Money Heist (La Casa de Papel): A Show of True Genius - NO SPOILERS 

Thursday, June 25

By Austin James

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me, you will know that I am an absolute film and television junky. I do not casually watch anything; when I decide on a show, I am all in. I mean, buckle your seatbelts because whether this goes downhill or not we are in for the full ride! 

So, unlike whatever buffoonery Hemlock Grove or Gypsy was, when I stumbled upon Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), I was truly hooked. While the show originally kicked off on Spanish television channel 'Antena 3', it was picked up by Netflix and gained worldwide recognition leading to its resurgence for seasons 3 and 4. 

Money Heist is set in Spain and follows a group of robbers as they attempt to pull off the biggest robberies in history, all led by the criminal mastermind ‘The Professor’. 

Each of the robbers (apart from The Professor) go by city names: 

Nairobi: specializing in counterfeit money, she is an Absolute Force.

Tokyo: narrator of the show, she is a wildly impulsive, adrenaline junky.

Rio: tech genius, he’s the baby of the show.

Moscow: seasoned criminal, he really is the Dad of the crew. 

Denver: son of Moscow, he’s a complete knucklehead. 

Berlin: a psychopath in its truest form

Helsinki & Oslo: Serbian crime brothers, real foot soldiers 

The Professor: a reclusive genius and sociopath 

More characters join the show in seasons 3 and 4 but I’ll spare you the spoilers and refrain from describing them. 

What makes this show so remarkable is not only the brilliance of the plan carried out by the thieves but the themes that prevail through the seasons, themes that are more than relevant in our current political climate.

The Professor, truthfully, has no interest in money; he is motivated purely by revenge and a want to dismantle an oppressive economic system that disadvantages the poor and benefits the rich.  

Each character serves as an archetype, the most extreme of human characteristics that we all possess in some capacity.

The robbery is a big part of the show, no doubt, but it’s about so much more. It’s about the lengths one will go to for Love, the unbreakable bond of Family, and the story of how a bunch of nobodies can serve as martyrs to dismantle a broken and corrupt system. 

Money Heist will make you laugh, cry, hold your breath, and even want to jump right in at some moments. The show is remarkable in its ability to captivate the audience and make you believe that change is truly possible. 

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