‘La casa de papel’ was born on Antena 3, but it was on Netflix where it became a worldwide phenomenon. Only that made a new robbery of the Professor’s band possible, but the appetite of the streaming platform is voracious, so it did not take long to close an exclusive agreement with its creator Álex Pina and this Friday, May 15, the first resulting work arrives thereof: ‘White Lines’.
Obviously, simply saying the new series by the creator of ‘The Paper House’ can already make the expectations of many people skyrocket to unattainable heights, not even because they expect more of the same elsewhere. I already anticipate after seeing its first three episodes that ‘White Lines’ is not ‘La casa de papel 2’, but it is an absorbing thriller with lies, sex and death that is worth it.
Who murdered Axel?
It may sound contradictory to what was said in the previous paragraph, but ‘White Lines’ does share with ‘La casa de papel’ a narrative that does not limit itself to exposing the facts in a linear way, since it often jumps to the past to delve deeper in the mystery surrounding Axel’s death. The appearance of his corpse twenty years after he disappeared is the trigger to create a suspense story that catches your attention from the first chapter
Leaving aside the curiosity that the dialogues are jumping from Spanish to English constantly, the fact of locating the action in Ibiza allows Pina to create a very particular climate in which the festive, the criminal on the one hand unites , but also light with dramatic. It is a cocktail that in more than a moment gives the sensation of being able to unbalance and sink the series – I think especially in some moments in which sex comes to the fore – but without that ever happening.
From the start, those changes could collide, but the Netflix series soon lets the different plots -and the characters- do the work to pose a convoluted but attractive mystery, always with the luminosity of the Balearic island by flag, either for an attempt to flee the police at full speed or with a peculiar method of torture so that someone confesses something they have not done.
That allows the series to tinker with the idea of being a roadblock but without showing the worst face of these, since the investigation that the character played by a solvent Laura Haddock initiates serves to unleash a network of deceits and interests that for now ‘White Lines’ has only pawned to scratch the surface. We have seen several clues of what happened, but the question remains: who the hell ended Axel?
There are several characters that could have done it for one reason or another, without neglecting the surprises that we will discover along the way, but the key to hooking the viewer is in a suggestive gallery of characters, from those who hide with power who hide secrets. even those who play a less prominent role. From the priest who always yields to the requests of a certain person to the hit man who knows how to show all his strength when the occasion requires it, but also to have a most peculiar relationship with the protagonist.
What it is fair to recognize is that the series works better today with all the trouble it is proposing and the cliffhangers it leaves along the way than when it travels to the past to give us new information dropper about Axel. Maybe it’s because in the present time everything is more twisted and even playful, while in flashbacks it seems like a more conventional series. We accept it because it gives us necessary information, but there are less efforts to give it a personality of its own.
Luckily, the past has a lesser presence in the story and everything focuses on the present, where as soon as they give you an adrenaline rush as they continue to maintain our interest through dialogues. I am not going to say that everything hits the target, but that there are no pronounced ups and downs when you jump from one focus of interest to another, and that has much merit. To this you add a successful cast – any series with Pedro Casablanc and Ginés García Millán has my attention, although its weight so far is less – and you have a luxury pastime more than fulfilling.
‘White Lines’ is an entertainment that engages and leaves you wanting to discover how the spider web is unraveling. It is also a very direct proposal, so do not expect any trace of subtlety, but a plan that seems well thought out accompanied by a series of characters with attractiveness and charisma. For now it is not memorable, but it gives more than what it promises.
You can watch ‘White Lines’ on Netflix.