On Friday 7th August, Netflix unveiled Club de Cuervos, their first Spanish-language original series. A comedy drama that shows us the locker room, breaking the vital rule of sport, the show gives us an insight into life on and off the field for a Mexican football team.
In a dead town in Mexico, the local football team is the redemption everyone is looking for. The Cuervos of Nuevo Toledo are in the top tier of the Mexican league but when their president suddenly passes away, everything could be undone at the hands of his children who are at war for the open presidency position.
Much like a division in football, Club de Cuervos has a whole league of themes at play ranging from nepotism, sexuality, corruption, infidelity and sexism. If you follow football closely you will be able to understand the struggle the creative team have gone through to replicate specific attributes, proving that art does really imitate life in this comedy drama. An example of this is when the team goes through an ordeal to bring in a prolific goal scorer, someone who can really put the team on the map, but he has an attitude that none of his previous managers have appreciated, making him sound a lot like Mario Balotelli, Liverpool’s own.
The issue with having so many themes and only a 13 episode season is that Club de Cuervos falls flat by taking on too much, occasionally making it feel more like a soap opera. This often leaves the show without a definitive style, changing what it wants to do. For the entirety of one episode, the format even turns into a mockumentary which contrasts with the other 12 episodes.
Thankfully, there are some brighter areas to this series, such as the comedy moments that genuinely made me laugh. Also, the cast often do a great job at bringing their characters to life, most notably the three main cast members. Luis Gerardo Méndez and Mariana Treviño play rivalling siblings Chava, the egotistical entrepreneur desperate to live up to his father’s expectations, and Isabel, the devoted hard worker, respectively. Both are wonderful in the show, especially Treviño who brings new life to the tale of a woman dealing with sexism in the workplace. Daniel Giménez plays his part of Felix Domingo with ease, a sort of Malcolm Tucker character who really runs the Cuervos but likes to hide back in the shadows.
An unexpected piece of beauty within the show is its theme music; I worry about anyone who doesn’t have the desire to get up and dance.
With a series that brings television and football together, two things close to my heart, I doubt that the show will ever find its feet. Though it has all the qualities to be great, it fails to reach those heights a first season needs, leaving you with nothing but a new favourite song to dance embarrassingly to.
Did you enjoy the first season of Club de Cuervos?
Comment with your thoughts.