Warning: This article contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.
In 1920’s Madrid, an economic and lifestyle changing telecommunications company starts up and brings together a group of four dynamic young women as they work for the company as switchboard operators. This period Spanish drama is more than a soap opera. Yes, it has its fair share of drama, but what good show doesn’t? This Netflix Original Series addresses many issues in relation to the time period and is extremely progressive. The show is a jewel of the feminist movement. It makes viewers reflect on how far we’ve come from the values and traditions that governed the roaring 20’s, but it also makes us question how we can continue to encourage change. Full of a vibrant cast and rich storylines for each of the characters, “Las Chicas del Cable” or “Cable Girls” will have you hooked until the very end as you follow the suffragettes through their crazy lives.
Previous Season(s) Recap: This section contains spoilers.
With the first season of the show being released on April 28, 2017, a lot has happened. We’re immediately introduced to the main character of the show who ties the entire plotline together, Lidia. It’s this initial scene that becomes the catalyst for Lidia (Blanca Suarez) to meet the three other girls: Carlota (Ana Fernandez), Angeles (Maggie Civantos) and Marga (Nadia de Santiago). The show starts off with a heavy dose of theft, blackmail and deception and slowly unravels to accommodate various storylines from the other characters. Each character, female or male, is authentic and real and has something that every viewer will be able to feel for or connect with. The importance of women working is stressed from the beginning, from points of view that make it easy to understand what exactly that time period entailed for women.
Lidia’s quick plans are put to a halt when she runs into the telecommunications company head and old lover, Francisco Gomez (Yon Gonzalez). This bizarre encounter adds more depth to the storyline as we finally get to learn about Lidia’s past, how she ended up in Madrid and in her lifestyle in the first place. Each episode of the first season reveals just enough to keep viewers hooked, and, ultimately, the season finale and the first episode of Season 2 is something that has to happen, but puts the beloved Cable Girls in a difficult position. Lidia’s secrets get the best of her and those around her, but in the end their friendship prevails and they get through it just like they get through everything else: together.
In season two, things only heat up more as they try to cover their tracks and make their way through their lives with guilt heavy on their shoulders. With Lidia and Francisco’s secret now out to the world, tensions have grown thicker between the characters and nobody is left unscathed. The season finale is what will get viewers the most. It’s abrupt, torturous and the last two minutes will have you screaming at the your laptop screen in panic with your heart pounding and wanting more.
The show has begun filming season 3, but there is no release date yet.
To Binge or Not to Binge?
This show is hands down, completely binge-worthy. Aside from the fact that there are only eight episodes per season, the show and its characters go through so much it’ll be hard for you not to watch it all in one sitting. It’s one of those shows where you are bound to fall in love with the characters because they are so relatable and authentic. You’ll be rooting for your favorites and wanting your least favorites dead.
What makes this series binge-worthy beyond the characters and the amazing cast who portray them are the underlying messages of the show. As much as the storyline is brave and dark, it’s also very real. Women in the 20’s were fighting for basic rights, like being able to work when they were expected to be wives and daughters. The show confronts so many issues that are still prevalent in our society today, but were also present in the time period: such as questioning your sexuality, addiction, abortions, wedlock, mental illness, family politics, domestic abuse and economic politics. The “Cable Girls” go through a lot, as do the men of the show, and although the description may seem like the plot is too heavy and trying to cover too much, it’s just the right amount of drama. At the end of the day, the heart of the show is romance and friendship and how important it is to value those things.
Feminism is one of the key attributes of this show, but it is portrayed in a sense that viewers can actually connect to rather than in a gung-ho abrasive way. Even down to the clothes that the cast wear, everything about the show screams roaring 20’s. Another reason to consider binge watching this show is to broaden your Netflix tastes. There are some amazing foreign shows that easily get overlooked because viewers are not aware of their existence. “Cable Girls” may become your gateway drug to other shows from across the globe.
The only downfall of this show is that the audio doesn’t always match up to the characters lips because it was originally in Spanish. It’s a small thing compared to all the good things about the show, and there’re always subtitles.
This show has everything, from solidarity to fear to courage to love. It’s all-encompassing and I suggest you watch it immediately.
Best Episode: season 2, episode 16: Innocence
Similar Shows: Grand Hotel, Velvet
Trigger Warnings: death, conversion therapy, domestic abuse, addiction, attempted suicide
Rating: 5 stars
“Cable Girls (Las Chicas del Cable)”
Available to stream on Netflix
16 episodes, approximately 13 hours and 20 minutes