We no longer have to imagine what Netflix’s first Spanish-language original series might look like. The much-anticipated trailer for Club de Cuervos is finally here. Clocking in at just over two minutes, the clip provides a pretty agile primer on the show’s narrative arc and satirical tone. As Netflix communiqués had previously let on, we learn that a wealthy patriarch and owner of a regional football club croaks, his inept and narcissistic son takes over, his older sister feels snubbed, a wealthy lover moves in for her cut, and shit falls apart. It’s a screwball inheritance drama with a Latin American sports backdrop and it should have no problem winning over football-crazed Latino audiences.
But the big symbolic gesture here is that Netflix’s digital subscription model may finally be giving the Mexican television duopoly of Televisa/TV Azteca a run for their money. Yet the question remains — will Club de Cuervos really be much different from the infamously shallow and exploitative programming peddled by Latin American networks?
The trailer suggests there are more parallels between Club de Cuervos and typical Latin American programming than enlightened audiences may have hoped — note the pale faces, the clownish overacting, the layers of novela-esque intrigue, and the flat, high-key lighting. But who can blame Netflix? Latin American audiences have been thoroughly conditioned to expect a certain type of television, and Netflix just wants to join the party, not reinvent the wheel.
Still, while the show doesn’t seem to reach the cinematic heights of series like House of Cards, the production value is probably higher than anything on primetime Latin American television. And hey, maybe Club de Cuervos will actually be much more subversive than it lets on. We’ll have to wait till August 7 to find out.
Club de Cuervos will be available internationally on Netflix on August 7, 2015.