It is a given that the attention span of anyone who uses the Internet has gone down drastically in the past decade. Be it the time spent on social media platforms or the series and movies we watch; we want things to be quick and engaging. There is officially too much content out there, and even the most clutter-breaking content has cluttered up. But still, visual media remains the primary form of entertainment. Is that the reason the makers have started taking the audience for granted? What else could be the reason to stretch “DI4RIES” Season 1 over 15 episodes, that too, one that has been pegged as a light-hearted one? This is the kind of old wine in a new bottle that makes us want to be sober. The makers need some self-awareness that when they are not introducing something new, it is better to not be so over-indulgent with their run time. “DI4RIES” is not a bad show, but it would have been better 5 years ago. Let us see how this unfolds.
How Do Pietro and His Friends Navigate Middle School?
“DI4RIES” Season 1 opens with Pietro getting ready for school, with his parents fighting in the background. The first half of the episode is narrated from his point of view. Pietro is an “almost 13-year-old boy whose parents don’t listen to him,” as he describes himself. He is at Galileo School in the scenic island town of Marina Picola. His best friend is Giulio, and some of his other friends and classmates are Arianna, who, according to him, thinks of herself as Miss Universe ‘; Livia, who is Miss Perfect ‘; and his rival, Matteo, from Class 3D, who is a bully. In the class that day, the boys ranked the girls according to their attractiveness. Livia has ranked first, and Arianna has ranked second. Monica has been ‘disqualified’ from the competition by the boys. Pietro seems to understand that this was an offensive thing to do but participates nonetheless. Isabel, their classmate, sees the rankings and is disgusted by them all. Pietro makes a bet with Giulio that he is going to kiss both Livia and Arianna. He also makes a bet with Matteo that the team from 2D is going to win against 3D in a basketball match.
Meanwhile, the girls, in a bid to take revenge on the boys, steal their clothes from the locker room. They make the boys do a whole catwalk before they give them their clothes back. It was a little unsettling and uncomfortable to see children who are supposed to be in middle school doing a parade wearing just their boxers. Galileo Galilei GalileoSchool is being shut down, and the students are not happy that they would have to go study in a different school. As a protest, Pietro paints graffiti on the school wall that says “Students First.” Livia sees him, and as much as she wants to join, she refrains from doing so. The next day, everyone knows that Pietro is the culprit, and he is ordered by the principal to clean up the mess. This time, Livia helps him, but when he leans in to kiss her, she angrily leaves. We don’t know if this is a case of the show being behind its time or simply how teenage boys act, but Pietro seems to be taking the route of ‘if you like her, be mean to her’ in courting Livia. The first episode was narrated from Pietro and Livia’s P.O.V. The latter was much better.
Then there’s Isabel, the most level-headed character. She wants to have her first kiss, and her choice for that is Daniele. But it looks like Daniele might be more interested in Mirko, who comes with his own set of problems. He joins the basketball team of 2D, but at the insistence of Matteo that he must choose between the game and the upcoming trip to Rome, he bails on them. Isabel joins the basketball team to spend time with Daniele, but that causes friction between her and Monica, who is still upset with the boys for ranking the girls in the class. The day of the basketball match comes, and 3D wins, but they end up eating muffins laced with laxatives, which is sweet revenge for 2D. The entire “DI4RIES” Season 1 is a depiction of life in middle school, with its ups and downs, heartbreaks, insecurities, and finding the courage to develop as adults. Livia is unsure of her relationship with Matteo. She eventually breaks up with him and learns to own her freedom outside of her ‘good-girl’ image. Arianna introspects her problems and finds that she just really needs someone to understand her the way she deserves. Giulio is thought to have a learning disability and is made to go to a child specialist for it, where he finds Arianna, and they both develop a friendship thereon.
‘DI4RIES’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Do the students save the school? Does Livia find out about Pietro’s bet?
Pietro has been suspended for drawing graffiti on the school walls, but this time, the culprit is Matteo. When the matter comes to light, Livia finally breaks up with him and focuses on her upcoming triathlon. After coming second throughout, she finally gets over the blocks in her final race and wins the game. After Pietro’s parents’ divorce, he is unable to focus and gets hurt while playing basketball with Matteo. He is replaced by Mirko for the final match. But during the actual game, Michele gets injured, letting Pietro play again. He scores the winning shot for the team.
Livia and Pietro start dating, and the students of 2D decide to camp out in their classroom to protest their school shutting down. But that is when a very cruel thing happens. Matteo has recorded Giulio and Pietro’s conversation about the kissing bet, and he sends it to Livia. She hears it while in the classroom and leaves, unable to stand being there. She is complemented by the teachers and parents for her ‘maturity’. They tell her that she must lead by example and convince the other students to quit their protest. This makes her see things with a certain clarity. She doesn’t care anymore about being perfect; she cares about doing the right thing and being true to herself. She makes a spray-painted banner that says ‘Students First’ and goes back into the classroom. She tells Pietro that they will talk later as she rejoins them in their protest. Livia has chosen to not abandon her friends due to the thoughtless actions of a boy, and we applaud her for it.
Final Thoughts: What Works And What Doesn’t? Will There Be A Season 2 Of ‘DI4RIES’?
To answer the latter question first, there has to be a “DI4RIES” Season 2. There is no way that Netflix made such an overindulgent show only to end it on a cliffhanger. In the next season, we will probably see Pietro develop into a person more considerate of others’ feelings. Giulio will probably come into his own, and Giulio and Arianna might start a relationship. Or maybe all of them will end up in separate classes in different schools. It would be interesting to know. Honestly, “DI4RIES” Season 1 could have been recommended if it was shorter. Currently, rewatching “F.R.I. E.N.D.S.” or “H.I.M.Y.M.” feels more advisable if comfort is what you are looking for. Because this was just like “90210,” but in middle school, and we do not appreciate that one bit.
“DI4RIES” is a 2022 Drama Comedy series streaming on Netflix.