Five and a half years after the end of “There is room in the background”, the series is back. It doesn’t matter if you’ve followed it week after week, sporadically, or simply haven’t seen anything. The presence of this story in the national consciousness, whether due to advertising on América TV or comments on social networks, guarantees that, at least, you know what the plot is about and who the main characters are.
In short, if you have lived in Peru for the last decade, you already know everything you need to understand the first episode without missing a thing.
“There’s Room at the Bottom” – Season 9
This return takes up the plot in which Francesca Maldini, after the loss of her daughter, invited the Gonzáles to live with her, who, for the most part, have relaxed among the comforts provided by their hostess.
What’s new? Teresita’s son, Richard Wilkinson Jr., appears to have superior intelligence; Charito feels relegated to being in a house where she doesn’t have many things to do; Joel (Erick Elera) misses Fernanda (with whom he never had children) and Jaimito suffers a love disappointment. The other characters remain unchanged.
After some incidents where the Gonzáles and Francesca Maldini reaffirm that they are now family, a figure dressed in black swears revenge. It is unknown who she is, but she is linked to Claudia Llanos, better known as “Shark Look”.
In its first episode, “Al fondo hay lugar” season 9 presents two tones, the comic and the dramatic, with few nuances; that’s the proposal. There are characters that work better between laughs, as Teresita (Magdyel Ugaz), Tito (László Kovács), Pepe (David Almandoz) and Joel (Erick Elera). Others, on the other hand, move between one register and another with ease, as is the case with Francesca (Yvonne Frayssinet), Peter (Adolfo Chuiman) and Gilberto (Gustavo Bueno). Charito (Mónica Sánchez) is the necessary voice of reason, which is why he ends up as the punchline of the joke. His character is not for jokes and it is in seriousness where he handles himself comfortably.
The original proposal of the series was the contrast of lifestyles. This is partially maintained in the Maldini house, where, despite having opened up to her “chosen family”, Francesca still maintains certain prejudices. In addition, she has no major problems with her money in offering her guests luxuries that would otherwise be unattainable, which collides with Charito’s values. But the best part of the episode does not take place in that house.
The Gonzáles, experts in knowing how to have fun, have a great time at the wedding of a friend of Francesca’s. Very good. At times they even cross the personal space of the other guests, especially Teresita and her boyfriend. Their culture is one of closeness, of living to the fullest without thinking about what they will say. It is then that Francesca shows her new self, that of accepting those she loves without prejudice. Or little prejudice, because otherwise she would not be who she is.
Such conflicts work because the series is already positioned in the viewer’s mind, the origin of the characters is known. But the clash of socioeconomic levels still feels slim. The original series had more antagonists, such as Miguel Ignacio, Francesca, and even Ricolás. Yvonne Frayssinet does her job well, but the Gonzáles are a battalion. More opposition is needed, which could come in future episodes with the figure in black that appears at times and has some link with “Shark Gaze”.
Low moments of the episode? The plot of Jaimito (Jorge Guerra), who seems to inherit the romantic messes in which all the adolescent characters of “Back to the neighborhood” were involved. His plot is just beginning, but at this beginning he gives no reason to expect anything that has not been seen. The appearance of Pollo Gordo (Junior Silva) did not contribute much either, except for Joel to make fun of him.
I don’t think I’ll see the next episodes of “Al fondo hay lugar”, but I recognize that it has enough reasons to entertain, if not because of the plot, then because of how it captures something as human (and Peruvian) as contempt for others; present today with equal or greater force than in 2009, when it began. Some things never change.
- It was a surprise to see Teresita’s son, Junior, interested in the stock market. I can imagine a plot of the boy turned into a “cryptobro”. There is something interesting there.
- I’m surprised that the series has made such an obvious retcon with Joel and Fernanda’s twins. Let everything be to prolong the game.
- Francesca Maldini taking her money out of Peru because of the political instability is something the character would definitely do.
- Francesca looks very happy. Taking the Gonzales to her house was the best thing she could have done.
- And Peter is still in love with her. Dude, it’s not there.
- Gustavo Bueno confirms what a great actor he is. The scene where he hugs his grandson and comforts him works more for him than for the script.
- Tito and Pepe are definitely alcoholics. There is a plot to develop.
- That Choca Mandros cameo was too gratuitous.
- Unlike Fernanda, I don’t remember that the episode mentioned Grace (Mayra Couto).
3 stars out of 5
“There is room in the background”
You can watch new episodes of the series from Monday to Friday at 8:30 PM on América TV and the América TV Go web service.