, we know that. She could still be trying to infiltrate the phone company or trying to cheat her way in to go straight. This episode doesn't slow down enough. While the show could certainly hit its stride in the next few episodes, I'm not interested in seeing more. I think I have a good handle on what this will be, and while it's not a bad show, it's just not for me.

The first episode covers a lot of ground. While I assumed her theft for the cop would drag out over a few episodes, we reach a cliff hanger for that story by the end of the episode. I'm curious to see how the second episode handles the Alba, cop, lost love situation. That could go a long way in winning me over.

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