“La Casa De Papel (Money Heist)”- your binge-watching will never be the same

Gia Bao Huynh Tan
4 min readApr 4, 2020

After 4 seasons, the Spanish series still keeps its charm.

2019 has been a great year for international films when pieces like “Parasite” (from South Korea), “Pain and Glory” (from Spain) or “Portrait of a Lady On Fire” (from France) and so many more were recognized widely, especially in the United States, where the mass audience (still) have not opened up with movies and TV series that are not in English. While receiving the 2019 Golden Globe Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, there was a quote of Boon Joon Ho that stroke hard in the skepticism and the unwillingness towards foreign works of art of Americans: “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films”.

With the effort of bringing international cinema to a wider audience, especially Americans, Netflix has been controlling and acquiring the rights to produce many movies and TV series that are exclusively on the streaming platform. One of them is “La Casa de Papel” (or “Money Heist” in English), an action-packed heist TV series that was picked up from a Spanish limited series, originally produced by Spanish network Antenna 3. So far, there have been 2 seasons, splitting into 4 parts, with the new part just got its premiere yesterday (April 3rd) and it’s worth every minute. We might have the tendency of worrying that if a TV series can keep its classic manners as the original season, as the longer a series is extended, the more plot holes and disapproval from the audience it gets. However, after 4 parts with 2 different heists, “La Casa de Papel” is still smashing your screens with a well-written storyline, enough emotional scenes, unique wittiness, and an extra special fuego party.

The series was slickly made with the intensity gets pacier from episode to episode. Created by Alex Pina, the series about The Professor, the leader of the team and his masked (but unmasked almost all the time) crew has completed the heist in the Royal Mint of Spain in season 1 (part 1 and 2), and now the Bank of Spain in season 2. What was left off in season 3, the character Tokio and Río fired the police tank with the declaration of DEFCON 2 (meaning war). Nairobi were in trouble being shot by the police, The Professor’s partner and love interest, Raquel (Lisbon) were captured and it left off with the question if The Professor and the whole team have fallen into his own trap and what they would do to execute the war.

With the duration of 8 episodes, “La Casa de Papel” is a great competence for your binge-watching routine. The show has kept its charm and does not fail to ignite the magic with the iconic twisty sequence, thrilling mind-game, and wild ingenuity. The cat and mouse strategies between the national police and the rogue are bigger than ever with new development in characters (watch out for the extra-dangerous Gandía, you should remember him as the Governor’s head of security). The ethical values are also raised in this part as feminism and harassment towards women are tackled, creating another #MeToo moment that does not give off the forcefulness. Moreover, our unreliable narrator, Tokio, has also had enough justification in the script to prove her presence in the series.

“La Casa de Papel” is like a pendulum that keeps going back and forth whether the Professor’s team or the national police takes the priority torch. Part 4 is highly political and emotional, the plot is extended and branched out to the extreme that makes you jump off your seat. There are scenes that might leave you with a question mark, there are scenes that might feel a bit unnecessary or over-explained, and there are also scenes that will make tears drop from your eyes. The original dose of action and tricky plans that the team has been working on for years will be executed with many unexpected turns.

I will not give away too many spoilers. I believe that the thing that makes this series original and widely-captivated is your own curiosity. There will be no time for a tea break between episodes and if you do not begin from the very first part (in case you are new to “La Casa de Papel”), the fun will not be the same. This is the reason why “La Casa de Papel” has become Netflix’s most-watched non-English TV series and won the Best Drama Series International Emmy in 2018. So forget about the subtitles, it is a great series to binge during this hard and self-quarantine time and trust me, it will make you go “Bella Ciao Ciao Ciao”.

“La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)” is now available for streaming on Netflix, do it now: