«Elite», a teen drama grappling with new narrative challenges – time.news

from Aldo Grasso

The fourth season of the Spanish series has just arrived on Netflix. But the choice of how to manage the growth of the characters succeeded in half

In the golden world of privileged teenagers of Elite everything shines, but behind the glittering reflections life hard. Netflix has recently released the fourth season of the Spanish series, which has become a case among the younger audience. In technical jargon, Elite belongs to a genre historically very cultivated by the television story, the teen drama, of which Americans have always been masters: a representation of adolescence filtered by the eyes of adults, often made up of abstractions and characters that embody typologies (rebellion, search for one’s own identity, development of affectivity), branched into many possible subgenres.

Compared to the great classics of the genre, Teen dramas in the new millennium portray a much more ruthless world, made infinitely more complex by the pervasiveness of social media that often cruelly dictate social hierarchies and behavioral models to conform to, as well as increasingly fragile parenting roles.

The narrative strategies have also changed compared to the past: a heavier hand on crime plots, brazenness in cultivating the narrative tricks typical of soap opera, much more expressive freedom given by paid distribution contexts such as digital platforms and pay channels. Elite is no exception: this season the challenge was the one that all teen dramas sooner or later find themselves facing, that is to manage the personal growth of some of the most beloved characters, ready to leave the walls of the high school microcosm for new adventures.

In narrative terms it seems half successful. The choice was to introduce new roles in the story and renew the cast, but the new characters have less personality and also the choice to keep more social issues in the background (especially the construction of the cultural identity of second generation adolescents), it seems little rewarding.

July 23, 2021 (change July 23, 2021 | 20:14)


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