A guy from the streets falls in love with a princess. It’s a classic, right. However, that’s not all in the new Italian Television Series, Zero. Centering around a black character, the series tries to explore the problem of the minority in the lavish European Countries. It follows a boy from the ghetto in Milan who suffers from an existential crisis until he finally learns that his invisibility is actually his superpower. He uses his flaws to help others, and that’s what his journey is about.
‘Zero’ Season 1 Summary
Omar (Giuseppe Dave Seke) is a teenage pizza guy who stays with his father and a sister, Awa (Virginia Diop) in a neighborhood in Milan called Barrio. The place is a hub for the immigrant population especially the blacks but it is deemed invisible by the elite city population. Though from a recent time, Barrio has been facing several land issues like rent surcharge, brutal attacks, and other illegal activities from the outside. All the residents are extremely burdened by the increasing rent and most of them are forced to leave the Barrio in the name of redevelopment.
Omar’s family is subjected to the same conflicts and to keep their house, he struggles with odd jobs. Omar is working extra time to save money to move to Belgium where he can learn and hone his skills as a comic book artist. He has also designed a black manga series with a black character called Zero. He holds the power of invisibility. Omar misses his mother each day. She isn’t dead but left the family when he was young or as much as he can remember, police took her away for some mental issues. He holds a memory of her playing basketball wearing a jersey numbered “Zero.” It is the base of all his inspiration and efforts.
The narrative after establishing Omar follows him around as he meets the love of his life. A rich girl, Anna (Beatrice Grannò) who lives in a penthouse. Omar gets infatuated and Anna likes the company as well. While returning back, Omar finds himself being chased by a street thug, Sharif (Haroun Fall) who thinks Omar set his bike on fire. Sharif runs after him with a gun in hand and Omar hides in an abandoned warehouse. Nowhere to go, Omar holds his mother’s bracelet and starts praying. And at that very moment, something unimaginable happens, Through Sharif’s POV, we see that Omar has disappeared.
Omar later learns that he has the power to become invisible and he uses his power to help the people of Barrio against increasing crimes and attacks from the outside. Sharif and his gang become friends with Omar and they are the only friends who know the truth about his power. However, Omar is tested with a bugger conflict where he has to make a choice between his dreams to go to Belgium or stay back in Milan and help his people. His choice will help him to explore the truth about his newly attainted power and the dark secrets revolving around his absent mother.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Zero’ Season 1 Ending, Explained
Through his superpowers and with the help of his friends, Omar finally is able to uncover the truth about continuous attacks on the Barrio. Rico, a street gangster was taking orders from a real estate agency called Sirenetta. They wanted to evacuate the neighborhood by increasing rent and vandalism. But there is another obstacle that hinders Omar’s peace. Sirenetta’s real estate agency is run by Anna’s father and he couldn’t gather enough strength to tell her the truth.
To tackle the first problem, Omar and his friends give away the evidence to the police against Rico and his connection with Sirenetta. But there is one more major issue, Sirenetta is in the name of Anna, and hence after the revelation of truth, all the debtors and gangsters would come for Anna to get their money back.
One such vile element is a mysterious woman named Virgin who knows all the truth about Omar and his sister Awa. Virgin tells Awa that her ongoing blindness is not an illness but an evolvement of secret power. Awa uses the superpower against her cheating boyfriend and best friend resulting in the death of her best friend for which she feels no remorse. She is turning into a cold-hearted murderer.
In the meantime, Anna has been kidnapped by Virgin’s men and Omar sets out on a journey to save her. He uses his invisibility power in order to save Anna but isn’t able to retrieve her normal visibility due to some reasons. Virgin approaches Omar and promises the truth about his power and his lost mother. She takes Omar to a secretive debris structure where he finds some men/women practicing black magic. Omar finds his mother there who had links with black magic as told to Omar by his father’s friend.
The upcoming season will explore the truth about Omar’s power and the reason for his mother’s disappearance. It will also lay down what’s all this fuss is about. The major pursuit of season 2 will be Omar’s struggle to regain his visibility and start a new life with Anna. But there are too many conflicts in his way, like Virgin the mysterious gangster, and even his own sister who is turning into a supernatural sinister.
The series Zero incorporates minority characters from different walks of life. The profession of Omar is interesting enough, a simpleton boy who sketches comic books and eventually attains a superpower himself. It’s something like straight from the Marvel studious, the only thing, it isn’t. Zero is somewhat darker incorporating dark magic and hidden taboos of the less explored territories of the European world. It would quite interesting to learn about the cultural mystery in the upcoming seasons.
Narratively, season 1 is fun with simple characters, each having their own aspirations and conflicts. It is quite praiseworthy that despite being a single-narrative story, the series tries to showcase the struggle of each of its prominent characters. For example, the challenging life of Sharif who wants to be in limelight too but is struggling against his thug brother and absent mother. His character arc outlines some unique traits and hurdles and it would be fun to watch them further in the upcoming episodes.
The first season includes 8 episodes of approximately 22 minutes each that goes easy on your watch patience. Fortunately, none of the episodes seem to bore you with dullness and it is quite an easy watch. The highlighted “Broken windows theory” is the narrative force of the entire series. It lays down the fact that visible signs of crimes in an urban set-up breed more crimes and disorder, and in simple words, there would be no end to it. Hence, until there is crime and disorder, there would be a need for superheroes and people like Omar to save the world. Will Omar be able to take that responsibility and fulfill it with diligence? We’ll see that in Season 2.
Zero is a 2021 Television Series created by Menotti. The series is streaming on Netflix.
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