‘Raising Voices’ Netflix Review: Does The Spanish Drama Reverberate?

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When I started watching Raising Voices, I had no idea what it was going to be about. However, a little into the first episode, I was reminded of the American series Grand Army. Also a Netflix original, Grand Army, tells the story of teenagers in a very similar manner to the Spanish-language adaptation, but in a more graphic manner. Raising Voices, tells the story of Alma, a 17-year-old girl who is struggling with teenhood until one day, her life completely changes. Raising Voices is a thought-provoking TV series that allows young audiences to answer the question, “What is assault?” Through four leading characters, the series explores the many different ways young girls are treated and how they can face these terrible challenges. Many times, girls are forced to believe that they’re the problem, and they put themselves in situations where they get assaulted. The series ethically explores these thoughts and gives an insight into these feelings while simultaneously showcasing the many different ways one could be harassed. 

What is often disappointing about such shows is the graphic depiction of assault, which ultimately becomes the driving point of said shows, making it unbearable to watch. Most commonly, teen dramas are specifically made so we can live out our fantasies vicariously. Then, occasionally comes a show like this one that is meant to deliver messages and becomes a hard pill to swallow. A lot of these shows quickly lose the plot when they try to incorporate general teen context into the picture, making it feel like an add-on. Take the unbelievably popular 13 Reasons Why, for example. The idea is that the more disturbing the visual content is, the more popular the show will become. It’s a detestable notion, but it’s true. These showrunners manage to reduce assault to just a disturbing scene in a film or series. What I really appreciate about Raising Voices is the fact that most of the assault is left to our imagination. Occasionally, we get some sort of disturbing imagery, but it is very much in context and is hard to watch. 

In Raising Voices, we get four protagonists, all with different stories to tell. Alma is the main lead, but she’s only a catalyst that helps push the storylines for the rest of the girls. This is not to say that what she experiences is not significant; it’s only that she’s the person who really pushes the rest of the girls to express their feelings. Berta is the child who has mental health issues and is incapable of coming out of a hole. Greta is the lesbian who gets involved with a much older woman, and Nata has a pig of a boyfriend. The show successfully makes one realize that you’re never safe, not even with your friends, not even with those you trust dearly. Somehow, the show manages to cover the universal struggles and challenges of adolescent girls. The cast is a fabulous set of girls, some of whom are very popular new kids on the block. Nicole Wallace from the uber-popular My Fault as Alma. Clara Galle of Through My Window fame is Greta. Teresa De Mera plays Berta, and Aicha Villaverde plays Nata. The full cast is really effective, and I would suggest watching the show in its original Spanish rather than dubbed simply because that really messes with the tone. However, I will admit, the dub for this one is far better than some other shows I’ve seen lately. 

In all honesty, at the beginning of the show, I felt like I was watching one of those typical teen stories that would lead to nothing and leave us feeling worse about ourselves for consuming such content and being okay with it. The show’s pacing is not great, and some choices feel quite questionable; however, by the end of the series, I felt all of these doubts lift away because the end is rather emotionally stimulating. This is not to say it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever seen or that it should be the blueprint for other shows with the same context, but I do think it manages to cover the subjects in a very respectful manner. 

What’s a bit disappointing about the series is that it tries really hard to incorporate a lot of ideas into its eight episodes. The first half of the series is quite tedious, and I also feel like the show would’ve done better with tighter episodes. A lot of stuff seems a bit unwanted, especially in the first half. As it goes with teen shows, it uses popular hip-hop and pop music to get your adrenaline pumping, and occasionally, it works really well, but sometimes it feels way over the top. The series really begins after the fourth episode, where things are revealed, and we start to feel more compelled by each character. The show does get on your nerves occasionally, specifically the choices of one of the girls, but it’s a realistic depiction—another perspective we must be shown, especially when, in the end, we can see a massive change. What I truly appreciate is the emphasis on support and friendship, specifically female friendships in such situations. We get to see multiple sides of the same box, all through different lenses, which allows no judgment but only understanding.

Though Raising Voices initially left me confused, by the end of the series, I was left with a lot on my mind. Earlier on in the review, I compared the show to Grand Army, a show that is similarly thought-provoking but was canceled after one season. I suppose if you want a culturally unique show with a similar context, then Raising Voices will have you interested. Though the first few episodes will have you a bit bored, the ending is rewarding. I would recommend looking up trigger warnings before watching the show, especially for younger viewers. It is a series I would recommend specifically for the way it depicts such a dark and scary world. I’d give the Spanish show 3 out of 5 stars. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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