A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the Netflix original series Club De Cuervos is a funny but decidedly adult-oriented Spanish-language series that features lots of explicit content (sex scenes, nudity, drug use), some arguing, some punching, and lots of strong language (Spanish versions of "piss," "bitch," "s--t," "f--k," which are spelled out in the English subtitles). There's also lots of product placement, and logos for Apple, Corona, BMW, Nextel, and other companies are clearly visible. Twitter, YouTube, and other outlets are prominently featured. Hard-core soccer fans will enjoy watching the complications of owning a sports team, but this isn't a show for little kickers.
What's the story?
The Netflix original series CLUB DE CUERVOS features a pair of wealthy Mexican siblings fighting for the presidency of the Nuevo Toledo Cuervos, their troubled family-owned soccer club. The Spanish-language series stars Luis Gerardo Méndez as the irresponsible socialite Salvador "Chava" Iglesias, Jr., and Mariana Treviño as his professionally driven older half-sister Isabel Iglesias-Reina, who has spent her life working for the team while fighting institutional sexism that keeps her from advancing. When their prominent father dies, the two officially become co-owners of the team and begin to fight each other for its control. Adding to the fray is Mary Luz (Stephanie Cayo), their late father's conniving girlfriend, who expects to benefit from the estate. Meanwhile, Felix (Daniel Giménez Cacho), the team's athletic director, tries to keep the Club going amidst all the chaos. As they struggle to work it out, the loyal residents of Nuevo Toledo worry that they will lose their team, which is the economic and community lifeblood of their small town.
Is it any good?
The irreverent and sometimes poignant series offers a well-written narrative that moves away from telenovela-style drama while avoiding some common (but not all) Latino stereotypes. It also presents lots of sexist behavior, resulting from the combination of traditional sports culture and more conservative, "macho" ways of thinking. Though there are plenty of instances when the absurdity of these behaviors is highlighted, there are just as many that don't address it.
If you can get past this, there are more than enough guilty-pleasure story lines here -- which range from dysfunctional relationships to corruption -- to keep you laughing out loud. The smart use of technology (Tweets, YouTube, and FaceTime) as a comedic device also makes it fun while giving the show a contemporary edge. Even if you don't speak Spanish or you're not a soccer (aka "fúbol") fan, it's still a series worth watching.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about comedies that are produced in one language but then shown in countries all over the world. Can people who come from different cultures or who have to rely on subtitles to watch fully understand the humor? Or are some jokes or gags universally funny?