In a surprising turn of events, I’m listing my top 5 favourite characters from the Netflix show Elite. It’s surprising because I didn’t think I’d end up liking this show this much after the first season. Then, even though the second season had some problems, I finished Elite on a high. There’s one particular reason I’m now completely hooked on this show but it’s sort of a spoiler (I’m sorry). Oh, and Elite is in Spanish, so you know it’s special when your girl starts reading subtitles!
Spoilers are in brackets, highlight at your own risk.
QUICK SHOW SUMMARY
Elite is a show about three teenagers from the poor side of the city who get scholarships to study in an elite school with rich kids. They are immediately treated as scum and none of the rich kids seem to like them. But as time goes by some warm up to them, some even offer them lucrative deals.
The show is basically a Spanish Gossip Girl with a little bit of 13 Reasons Why mixed with Riverdale. I mean, it really does have everything. Drama, sex, murder, romance, mystery all mixed together with LGBTQ+, sexuality, religion and some super heavy themes. If I were Stefon, I’d have a really hard time fitting everything from Elite into a club.
First season focuses on a murder of one of the rich kids. There are interrogations thrown into it and well, it’s rather fascinating. I now wish I hadn’t accidentally spoiled myself with the mystery by scrolling on Tumblr but it was still enjoyable. So much so that I kept myself away from Tumblr during season 2, and managed to be surprised in the end.
I loved the character developments in the second season. But the overall plot of the first one was better. So most of the hype revolving around these characters really surfaced during the second season. Though I love other characters as well, I’m keeping it contained with five (six really). I also have to note that this list is very much based on both of the seasons so I had to leave one of my favourites from season 1 out of this list! Damn you, writers!
Before I dive right in, this post will include some spoilers for both Elite seasons. BUT they will be hidden, so highlight the bit between the brackets, and you’ll see them. Most of it is just some facts about the characters, some of it is outright shocking and there will be some major plot developments hidden as well.
HONOURABLE MENTION: OMAR portrayed by Omar Ayuso
Now, one of the big reasons I like this character is the fact that he is gay. He is also muslim, so right from the gate, he is faced with a lot of struggles. At first, he struggles with his identity among his family and religion. This is a difficult one for him which is why I emphasised with him so quickly. [In the second season he opens up a lot more. He becomes his true LGBQT+ persona, with moments of drag and vulnerability. When his relationship with Ander struggles to survive, I felt like the character struggled as well. And not in a good way. Plus, it amazes me they were able to live in the same room as teen boys who everyone knew were in a relationship. It’s strangely refreshing too though because better they do it in home? No?]
There are a few reasons I’m not listing him in the actual list. First, he didn’t have much to do in the second season. He did have a lot of character growth but I felt like there could have been more. Second, Ayuso is not the strongest actor in the bunch. While there are weaker links in the mix, there are also far stronger actors in Elite as well. Ayuose’s weakness especially faltered next to the actor who plays his characters boyfriend.
5. LU portrayed by Danna Paola
Evil but fun, that’s how I’d describe Lu. Also, she is pretty much like the Spanish version of Blair from Gossip Girl. At first I was a little hesitant to tolerate her but with so many witty comebacks, she soon grew on me. Plus, she has fun with style and Paola is just so beautiful! It’s hard to look at her on screen and not fall in love with her just a little bit. She did act like a bitch with most characters so that was a slow burn love for her.
One of the biggest twists and shockers of second season revolved around her. This was disturbing. Just heads up. [When it was revealed that she had slept with her half-brother, I think my mouth fell to the floor! I was like, excuse me!? But the problem with this development was the fact that Lu’s half-brother was introduced in the second season. We didn’t have any experience with him so this “relationship” felt far from sister/brother and more like good chemistry between two actors. Still, I have to hand it to Elite for throwing such a horrendous curve ball into the show and be like, hey, incest is a thing.]
4. CARLA portrayed by Ester Expósito
The spoilt rich girl character has been done so many times and yet, I find these characters always the most interesting. There is certain mystery to them, allure even and I think Expósito captures that quite well. Also, she has such gorgeous features, it’s easy to stare at her and forget the subtitles, which you definitely need if you don’t speak Spanish.
While the range of this character is not as vast as some of the others, she has a lot of tension to portray in the second season. That’s why I like her, the second season really brought her into the spotlight for me. [The dynamic between her and Samuel was so strange. Both knew they were playing each other, but they just kept going. I also loved how she still cared for her ex boyfriend, even though he was not a good person. In all, I think she cares a lot for the people in her life yet remains distant, and Expoósito brings that out well.]
3. GUZMAN portrayed by Miguel Bernardeau
I feel like I’m a broken record at this point but Guzman really brought it in the second season. The first didn’t allow him to play on emotions as well but with the events of the first season guiding the second, Bernardeau really brought it! His dynamic with the entire cast is great. I love his scenes with the female characters but I also adore him with his best friends. Just a caring character through and through. Who gets really mad at times.
[What second season allowed him to do was brilliant. He was so angry and mad over his sister’s death, that he kept lashing out. His friction with Samuel was definitely the main element of the second season, as was his friendships but also his romantic pursuit. I didn’t care for the romance at all though, I was more intrigued when Bernardeau got to interact with his friends. Him and Ander on that rooftop scene, man, chills.] Also, as a bonus, I like the way Bernardeau angry speaks. He has a few scenes where he is mad and for some reason, mad Spanish is really sexy.
2. ANDER portrayed by Arón Piper
Excuse me while I sob a little because oh boy, Ander, may I hug you? Now if you think a rich kid who is gay can easily break your heart, you are right! It’s mostly because Piper has the saddest puppy eyes of the bunch. He just gives really good sad eyes and he has had to do that a lot throughout both seasons.
The first season was more about him finding balance between life, love and friends. The second season was a lot about him tackling his own sexuality. And hiding a really big ass secret. [I think it was so unfair for the writers to give him the secret so early on in the season. Him knowing his friend killed his best friends sister was eating him alive. He was lashing out on everyone and it seemed so unfair. Also I think as a character, Ander wouldn’t have kept it for so long. But that scene where Guzman confronts him in the second season still floored me. Piper was brilliant in that scene!]
1. POLO portrayed by Álvaro Rico
Every Elite fan is shook at this but Polo is by far my favourite character of the entire show. His character really hit home by the end of the second season and I’ve seen some compassion for him on Tumblr but not much. Still, Rico just slayed me! His were my favourite scenes of the second season. His storyline, despite it being muddled by other drama, was the strongest. If not even the strongest of the entire show so far. I know this is a controversial statement but I just need to give credit to Rico and the writers for creating such a compelling character.
[When we find out that he killed Guzman’s sister, it’s like pitchforks in hand right away. Then the season slowly takes its time to show us Polo behind the scenes. And I kid you not, Rico just managed to bring out so much angst and vulnerability, despite the horrendous act of his character, that I just felt feelings for him. His character clearly has mental illness of some sort, I’m not sure if they disclosed this already but he struggles and I just want him to get help. He is also bisexual which is a rare treat on shows that makes me instantly like him a little bit more.] Polo’s journey is very different from the others but that’s what makes him interesting to me. I like those contradicting characters that aren’t necessarily black and white. I also, no joke, have his face as my wallpaper at the moment. Huge fan, not of what he did but the actor and the complexity his actions allowed his character to go through.
Have you seen the show? Are you interested in seeing it? What do you think of contradicting characters and if you’ve seen the show, who is your favourite?2