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When in mid-February of this year, Netflix released the first trailer and new stills for “Once upon a time… but not anymore” we saw for the first time actors of the stature of Rossy de Palma, Asier Etxeandía or Itziar Castro interact in the new series of Manolo Caro. The thing seemed to paint well, at least in photos. However, the feeling was not the same when we played the little teaser with Sebastian Yatra debuting as an actor.
With a great unknown in mind, we stayed like this until March 11, the day the streaming platform premiered the Spanish fiction.
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expectation vs. reality
After his success with “the house of flowers”, the expectation to see the work of Manolo Caro, it was in crescendo. It did not matter that the aforementioned Mexican series had dropped in quality towards its last seasons, the Mexican producer, director and writer had become an important player in the plans to develop content in Spanish for Netflixperhaps because of that casual style that likes to address socially controversial issues such as homosexuality, appearances, double standards, among others.
“There is a need to make fun of what we have become as a necessary society in current fictions,” the 37-year-old Mexican once declared.
So it comes then, “someone has to die”, a period thriller that, despite painting well at the beginning, did not finish ordering its story, resulting in a story without the promised intrigue, a sensation of an unfinished and confused script.
This year it came to Netflix“Once upon a time… but not anymore”, Caro’s third series for the streaming giant. And after seeing the first two chapters, we can conclude that we were not interested in continuing to watch the series for various reasons, including the Colombian singer’s lack of expressiveness in acting.
But first, let’s explain what the plot of “Once upon a time… but not anymore”. The story takes place in the Middle Ages. Two lovers, a fisherman named Diego (Sebastian Yatra) and a princess named Soledad (Monica Maranillo) are madly in love; however, they are aware that their love is forbidden.
Given this, the gallant will decide to go to war to prove that he is worthy of his princess’s love, but first he will give in to the spell of a witch who will warn him that so that his beloved does not fall in love with another man, he must take care of a blue dragon until he come back. If the animal dies, a curse will take over the town and no one will be able to fall in love until the spell is broken. And how does it break? The lovers will have to get back together in the current time or in the next.
Manolo Caro has said that “Once upon a time… but not anymore” is a project in which he has poured all his creative freedom and whose purpose is precisely to entertain. About history, the Mexican has defended it arguing that “he likes to normalize things in this industry.”
And for this reason, we intuit, he wanted to show us this kind of anti-tale that, using the two timelines of history: that of the Middle Ages and the current one, seeks to make a parallel between the restrictions of the society of then with that of now, in an ironic way. But this is where the script fails because the plot does not flow but is forced to tell us that today we speak in inclusive language, there is a lot of sexual freedom and there is feminism, among other social progress.
All of this is lost even more and becomes clumsy in a story that, with the protagonist’s forgiveness, is not believable no matter how much fantasy surrounds it, mainly because the heartthrob in this story does not believe anything.
Maybe Caro thought it was a good idea that Sebastian Yatra, Nia Correia and Monica Maranillo, its three young protagonists are singers and not actors by profession, because it is a musical, but the interpreter of “Red Heels” is insufferable.
Seeing the protagonist as a gigolo, wearing a jockstrap in some scenes and in many of them, having sex showing us his butt in close-up, is more annoying than revolutionary or carefree.
On the other hand, it is a delight to see Rossy de Palma playing the owner of the dilapidated hotel in which the story takes place. The same thing happens, although several points below, with the Mexican Mariana Trevino and the Chilean Daniela Vega (A fantastic woman). The production, the colors and even at times, some musical numbers, which remind us a lot of what we saw in “the house of flowers”, they can be for their target audience, even funny.
In conclusion, “Once upon a time… but not anymore” is not for all audiences. We repeat, perhaps some do enjoy it and feel that, like Caro, you just have to look for entertainment. And you, have you seen the series? Do you like me or not?
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