Elite (TV series)

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Elite
Title Screen for Élite.png
Genre
Created by
  • Carlos Monte
  • Darío Madrona
Starring
Composer(s)Lucas Vidal
Country of originSpain
Original language(s)Spanish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes24 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Carlos Montero
  • Darío Madrona
  • Diego Betancor
  • Iñaki Juaristi
Producer(s)Francisco Ramos
Production location(s)Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid
Cinematography
  • Daniel Sosa Segura
  • Ricardo de Gracia
Editor(s)
  • Irene Blecua
  • Ascen Marchena
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time47–56 minutes
Production company(s)Zeta Producciones
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (16:9 UHDTV in high dynamic range)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original release5 October 2018 (2018-10-05) –
present (present)
External links
Website

Elite (Spanish: Élite; stylized as E L I T Ǝ) is a Spanish thriller teen drama web television series created for Netflix by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona. The series is set in Las Encinas, a fictional elite secondary school and revolves around the relationships between three working-class teenage students enrolled at the school through a scholarship and their wealthy classmates. The series features an ensemble cast including María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Ester Expósito, Omar Ayuso, and Danna Paola. Jorge López, Claudia Salas, Georgina Amorós, Sergio Momo, Leïti Sène, Carla Díaz, Manu Ríos, Martina Cariddi, and Pol Granch joined the cast in later seasons. Many of the cast previously featured in other Netflix works produced or distributed in Spain and Latin America.

Elite explores concepts and themes associated with teen dramas, but also features more progressive issues and other sides to its clichés. These include many diverse sexual themes. Structurally, the series employs a flash-forward plot that involves a mystery element, with each season taking place in two timelines. The first season, consisting of eight episodes, was released on Netflix on 8 October 2018. It received positive reviews from critics and audiences, with many hailing the series as a "guilty pleasure", and praising its writing, acting and portrayal of mature themes. In October 2018, the series was renewed for a second season, which was released on 6 September 2019. A third season was ordered in August 2019 and was released on 13 March 2020. In January 2020, Netflix renewed the series for a fourth and fifth season.

Premise[edit]

Season 1[edit]

After their school collapses, three working-class friends – Samuel, Nadia and Christian – are offered scholarships to Las Encinas, the most exclusive private school in Spain. The scholarships are sponsored by the construction company at fault for the school's collapse. At Las Encinas, the three are initially ostracized by the wealthy students. As the school year progresses, their lives intertwine in a clash of lifestyles, resentments, envy, and sexual attraction. Through a series of flash-forward scenes of police interrogations, the audience is shown stories of the characters' relationships that lead to Marina's murder.

Season 2[edit]

After the revelation of the murder, the second season deals with the lead-up to the disappearance of Samuel. Meanwhile, three new students – Valerio, Rebeca, and Cayetana – join the school where each of them have their own dark secrets. They befriend the students in their class whilst Samuel continues with his plan to clear the name of his brother Nano, who was accused of Marina's murder. Meanwhile, Polo attempts suicide to clear his conscience, but eventually learns to live happily with the help of Cayetana. Ander's mental health deteriorates due to the burden of keeping Polo's secret. After Samuel tricks Carla into revealing Marina's murderer, Polo is arrested, but is released two weeks later and returns to school.

Season 3[edit]

The students enter their last semester at Las Encinas. In a flash-forward plot, the students are interviewed about Polo's death during their graduation party. Polo and Cayetana are left as outcasts by their peers, with the exception of Valerio. Samuel and Guzman continue their plot to bring justice for Polo's crimes. Lu and Nadia compete for a scholarship to Columbia University, leading the two to form a mutual friendship. Ander is diagnosed with leukemia and begins chemotherapy, causing friction between him and his loved ones. On the night of their graduation, in a drunken stupor, Lu accidentally stabs Polo, who stumbles and falls to his death. Samuel, Guzmán, Ander, Omar, Nadia, Carla, Valerio, Rebeca and Cayetana agree to cover up the murder. Unable to find a suspect, Polo's death is eventually ruled as a suicide and his parents tell the police he confessed to Marina's murder. Two months later, Samuel, Guzman, Ander and Rebeca return to repeat their final year with Omar, who has enrolled as a full-time student.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Introduced in season one[edit]

  • María Pedraza as Marina Nunier Osuna (season 1, videotape season 2 and 3), Guzmán's sister and love interest of Nano and Samuel.[1] She comes from a wealthy family and has a streak of falling for the 'bad boy'. She rebels against the hypocritical ways of her family, while maintaining a youthful and joyful spirit. She is murdered in season 1.
  • Itzan Escamilla as Samuel García Domínguez, one of three transfer students, who is the love interest of Marina and later falls for Carla.[1] A hardworking, shy and kind-hearted guy. He always looks out for the people around him. He is justice-driven and will go to extreme lengths to ensure that everyone gets what they deserve.
  • Miguel Bernardeau as Guzmán Nunier Osuna, adopted brother of Marina, and Lu's ex-boyfriend, who falls for Nadia.[1] A hot-headed popular guy at school. He believes his way is always the right way. He is extremely protective over his sister, and does not bond well with the transfer students. He would do anything for his friends.
  • Miguel Herrán as Christian Varela Expósito (season 1; guest season 2), one of three transfer students, who gets into a relationship with Polo and Carla. A comical and carefree transfer student who tries to stay connected with his past, while trying to assimilate with the richer students. In season 2, he is deliberately run over by Carla's father, leaving him seriously injured, and has him transferred to another hospital in Switzerland to prevent the truth about Marina's murder from being revealed.
  • Jaime Lorente as Fernando "Nano" García Domínguez (seasons 1–2, voice in season 3), Samuel's older brother who just got out of prison, who is also a love interest of Marina.[1] His handsome and dangerous aura draws Marina in. He struggles to pay a debt from prison and will do anything to get his hands on money. He is caring and sensitive to the people close to him. He often finds himself in trouble.
  • Álvaro Rico as Leopoldo "Polo" Benavent Villada (seasons 1–3), Carla's ex-boyfriend and Cayetana's love interest.[1] He is submissive in nature and will follow the orders of the people he is close to. He is extremely wealthy, the son of two mothers, and suffers from anxiety attacks. He is bisexual. In season 3, he dies after being stabbed with a bottleneck and falling through a glass balcony.
  • Arón Piper as Ander Muñoz, son of the principal who falls for Omar.[1] He is a star athlete and under constant pressure from his parents to excel in everything he does. This pushes him to take drugs. He is driven to get what he wants while caring deeply for the people that matters most to him. He is gay.
  • Mina El Hammani as Nadia Shanaa (seasons 1–3), one of three transfer students, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and the love interest of Guzmán.[1] She is academically driven and holds her religious and personal values close to her. She was eventually banned from wearing the hijab at school, and the more she assimilates with the school culture, the more she gains her independence from her overprotective parents.
  • Omar Ayuso as Omar Shanaa, Nadia's brother, who falls for Ander against his father's wishes.[1] He is a closeted gay guy who struggles with pleasing his parents while living his true self. He dealt drugs in order to make enough money to move out. He is shy, detail-oriented and best friends with Samuel. In season 3, he resumes his school studies and enrolls at Las Encinas.
  • Ester Expósito as Carla Rosón Caleruega (seasons 1–3), Polo's ex-girlfriend and Christian's sex partner who later falls in love with Samuel.[1] She is beautiful, cold and manipulative. She is the daughter of a Marquess and is extremely wealthy. She uses her sexuality to get what she wants. A softer side of her is shown as she cares about the people she loves and will go to extreme lengths to cover up their faults and supports them.
  • Danna Paola as Lucrecia "Lu" Montesinos Hendrich (seasons 1–3), Guzmán's ex-girlfriend who shares an incestuous relationship with her half-brother, Valerio. She is strong-witted, competitive and manipulative. She will go to extreme lengths to secure what she believes will bring her happiness however she is aware that no matter how much she has, she will never be satisfied. She had a strong dislike for Nadia but they eventually become friends. She is also extremely wealthy.

Introduced in season two[edit]

  • Jorge López as Valerio Montesinos Rojas (seasons 2–3), Lu's half-brother. He is a drug addict, likes to party, and will do anything for Lu with whom he shares an incestuous relationship. He eventually befriends Nadia.
  • Claudia Salas as Rebeca "Rebe" de Bormujo Ávalos (season 2–present), a rebel, wealthy girl, who has a crush on Samuel. She is different from the other wealthier students in her class as she likes to extravagantly flaunt her wealth through her clothes and jewellery. She was not born into wealth which causes her to sympathise a lot with Nadia, Omar and Samuel. Her mother engages in the drug business.
  • Georgina Amorós as Cayetana Grajera Pando (season 2–present), the daughter of a cleaning lady who lives a fraudulent lifestyle and is the love interest of Polo. She is manipulative to the extent of fabricating a whole lifestyle in order to assimilate with the wealthier students in her class. She befriends Lu, and will go to extreme lengths to prove how wealthy she is. Her mother, a cleaning lady, works at the school where she disapproves of her daughter's lies.

Introduced in season three[edit]

  • Leïti Sène as Malik (season 3), a love interest of Omar. He is flirtatious, and manipulative, using Nadia as a beard to get closer to Omar. He is wealthy and puts on a performance to appear to be a 'good' Muslim.
  • Sergio Momo as Yeray (season 3), a love interest of Carla. A young wealthy student who started up his own business. He was initially overweight and was bullied for it constantly, but Carla gave him the confidence to change his habits. He is superficial as he sees Carla as an ornament he can parade around, but ultimately he shows a more caring side.

Introduced in season four[edit]

  • Martina Cariddi as Helena (season 4–present)
  • Carla Díaz as Estela (season 4–present)
  • Pol Granch as Ricardo (season 4–present)
  • Manu Ríos as Manu Benavent (season 4–present)

Recurring[edit]

  • Ramón Esquinas as Ventura Nunier, Guzmán and Marina's father
  • Jorge Suquet as Martín (season 1), a school teacher
  • Ainhoa Santamaría as the police interrogator
  • Irene Arcos as Pilar Domínguez (seasons 1-2; Guest season 3), Nano and Samuel's mother
  • Abdelatif Hwidar as Yusef Shanaa, Nadia and Omar's father
  • Elisabet Gelabert as Azucena de Muñoz, the school principal and Ander's mother
  • Rocío Muñoz-Cobo as Laura Osuna, Marina and Guzmán's mother
  • Alfredo Villa as Antonio Muñoz (season 1; Guest season 2), Ander's father and tennis coach
  • Farah Hamed as Imán Shanaa, Nadia and Omar's mother
  • Lola Marceli as Beatriz Caleruega (seasons 1-3), a marchioness and Carla's mother
  • Rubén Martínez as Teodoro Rosón (seasons 1-3), Carla's father and Ventura's business partner
  • Yaiza Guimaré as Begoña (season 1,4-present; Guest seasons 2-3), one of Polo's mothers
  • Liz Lobato as Andrea (seasons 1,3-present; Guest season 2), one of Polo's mothers and CEO of an important magazine
  • Marta Aledo as Victoria Pando (season 2), Cayetana's mother
  • Eva Llorach as Sandra López Gallego (seasons 2-present), Rebeca's mother
  • Jorge Clemente as Alexis (seasons 3-present), Ander's friend

Production[edit]

Development and themes[edit]

I am excited at producing Elite at this stage of my career. This is a lot of fun. With the golden age of series, I can now achieve in TV what I wanted to do with movies in the last few years. [...] Producers, directors, and writers can now go back and forth between film and TV, Netflix especially has been very good in this sense in that that they bring together two different media.

– Francisco Ramos, producer[2]

On 17 July 2017, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season;[3] it is the second Netflix original series in Spain after Cable Girls.[4][5] The series is created by Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona who are both credited as executive producers of the series;[3] as Netflix announced the order, The Hollywood Reporter wrote that the series' team "boasts one of the most successful writing teams in Spain's current TV landscape".[5] Montero and Madrona came to develop the series after being told that Netflix was looking for a teenage show and were asked to produce an idea, with Montero coming up with the basic premise; the pair worked on it before presenting to Netflix a month later.[6]

Erik Barmack, Netflix's VP of original series at the time, said that Elite would be "a very different kind of teen thriller that will cross borders and affect audiences globally".[5] Still, the creators said that the series has a lot of Spanish themes and Spanish identity, to give it "a sense of place and time, that it is a series of this moment and of this country", and to prevent it from becoming a "series that could happen anywhere in the world [because if they try to make something] that can be understood everywhere, in the end it is not understood anywhere".[6] In September 2018, it was announced that the series would premiere on 5 October 2018.[7] Producer Francisco Ramos spoke about some of the decisions in creating the show in an interview before it was released. He said that the choice to set the mystery drama in a high school was important because "it is the time of your life when things matter the most", allowing them to explore the pressures of fitting in as an elite alongside the other plot lines.[8]

On 17 October 2018, Netflix renewed the series for a second season. During this period it was increasing production in Spain after having constructed new production facilities in Madrid.[4][9] As Netflix renewed the show, it announced that there were still discussions on which characters would appear.[4] The second season was released on 6 September 2019;[10] it began production after the viewership for the first season was known, in January 2019, though it had been written before season 1 had been released.[11]

The internal structure of the show uses flash-forwards to advance the plot and the mystery, which Variety compared to that of Big Little Lies. When speaking of the innovation in the second season, co-creator Darío Madrona said that they "wanted to keep the fast-forward formula as a staple of the series, but at the same time be different".[11] Madrona said: "In the first season we were conscious that we were making a series for Netflix, and tried to put everything into it [...] For season 2, we thought that we had the opportunity to explore the characters and the new ones as well. But it was an instinctive decision."[11] Variety wrote that the second season therefore may be similar to Stranger Things season 3 in the way it compares to its more plot-driven predecessor seasons and how it "drives deeper into [the characters'] interaction, in continued coming of age narratives which are deeply inflected by class and economics".[11] The production values and costs were also raised for season 2, to allow the creators more freedom.[11]

The character Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), introduced in season 2, is said to tackle the topic of appearances being everything–a theme of the series–from a different angle. She is a social media influencer and, according to Amorós "isn't at all what she seems".[11] Social media is another theme examined in season 2, with Darío Madrona and actress Mina El Hammani commenting on how it gives a perception of someone being good if people like who they are on the Internet, which can be dangerous.[11]

On 29 August 2019, it was reported that the series was renewed for a third season,[12] before the second season had aired.[13] The third season's logo has been stylized as "ELIT3".[14] The third season premiered on 13 March 2020.[15]

On 20 January 2020, it was announced that the series had been renewed for a fourth and fifth season.[16][17]

On 22 May 2020, Netflix officially announced the show's renewal for the fourth season which was already in development.[18]

Casting[edit]

Danna Paola during an interview in September 2018 02.png
Festival de cinema de Sitges 2018 (44456640114).jpg
Georgina Amorós, XII Premis Gaudí (2020).jpg
Premios Goya 2020 - Ester Expósito (Cropped).jpg
Danna Paola, Jaime Lorente, Georgina Amorós, and Ester Expósito (L-R) are among the actors who had already starred in Netflix-distributed works before being cast in the Netflix original series

Variety writes that the show's characters all "border stereotypes" but "escape total buttonholing"; director Silvia Quer said that she was attracted to the show because of the well-constructed characters.[11] The series creators have been questioned on their choice to continue with the tradition of casting adult actors for all the teenage roles, reporting that it is "a purely practical matter" based on labor laws, as well as noting that most of the actors were aged between 19 and 22 when filming, whereas American series often use actors closer to 30.[6] The production was involved in casting for the show.[6]

The initial main cast was confirmed before the series' debut, featuring several actors from other Netflix series and films either created or distributed by Netflix España y Latinoamerica,[a] including Itzan Escamilla of Cable Girls,[19] Danna Paola of Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo,[20] and María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, and Miguel Herrán of Money Heist. However, acting newcomer Omar Ayuso was also cast, as a character (Omar Shanaa) bearing his own given name.[19] For season two, another actress from a Netflix series, Georgina Amorós of the Catalan Welcome to the Family, was added to the cast.[21] Announced shortly before its release, she was joined by Claudia Salas[22] and Jorge López.[23] Two new members of the cast for season 3, and their characters, were introduced in a short Netflix video shared by actress Ester Expósito, on 4 October 2019. They are also actors from other Netflix series: Leïti Sène of Welcome to the Family and Sergio Momo of The Neighbor.[14]

Paola has said in interviews that she almost lost the chance to audition for the show, as the message was sent over email but landed in her spam messages folder. However, she retrieved it and sent in a video audition; the sides for this involved an early scene where her character (Lu) is having a tense conversation with the character Nadia. In the scene, Paola says that she ad-libbed using the sarcastic term of endearment "darling" ("querida" in Spanish), which the creators liked and has since become a catchphrase on the series.[24] On 28 January 2020, it was announced that the series will consist of a new main cast for the fourth season.[25] On 19 May 2020, it was confirmed via Élite's Instagram account that Mina El Hammani, Danna Paola, Ester Expósito, Álvaro Rico, and Jorge López will not return for season 4. Sergio Momo and Leiti Sène, who appeared in a main role in season 3, won't also return for season 4. On 22 May 2020, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Arón Piper, Omar Ayuso, Claudia Salas and Georgina Amorós were confirmed to reprise their roles in season 4. [26] On 19 July 2020, Carla Díaz, Manu Ríos, Martina Cariddi, Pol Granch, Diego Martín and Andrés Velencoso were announced to have joined the fourth season's new main cast. [27]

Filming[edit]

Though the school in the series, Las Encinas, is located in the mountains, it is filmed in Madrid, including parts filmed in San Lorenzo de El Escorial.[28]

The first two seasons were shot entirely in 4K.[4][5] In a tweet shared by Expósito in October 2019, the actress revealed that the third season had already completed filming.[14]

Music[edit]

Lynn Fainchtein serves as the music supervisor of the series.[29]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
185 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
286 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
3813 March 2020 (2020-03-13)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Bienvenidos""Welcome"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero and Darío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Three working-class students are transferred to an elite private school after their public school collapses due to building issues. Nadia catches Guzmán and Lu together in the showers. Lu dares Guzmán to take Nadia's virginity and at Marina's coming-out party, Carla seduces Christian while Samuel dances with Marina. In the future, Marina is revealed to have been murdered, and an investigation commences.
22"Deseo""Desire"Dani de la OrdenCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Marina and Samuel work on a class project together. Guzmán, to Nadia's annoyance at first, does not stop pursuing her. Against her wishes, he attempts to introduce himself to her devoutly Muslim parents, with slight consequences. Nadia gradually lets her guard down with him. Meanwhile, when he becomes concerned about Ander after seeing him with Omar, Guzmán tells Ander's parents that he is doing drugs. Nano reveals to Samuel that he owes inmates from prison €40,000 after they trash their apartment and terrorise their mother. Nano asks Samuel to blackmail Marina's family for the money, but Samuel feels guilty. Carla and Polo continue their scheme with Christian, who remains oblivious and is under the impression Carla truly likes him.
33"Sábado noche""Saturday Night"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Nano, with the help of Christian, decides to use documents regarding the corruption of Marina's father in order to blackmail him and, in the process, get money to pay off his debts. At Samuel's party, Marina and Nano decide to go to her house. Although Samuel wanted to admit his feelings for Marina, he gets drunk and throws up on her, never getting the chance. Searching for his sister, Guzmán accompanies Nadia to the party, where she drinks drugged punch and gets high. As a result, she asks Guzmán to swim in his pool with her. Realising her state, he refuses and calls a cab to take her home. At school the next day, Lu sees Nadia and Guzmán being friendly. Jealous, she reveals to Nadia that Guzmán made a bet to take Nadia's virginity. Nadia confronts him. Meanwhile, Marina tells Samuel she is HIV positive after he admits his feelings to her. Carla and Polo have a threesome with Christian after seducing him. Ander attends Samuel's party, where he gets high with Omar, to Guzmán's anger, and they fight. Later, asking for more pills, Ander gets into trouble and his hand is broken in an ensuing struggle. Samuel tells Nano about Marina's condition, and he confronts her, well aware of Samuel's feelings for her, and asks her to stop toying with his brother.
44"El amor es una droga""Love Is a Drug"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
To her annoyance, Lu realises that Nadia received the top score on a recent exam, putting Lu in second place overall due to a grading curve. To get the top score, Lu investigates and finds out that her teacher is planning to adopt, but is having a tough time doing so due to financial issues. Using her family influence, she bribes her teacher into giving her the top score on the exam. Meanwhile, Guzmán tries to earn Nadia's forgiveness by buying her gifts. She tells him he must act like a Muslim and beg forgiveness from her parents for trying to take her virginity and disrupting her honour. When Guzmán obliges, she forgives him. The students attend a charity event organised by Marina and Guzmán's parents. Marina invites Samuel, and they finally start a relationship. To his disbelief and anger, Guzmán sees his father doing drugs in the winery, leading to an argument at a family dinner. Samuel and Guzmán also see Omar and Ander making out in the winery. Each confronts his friend, and each friend reveals new information — Ander doesn't really like tennis, and Samuel learns that Omar is a drug dealer. Carla, Christian and Polo step out of the party. Nano is offered a deal — he must shoot someone in the leg, and he won't owe any more money. However, he doesn't, which gets him stabbed and puts him into even more debt than before. Marina finds him and helps him, promising to keep it a secret from Samuel.
55"Todos mienten""Everyone Lies"Dani de la OrdenCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Marina offers Nano a way to make fast money in order to pay his debt. Lu reveals her and Guzmán's bet. Omar and Ander have a disagreement. Nano steals the valuable watches from Carla’s house which alerts and concerns her father.
66"Todo va a salir bien""Everything Will Be Okay"Dani de la OrdenDarío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Nano learns that one of his stolen watches is more valuable than he thought. Marina is caught with drugs at school, and turns in her dealer. The investigators reveal that Marina had been pregnant. Guzman and Nadia become closer. Nano and Marina plans to run away together. Omar’s family finds out about his drug dealing and Nadia gets yelled at by her father for knowing about it. Nadia blames Marina for ruining her and her brother’s life. Her scholarship goes to someone else. Lu gets suspended for bribing the teacher.
77"Todo estalla""Everything Explodes"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
Carla grows suspicious of Marina and her potential involvement in the disappearances of the watches. Omar's father hears shocking information about his son. Guzmán goes after Nano.
88"Assilah""Assilah"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero and Darío Madrona5 October 2018 (2018-10-05)
The circumstances surrounding Marina's death are revealed, and the police make an arrest. Polo has in fact murdered Marina inadvertently with the trophy she received after a heated argument about her involvement with Carla's Dad's watches. However, Carla consoles Polo and tells him what to reveal to the police to prevent himself from being suspicious to the police. After interrogations, the police arrest Nano. Samuel begs Christian to help him to which he denies and leaves to see Carla.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"20 horas desaparecido""20 hours missing"Ramón SalazarDarío Madrona6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
A student goes missing. In flashback to three months earlier, Guzmán still grieves the loss of his sister while remaining hostile towards Samuel and Christian struggles with his secret about who killed Marina. Three new students arrive: Cayetana, a rich socialite who lives alone; Valerio, Lu's half-brother, who shares a incestuous relationship with her; and Rebeca, a nouveaux-riche girl, who says her family won the lottery. Nadia and Omar's father has a stroke. Christian leaves a party to confess the murderer to the police, when he's hit by a car. He survives but may never walk again. Carla's father offers to pay for his therapy. Carla suspects her father to be involved in Christian's accident, as does Samuel. In the present day it is shown that Samuel is the missing person.
102"34 horas desaparecido""34 hours missing"Ramón SalazarCarlos Montero6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Seeking the truth about Marina's death, Samuel attempts to seduce Carla and they both end up having sex. Lu's new friend, social media guru Cayetana, hosts an impromptu party. Guzmàn joins the party instead of going to his sister's memorial. Guzman, Ander and Polo share the bed where Polo and Ander jerk off each other. In the present, Carla reveals to Lu that Samuel is not missing but is in fact dead.
113"36 horas desaparecido""36 hours missing"Ramón SalazarBreixo Corral6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Polo and Ander have a heart-to-heart. It is revealed that Cayetana is in fact the daughter of the school's housekeeper and had come on a scholarship. Guzmán and Nadia rekindle their relationship. Omar tells his parents he wants to stop working at the grocery store. Polo reveals to Ander that he in fact killed Marina.
124"59 horas desaparecido""59 hours missing"Sílvia QuerAbril Zamora6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Pressured by his friends, Polo is overwhelmed by guilt and he tries to commit suicide. Cayetana and Ander rescue him. While on a double date with his boyfriend Omar, Lu, and Guzmán, Ander doesn't find the courage to tell Guzmán about Marina's murderer. After a party, Guzmán has sex with Nadia at Rebeca's house. Samuel starts working for Rebeca's mum, who is actually a drug dealer. Rebeca admits that she likes Samuel, but doesn't act on it. Cayetana's secret is threatened to be revealed. Nano is released from jail.
135"63 horas desaparecido""63 hours missing"Sílvia QuerJaime Vaca6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Rebeca arranges a Halloween party at her house where she finds out Cayetana is the school cleaner's daughter and attempts to publicly tease her with this newfound discovery. At the party, Nano threatens Rebeca to stop involving Samuel in her family's drug dealing business. While searching for Samuel, Nano sees Samuel making out with Carla. Samuel walks in on Lu making out with her brother. Nano then attempts to attack Carla, though Samuel intervenes and saves her.
146"66 horas desaparecido""66 hours missing"Sílvia QuerCarlos C. Tomé6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Lu blackmails Nadia to fail her exam or she will tell her parents about the relationship. When Nadia tells Valerio, he tells her to not worry and rather blackmail her about the "Valerio thing". Lu suspects Samuel to have told Nadia and she gives him a death threat the halls. After the exam, Valerio then tells Nadia that he's in love with his sister, which disgusts her. In the future, Guzmán is interrogated about Samuel's disappearance. Carla warns Samuel he will be in the same state as Christian, if he gets further into the murder mystery.
157"84 horas desaparecido""84 hours missing"Dani de la OrdenAbril Zamora6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Cayetana and Lu work together to start a fundraiser. Valerio films Nadia and Guzmán having sex in the boy's locker room and sends it to Lu, who then sends it to the whole school. During the fundraiser, Lu finds out about Cayetana's secret and tells the whole party. Carla tries to warn Samuel about her father. The scene ends with Samuel running away on his bike from a speeding vehicle.
168"0 horas desaparecido""0 hours missing"Dani de la OrdenBreixo Corral6 September 2019 (2019-09-06)
Lu and Valerio's father catches them in an explicit situation. It is revealed that Samuel did not disappear but was hiding in Guzmán's grandparents house to trap Carla into confessing about Marina‘s murderer. Polo gets arrested. Guzmán breaks his friendship with Ander for hiding the fact about Polo. Ander and Omar reconcile. After two weeks, Polo reappears to everyone's surprise.

Season 3 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleEnglish titleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
171"Carla""Carla"Jorge TorregrossaDarío Madrona13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
Carla takes back her testimony against Polo, dropping the charges, under pressure from her father threatening Samuel. Ander learns he has leukemia. Nadia meets new student Malik, a Muslim boy from Senegal, who charms her parents with his values. Lu's father cuts her off financially after coming clean about her situation with Valerio. In the present, Polo is found dead in the club with the students looking on. Carla takes a broken bottleneck and hides it in her purse.
182"Samuel y Guzmán""Samuel and Guzmán"Jorge TorregrossaJaime Vaca13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
Nadia and Lu compete for the same scholarship to Columbia University, and Nadia threatens to expose Lu's secret affair with Valerio, if she does not withdraw from the scholarship. However, they decide to compete fairly. Rebeca finds out about Ander's cancer diagnosis, and later Ander tells his mother and Omar. Samuel tries to get close with Carla, but is pushed away when Carla is scared of her father. A new student, Yeray, who used to attend the school returns. He is smitten by Carla after she stands up for him to bullies before he leaves. Guzmán holds Polo hostage in his house, asking him to confess in court, but Samuel frees Polo when things go out of hand. Valerio goes to Rebeca's house to get more cocaine. Rebeca reveals her feelings for Samuel.
193"Cayetana y Valerio""Cayetana and Valerio"Dani de la OrdenAlmudena Ocaña13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
The inspector gives Samuel a deal: plant a bug in Rebeca's house to gather evidence against her mother's drug business, in return for letting his brother return harm free. Samuel follows through. Polo continues to be harassed at school. Samuel and Guzmán start posting tweets as Polo from a fake account about Marina's murder. When Nadia's parents oppose her plans to study at Columbia, Malik supports her and says he will be studying there too. Yeray takes Carla out, and later invites her father to his IPO celebration party. Her father forces her to attend, in order to convince Yeray to invest in his company. Cayetana is revealed as one of the fake account users.
204"Lu""Lu"Dani de la OrdenCarlos C. Tomé13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
When Nadia fails a report, Guzmán goes to her shop to convince her father to let her spend time studying. When her mother is arrested, Rebeca falls short on money, and considers selling drugs to help pay for school. Without money, Lu throws an opposite Valentine's Party. Malik kisses Omar, and they later hookup at Lu's party. Malik takes Nadia's family to dinner where Omar also comes, but Omar and his father fight about Ander, causing Omar to leave. Ander continues to struggle with chemo. Polo, Cayetana, and Valerio engage in a threesome. In the present, Lu tells the cops she knows who killed Polo.
215"Ander""Ander"Jorge TorregrossaAlmudena Ocaña13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
Rebeca realises someone planted a bug that sent her mother to jail, prompting Samuel to rush to cover up his steps. Rebeca and Valerio start selling drugs at the school. Carla and Yeray continue their relationship, but Carla, unhappy, resorts to drugs. Polo, Cayetana, and Valerio decide to go to London together. At a blackout party, Rebeca finds out Samuel placed the bug, and Nadia finds out Malik is gay and was using her as a beard for his own parents. In the present, Ander considers confessing, but is talked out of it by Omar.
226"Rebeca""Rebeca"Jorge TorregrossaCarlos C. Tomé and Andrés Seara13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
Nadia wins the scholarship, but backs out when Malik gives her an engagement ring to please their parents. However, she is talked back into it by Lu; she decides to split the scholarship with Lu. Ander finds out about Omar's affair with Malik and breaks up with Omar, lying that he was cheating on him. Samuel tells Valerio to not sell Carla drugs when he sees her state. Polo later breaks off their relationship when he finds out Valerio made money for their school fees by selling drugs. Yeray throws a pool party where Rebeca sells Carla drugs out of spite. Carla admits to Yeray that she takes drugs in order to cope with their arranged relationship; she later overdoses and collapses. At school, Polo fights with Valerio about giving Carla drugs, causing the principal to find their stash.
237"Nadia y Omar""Nadia and Omar"Dani de la OrdenJaime Vaca13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
Valerio and Rebeca are expelled over their drugs, while Samuel and Guzmán are expelled when Polo's mother complains about bullying. Omar decides to go to New York with Nadia. Ander decides not to graduate. Rebeca's mother is released from jail, and Rebeca asks her to quit. Carla apologizes to Yeray about their relationship and they make amends. At graduation, Nadia and Lu refer to their friends being expelled and Polo's hand in Marina's death, causing their scholarships to be cancelled. Samuel finds out his deal with the police was a trap to find his brother's location. Yeray invests in the wineries, but makes Carla the owner. Polo convinces his mothers to go through with the scholarship and reveals to them that he indeed killed Marina. At the graduation party, Carla tries to make amends with Samuel, in time for Polo's arrival.
248"Polo""Polo"Dani de la OrdenDarío Madrona13 March 2020 (2020-03-13)
The interactions between Polo and the characters over the season play out. It is revealed the Lu killed Polo with the bottleneck by accident. All the characters cover for Lu, by touching the bottle to put their fingerprints on them. They get Polo's fingerprints, so it is deemed a suicide. Months later, Carla leaves the wineries to Valerio to take care of, so she can study abroad. Omar decides not to go to New York, reconciling with Ander. Samuel, Guzmán, Rebeca, Ander, and Omar return to Las Encinas for their final year. Cayetana becomes the cleaning lady at the school.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Elite
SeasonRotten Tomatoes
1100% (14 reviews)[30]
291% (11 reviews)[31]
3100% (9 reviews)[32]

Elite was met with critical acclaim. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a 100% rating with 14 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Elite is highly digestible, technically strong trash TV for anyone with a guilty pleasure palate."[30] Other reviewers also refer to the show as a guilty pleasure. Natalie Winkelman from The Daily Beast gave the first season a positive review, saying that "with Euro-cool style and compelling characters, Elite is trashy, diverting fun."[33] John Doyle from The Globe and Mail likewise complimented the first season in his review, adding that "Elite is no masterpiece but is one of those oddly satisfying, binge-worthy curiosities."[34] Taylor Antrim of Vogue also said that is worth a binge-watch and "goes down like a cold glass of verdejo".[35] Antrim wrote that the series is an example of Netflix "airing global TV shows that slavishly borrow television tropes", saying that "If it were a CW show I'd hardly give it a second look. But a Spanish prep school is seductive terra incognita" in the positive review.[35]

Élite does indeed include countless teen show clichés, but it also relishes the opportunity to dig a bit deeper and twist them into more interesting shapes. It interrogates the very tropes it indulges by finding new gears in old plot engines. And with the addition of a smart flashback structure keeping its central murder mystery afloat, Darío Madrona and Carlos Montero's drama quickly proves addictive.

– Caroline Framke, Variety

Writing for Variety, Caroline Framke also comments on the series' use of tropes. She notes that being introduced to the show as a combination of many other teen dramas, she was concerned that taking on so many tropes would make it "an overstuffed Frankenstein of a show", but that she was quickly proven wrong when watching it.[36]

Framke compares many of the characters' individual plots to other high school series and films. Of these, she finds the "love triangle between Marina, Samuel, and his brother Nano [to be] one of the show's only duller features".[36] She concludes by saying that "Even given a million other options on Netflix alone, this tantalizing and whipsmart entry to the teen show pantheon proves itself worthy of the spotlight".[36] David Griffin of IGN also identifies the series in the same way. He gave the first season an 8.8/10, highlighting that it sets a "new standard for how a high school drama series should be done" and "may be the best high school drama on TV."[37]

In a similar take, Lena Finkel of Femestella looked at how the series was different to many of its counterparts by how it tackled contentious issues. Finkel lists explicitly examples, including that when Elite has sex scenes, they are often about the woman's pleasure; that a character who believes abortion is murder is still pro-choice; that when a male character is come onto by a drunk girl that he likes, he sends her home; that it explores social and class differences when young people come out; that the gay male sex scene is sensual as well as explicit; and that it features characters including a young man unashamedly nervous to lose his virginity and a straight, white, wealthy, woman who is HIV-positive.[38] She writes that the series "absolutely lives up to the height", congratulating it both on including these features and for "a great job depicting each issue, no matter how complex".[38] However, she does note that the trailers "made it seem like yet another cheesy, over-acted teen drama".[38]

Also looking at how the series addresses diverse issues and modern society, Grazia Middle East wrote about the representation of Nadia. Writer Olivia Adams says that the show explores some of the more everyday struggles of racial discrimination towards Muslims by having Nadia be forced to remove her headscarf in school, something that has been considered at some real schools in Europe. She also notes how the home life of the Muslim family is explored, not just the teenagers' interrelations, giving a fuller view.[39]

Genevieve van Voorhis of Bustle notes that the series can feel aesthetically more like a horror than a teen drama as it pairs "wide shots of the school [that] are almost Wes Anderson-like in their color coordination and perfect 90 degree angles" with eerie music.[40]

Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture stated in a positive review of the series that though "Elite is not pushing new boundaries in television, it's not a self-serious reboot of an old property" and that "in spite of that — or more likely because of it! — its commitment to breakneck melodrama is undeniably enjoyable."[41] Kemi Alemoru of Dazed recommends watching the show because it is "extra", relishing in showing the excessive world of the elite students with extravagant parties and the means to escalate small fights to high-expense drama, and also for its positive representation of topics.[42] Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya from Thrillist recommended the first season in their review of the series by stating that "Elite might be the only show that could give Riverdale a run for its money when it comes to excessive slow-motion shots."[43] Decider's Joel Keller also compares the show to Riverdale, saying that it is "trashy and scandalous, but no moreso than anything you might see coming from American producers" and the latest of the "dark high school dramas" that became popular; Keller recommends to stream it.[44]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the second season has an approval rating of 91% based on 11 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Elite is back for another entertaining, edge-of-your-seat mystery that succeeds thanks to charismatic characters and a bloody plot that doesn't take itself too seriously."[31]

Framke also notes that Netflix in the United States[b] automatically defaults to the show with an English dub, and suggests changing the audio back to its original Castilian Spanish for the best experience.[36]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 100% based on 9 reviews.[32]

Popular response[edit]

On 17 January 2019, Netflix announced that the series (the first season) had been streamed by over 20 million accounts within its first month of release.[45]

After Netflix posted an image of gay characters Omar and Ander to Instagram, it received homophobic comments. The streaming service responded to one with rainbow emojis.[46][47]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2019 Premios Feroz Best Drama Series Elite Nominated [48]
GLAAD Media Awards Outstanding Scripted Television Series (Spanish-Language) Elite Won [49]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Of the various works, Cable Girls and The Neighbor are the only Netflix originals. Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo is a Mexican film that streams on Netflix; Money Heist is a Spanish television series from channel Antena 3 that was distributed on Netflix, with more seasons later produced by Netflix as an original; and Welcome to the Family is a Catalan series from channel TV3, its first season streams on Netflix.
  2. ^ Netflix in the United Kingdom automatically defaults to the original language with American English subtitles (Netflix does not produce British English subtitles).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Personajes Élite. Reparto de actores". FormulaTV. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  2. ^ van Voorhis, Genevieve (5 October 2018). "Will 'Elite' Return For A Season 2? The Netflix Teen Drama Is Marathon Worthy". Bustle. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  3. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (13 July 2017). "Netflix Enrolls At 'Elite' Boarding School For Spanish YA Crime Drama". Deadline. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d de Pablos, Emiliano (18 October 2018). "'Elite' Gets Netflix Season 2 Order". Variety. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d "Netflix Orders 'Elite,' Its Second Original From Spain". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d Maeso, Gustavo (3 October 2018). ""Élite es una serie de este momento y de este país"". IGN España (in Spanish). Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  7. ^ "Elite Series Trailer: Welcome to Las Encinas". ComingSoon.net. 10 September 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  8. ^ "Netflix's New Teen Drama Is The 'Gossip Girl' Replacement You've Been Waiting For". Bustle. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  9. ^ Roxborough, Scott (17 October 2018). "Netflix Orders Second Season of Spanish Teen Crime Series 'Elite'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  10. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (17 October 2018). "'Elite': Netflix Orders Second Season Of Teen Thriller In Return To Las Encinas". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Hopewell, John; Granada, Emiliano (29 August 2019). "'Elite' Renews for Season 3 as Creators, Cast Reveal Season 2 Details". Variety. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  12. ^ Kanter, Jade (4 October 2019). "'Elite': Netflix Renews Spanish Teen Thriller For Third Season, Adds New Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 October 2019.
  13. ^ Opie, David (11 September 2019). "Élite season 3: Release date, cast, trailer, plot and everything you need to know". Digital Spy. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b c Ferguson, LaToya (4 October 2019). "Netflix Renews the Addictive 'Elite' for a Third Season". IndieWire. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  15. ^ "La tercera temporada de "Élite" llegará a Netflix el próximo 13 de marzo". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 18 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  16. ^ Fdez, Juan M. (20 January 2020). "Netflix da luz verde a una cuarta y quinta temporada de 'Élite'" [Netflix gives green light to a fourth and fifth season of 'Elite']. El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  17. ^ Palenzuela, Fernando S. (20 January 2020). "'Élite' renueva por una cuarta y quinta temporada antes del estreno de la tercera en Netflix" ['Elite' renews for a fourth and fifth season before the premiere of the third on Netflix]. FormulaTV (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  18. ^ "ACTORES DE "ÉLITE" CONFIRMAN CUARTA TEMPORADA DE LA SERIE CON ESPECIAL VIDEO". T13 (in Spanish). 22 May 2020. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  19. ^ a b Jeunesse, Marilyn La. "Meet the Cast of "Elite," Netflix's Latest Prep School Thriller You're Going to Be Obsessed With". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  20. ^ "De estrella infantil a figura internacional: La trayectoria de Danna Paola". larepublica.pe (in Spanish). 6 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  21. ^ "The New Girl In 'Elite' Has Already Played The Love Interest Of One Of Her Costars". Bustle. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  22. ^ "This New 'Elite' Character Could Be Samuel's Closest Ally — Or His Worst Enemy". Bustle. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  23. ^ "The Guy Who Plays Lu's Bad Boy Stepbrother From 'Elite' Used To Be A Disney Star". Bustle. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  24. ^ SensaCine.com.mx. "'Élite': Así fue el casting de Danna Paola para quedarse con el papel de Lu". SensaCine.com.mx. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  25. ^ Fueradeseries.com. "'Élite' cambiará a su elenco en la temporada 4". Fueradeseries.com. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  26. ^ Sisi Sánchez, Alberto. "Élite' despide para siempre a varios de sus actores más queridos con un emotivo vídeo". Vogues.es (in Spanish). Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  27. ^ Chao Rodríguez, Manuel Angel. "Élite se renueva: estas son las nuevas incorporaciones a la serie". Moncloa.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  28. ^ Nolan, Emma (2 October 2018). "Elite on Netflix location: Where is Elite filmed? Where is Elite set?". Express.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  29. ^ Wang, Amy X. (16 April 2020). "How Chvrches Scored the Netflix Deal of the Music Industry's Dreams". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Elite: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  31. ^ a b "Elite: Season 2 (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  32. ^ a b "Elite: Season 3 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  33. ^ Winkelman, Natalie (10 October 2018). "Netflix's New Spanish Prep School Melodrama Is Trashy, Euro-Cool Fun". The Daily Beasy. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  34. ^ Doyle, John (7 October 2018). "Netflix's Elite: A Spanish teen drama, and murder mystery, with a blunt message". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  35. ^ a b Antrim, Taylor. "Meet Your New Trashy Teen Soap Obsession". Vogue. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  36. ^ a b c d Framke, Caroline (23 October 2018). "Netflix's 'Elite' Subverts Teen Drama Tropes With Style". Variety. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  37. ^ Griffin, David (23 October 2018). "Elite Season 1 Review: Netflix's High School Drama is a murder mystery worth solving". IGN. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  38. ^ a b c Finkel, Lena (23 October 2018). "Netflix's 'Elite' Review: 7 Moments You Didn't Appreciate at the Time". Femestella. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  39. ^ "Why it's important to watch Netflix's new teen drama". Grazia Middle East. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  40. ^ "Everything To Know About Las Encinas From Netflix's 'Elite'". Bustle. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  41. ^ VanArendonk, Kathryn (12 October 2018). "Netflix's Elite Is Riverdale, Gossip Girl, and Big Little Lies Rolled Up Into a Murderous Teen Drama". Vulture. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  42. ^ Dazed (14 November 2018). "Why you need to watch Elite, Netflix's sexy Spanish teen thriller". Dazed. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  43. ^ Kumari Upadhyaya, Kayla (22 October 2018). "Here's Why Everybody Loves 'Elite,' Netflix's Latest Soapy Teen Murder Drama". Thrillist. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  44. ^ "Stream It Or Skip It: 'Elite' On Netflix, About A Culture Clash At A Private School That Ends In Murder". Decider. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  45. ^ Porter, Rick (17 January 2019). "Netflix Reveals Viewership Numbers for 'You,' 'Sex Education' and More". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  46. ^ "'Elite' Receives Homophobic Backlash, Netflix Responds with Rainbows". www.out.com. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  47. ^ Reilly, Kaitlin. "The Gay Relationship On "Elite" Has Netflix Sharing Rainbows". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
  48. ^ Prats, Marina (19 January 2019). "La lista completa de ganadores de los Premios Feroz 2019". El Huffington Post (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  49. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (4 May 2019). "GLAAD Media Awards NYC Winners: 'Pose', 'Versace' And 'Boy Erased' Among Honorees". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

External links[edit]