La Jauria

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
La Jauria TV Poster Image
Rape, gendered violence, language in Chilean mystery series.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Positive messages are not frequent, but points are made here about gender, class, wealth, and power, as well as religion, authority, and sexual violence. Sexism and misogyny play a large part in this drama. Bad behavior is intended to illustrate points about treating others fairly and kindly, but viewers will also see a lot of sexism illustrated and the way violence, including sexual violence, is visualized in an uncomfortably exploitative way at times. 

Positive Role Models

Positive characters are generally split along gender lines. Female characters are either victims of violence, protectors, or righteous avengers, while male characters are either abusers or apologists. Young male characters play an online game where they record their abuse of women, and male teachers, law enforcement officers, and other men in positions of authority downplay and ignore girls' reports of abuse as "false accusations" and "girls looking for new experiences."

The show is clearly on the side of the female characters. Girls and women are presented more sympathetically, yet they're still mostly types instead of realistic. A pair of female detectives make good role models: they're on the side of justice, and intrepid and caring in their investigation. 

Violence

Sexual violence, injury, and death are seen in this drama. The body of a young dead woman is discovered. We see her in underwear only as we hear flies on the soundtrack and see her injuries described -- we also see a tattoo on her bloody back. Later, we see this young woman's body nude from the waist up, with a bloody face, in the morgue. In a phone video, we see a high school girl being gang raped -- she cries and begs for them to stop as we see the bare buttocks of boys moving rhythmically in a scene that goes on too long for comfort. A teacher coerces high school girls into appearing sexually aroused on camera and segments of the videos are shown.

Sex

Visuals of sexuality are generally violent and abusive; see "Violence" section for more. Other scenes are less violent but still uncomfortable, and play into themes of bullying. A clearly uncomfortable high school boy is goaded into playing spin the bottle at a party. When a sympathetic girl kisses him, it's implied that he spontaneously ejaculates and a group of boys look at his pants and laugh at him as he runs away. 

Language

Cursing is in Spanish, as is the rest of the dialogue, but you'll hear the Spanish words for (and translated in other languages on-screen) "bitch," "f--ked," "whore," "motherf--ker," "f--king," "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What appears to be alcoholic drinks are scattered around at a high school party. Characters are not seen actually imbibing. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that La Jauria (The Pack) is a Spanish-language drama set in Santiago, Chile, where the disappearance of a high school girl uncovers evidence that local boys have been playing an online game that encourages them to abuse girls on film. Sexual violence is shown in a way that can be uncomfortable and upsetting for viewers. A young girl's dead body is shown nude from the waist up, along with her bloody and bloated face. A high school girl is gang raped and we see a phone video with her screaming and begging while we see nude male buttocks moving rhythmically on top of her. Even in scenes without actual sexual violence, sexuality is a source of discomfort, shame, and bullying. A high school boy is coerced into playing a "two minutes in the closet" game. It's implied he ejaculates when a girl kisses him, and some boys gather to point and laugh at him as he runs away. A high school teacher coerces young girls to appear sexually aroused on camera -- we see clips of the videos repeatedly. Male authority figures -- including teachers and law enforcement officers -- dismiss victims' reports of sexual violence and abuse, but female officers are thoughtful and intrepid in their investigation. Cursing is in Spanish, but subtitles and the Spanish soundtrack include "bitch," "f--ked," "whore," "motherf--ker," "f--king," "s--t." Drinks appear to be strewn about at a high school party, but we don't see any actual drinking. Sexism and misogyny play a large part in this drama, which is clearly on the side of victims. 

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What's the story?

Spanish-language mystery LA JAURIA (The Pack) is set in a moneyed part of Santiago, Chile, where the disappearance of high school student Blanca Ibarra (Antonia Giesen) has caused waves at an upscale high school already reeling from accusations of sexual abuse against a popular drama professor (Marcelo Alonso). When homicide detective Olivia Fernández (Antonia Zegers) is called in on the Ibarra case, Father Belmar (Francisco Reyes) and other school officials seem to be throwing up barriers to her investigation. Meanwhile, Blanca's sister Celeste (Paula Luchsinger) is looking into her sister's life herself when she stumbles upon an online game that organizes boys into packs who dare each other to abuse girls and film themselves doing so. 

Is it any good?

Affecting and intriguing if predictable and cliched, this Chilean drama takes on nobly feminist themes and has enjoyable twists, but the plot is too gimmicky and the characters too thin. Granted, everyday sexism and misogyny can be hard to capture cinematically; it's a lot more subtle than a fictional online game that ropes high school boys into ritualized abuse of girls. So La Jauria's central device comes off as a bit silly, something that might be the centerpiece of an episode of Law & Order: SVU. It's also notable that La Jauria's characters tend to be split along gender lines -- women and girls are either suffering victims or benevolent protectors; men and boys are either actual abusers or apologists. 

For all that, the zigs and zags La Jauria takes are grabby. It's hard not to care about the chorus of impassioned high school students who want to see an abusive teacher punished and their missing schoolmate found. Antonia Zegers also makes an effective, stalwart, and gimlet-eyed detective on the Ibarra case. Her arc and that of her son, the bullied Gonzalo (Clemente Rodríguez) are arguably the most interesting that La Jauria has to offer. Unfortunately, their backstories play second fiddle to the plotlines about gendered abuse and the failure of authorities to believe women who report violence. Make no mistake, that's a truly valuable notion, but we can laud La Jauria's goals while being still a little disappointed in the execution. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about La Jauria's plotline about an online game that ritualizes abuse. How realistic is this idea? Has anything similar ever happened in real life? Is it notable that the violence was directed only at girls, by boys? Is that realistic? 

  • Aside from the language, what sets this Spanish-language series apart from their American counterparts? Why do you think some content (swearing, nudity) is more accepted in other countries?

  • This series touches on timely issues, including bullying, tolerance, sexual violence, misogyny, the dismissal of victims' claims of sexual abuse and bigotry. Depending on the episode's content, talk to your kids about these and other topics, drawing comparisons between the characters' actions and your own family rules. Did the show encourage you to see a situation differently than you have in the past? How does peer pressure play a role in your decisions about what you will and will not do? How do authority figures set a tone for civility and kindness or abuse? 

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Spanish-language dramas

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