Merlí: Sapere Aude (Netflix)

Those of you looking for a new glossy, sexy, teen drama to sink into might want to take a look at Merlí: Sapere Aude on Netflix. It’s set in Barcelona, much of it filmed in real locations visitors to the city will recognise (the university, Las Ramblas, the beach, el Barrio Gótic, etc). What’s slightly different about it, aside from it being filmed in Castilian and Catalan — so that characters are constantly moving between one language and another, the way people in Quebec do, though I’m not sure there’s a Catalan equivalent of franglais — is that it’s about philosophy students. Each episode not only explores whatever drama or character arc the main characters are given but frames them within (a very traditional) philosophical paradigm (Plato, Socrates, Hume, Spinoza, etc), i,e students making sense of their life through their Introduction to Philosophy Course. The relationship between Pol (Carlos Cuevas) and Bruno (David Solans), led to the Brunol phenomenon, which developed from a previous series with the same characters set in a High School (Merlí) and which I’m keen to explore further. I don’t think one can make very great claims for it — clichés abound — but I liked it very much.

José Arroyo

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