When three working-class teens enroll in an exclusive private school in Spain, the clash between them and the wealthy students leads to murder.
Las Encinas is a super exclusive private school and new scholarship students, Samuel, Nadia, and Christian, are the talk of the school. The world of Las Encinas is full of drugs, drama, privilege, and way too many rich kids with very little parental supervision. (You know, all the makings of the best shows ever.) Through flash-forward scenes, we find out just how this powder keg situation leads to murder.
The majority of the actors are young and Spanish so they’re new faces to many audiences.
Itzan Escamilla as Samuel
Samu is a cinnamon roll that is not prepared for this new life. He’s close with his mom, and his ne’er do well brother, and he’s about to fall for the wrong girl.
Miguel Herrán as Christian
Christian is excited to be allowed entry into the fast and glamorous world of Las Encinas. And he’ll do whatever he has to do to fit in.
Mina El Hammani as Nadia
Nadia is Muslim and devoted to her family and works in their grocery store after school. She’s a hard-working student, and a good friend, and though it’s never mentioned enough on the show, she is stunning and her hair is spectacular.
Miguel Bernardeau as Guzman
Guzman is the alpha male with the swimmer’s bod, the hot girlfriend, and always travels with a pack of friends. If only he could keep his wild-child sister in check, his life would be perfect.
Jaime Lorente as Nano
Nano is Samuel’s older brother, recently returned from a stint in prison, and owes some large debts to the wrong kind of people.
María Pedraza as Marina
Marina is Guzman’s sister. She’s nicer than most of the other kids at school, but with a rebellious streak a mile wide.
Arón Piper as Ander
Ander is one of Guzman’s best friends and a star athlete. He’s under an enormous amount of pressure from his parents to perform, which leads him to making questionable choices.
Álvaro Rico as Polo
Polo is another of Guzman’s friends who comes from exceptional wealth. The son of two overbearing women, Polo is used to following orders.
Ester Expósito as Carla
Carla is Polo’s girlfriend, and the heiress of a Marquess. She is beautiful and used to using that to get what she wants.
Danna Paola as Lucrecia
Lu is Guzman’s girlfriend and is arguably Las Encinas’ queen bee. She is Regina George in a blazer and is legit terrible. I worship her.
Omar Ayuso as Omar
Omar is Nadia’s brother and Samu’s best friend. He’s desperate to get out of his father’s house to live his own life, and like nearly everyone in this town, he has his secrets.
Couch-Sharing Capability: You Can’t Sit With Us
The show is filmed in Madrid exclusively in Spanish and Arabic. Netflix features the options for subtitles or dubbed in English. I tried it both ways and strongly recommend watching with subtitles (unless you speak fluent Spanish, in which case, lucky you!) due to the fact that the dubbed acting is really not great and seems to be a less accurate translation.
Given our current pandemic hellscape and all, and that you’ll need to pay attention, consider putting your phone down for a while and just focusing on the screen. If you’re anything like me, your anxiety could probably use the break anyway.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Upscale
The kids of Las Encinas party like they’re in old-school episodes of Dynasty. It’s all satin evening wear and glasses of champers followed by goblets of gin & tonic. This isn’t your solo cup crowd. So, make sure to bust out your best cocktail recipes and fanciest stemware.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: On-Trend
Elite deploys a complex mystery amid surprisingly diverse issues, given its privileged setting. Like its Netflix cousin, The Society, there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, along with a talented cast of characters that you’ll grow to love.
I focused on season one of Elite, but the third season dropped last month on Netflix, and you really must binge them all. Because, not only is this is the quality snarky rich kids and murder content that your socially isolated world probably desperately needs right now, all together, it is a perfect three seasons of television.