Netflix’s content avalanche brings Cable Girls, a show born in Spain about four women looking for freedom in the roaring 20s. Netflix knows how to pick shows and so far they haven’t had a real miss. The shows they select cater to particular crowds. In-between hits like Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things, Netflix takes smaller swings, and the payoff is working like a charm. What crowd does Cable Girls cater to and will that group be satisfied?
Cable Girls (Las Chicas Del Cable) takes place in Spain, where the first building ever constructed for telephone service. A whole new staff of women is hired to run the switchboards. One of those girls Lydia “Alba” Aguilar who is first seen running for freedom with a friend. That moment is cut show when her friend’s husband shows up, threatening to kill them both. Lydia tries to save the day but ends up the only survivor of a double-murder. Lydia is held responsible for the murder and the crooked cop holding Lydia’s fate in his hands uses her to steal money from the new telephone service building.
Originally produced in Spain, the first thing you might notice about Cable Girls is the English dub. Some people find the out of sync lip movement a little distracting. However, the voice over work is spot on and well-done. Each character has a unique voice meaning the production took the time to create character with voice.
Cable Girls’ story only revolves around the murder-theft plot for a couple of episodes. Unlike most American shows that would draw out that plot thread for a whole season, Cable Girls uses it as a starting point to tell the story of four women, each trapped by circumstance.
Carlota Rodriguez is searching for sexual freedom and finds it in the arms of a man … and a woman. Often, all three share a bed, but it were a way of life alien and frowned upon by society.
Marga came to Spain to work as a telephone operator. The meek, fearful woman doesn’t know what life in the “big city” will bring, but she forges ahead. Marga seeks freedom from her insecurities, even if that freedom terrifies her.
Wrapped in the Cable Girls story are murder, betrayal, love, and equality. Of course, one of the strongest themes is female empowerment, but it’s a show with fully-realized characters, each, male or female, dealing with the best and worst of each other.
Cable Girls is a fantastic series with almost no weak spots. If viewers can’t deal with the lip-syncing, that might pose a problem. The only other gripe is the music which is a bit scattershot. For some scenes, the music is just the right addition, enriching the moment. During other parts, the music is completely out of left field, taking scenes out of the roaring 20s and putting it in a half-modern time. The end credits theme is Spanish rap song that seems to have no place in the show.