Almost two decades ago, television surrendered to antiheroes. Television was filled with shady guys who worked perfectly as protagonists: Dexter Morgan, Walther White, Don Draper… More than antiheroes, many of them were directly villains, but who cares. Their series were great even though they were worse than a pain.

We could discuss whether or not the Berlin of Money Heist is a villain. I would say yes. A lot. That he possesses certain virtues typical of the most infantilized heroes (hello, Marvel) does not mean that, as a human being, he is infamous. But his power in the plot of the series by Álex Pina and Esther Martínez Lobato and the grandiloquence with which Pedro Alonso played him made him one of the fans’ favorite characters. That’s why Netflix decided to give it its own series.

Berlin has recently been released on the platform and, according to it, it is being a success. I believe it, because it is a series that repeats the patterns of Money Heist, adds elements from other Netflix hits (hello, Lupin) and completely submits to a charismatic protagonist.

Conveniently stripped of everything that made it disgusting (and, in my opinion, interesting) in Money Heist, the new Berlin, which narratively predates that of Money Heist, enhances the elements that made it super popular at the time. Fundamentally, the construction of Pedro Alonso, which takes advantage of his powerful voice and his disturbing physique. Alonso’s hyperbolic performance (work that, at times, borders on Nicholas Cage’s mega-acting) is the center of a series that, otherwise, is exactly as we imagined.

Berlin has been highlighted for its questionable management of relationships between men and women (and, in general, the conception of its female characters), but who expected anything else. The Pina-Martínez Lobato tandem has sometimes been very inspired talking about passions and sex (there is the very notable The Embarcadero) but at other times, it falls into reductionisms and commonplaces typical of the most misogynistic 80s.

Some of those female successes appear in Berlin, such as Najwa Nimri’s hilarious Alicia Sierra, but the caricatures of women are much more noticeable, and if they weren’t that, they could make the series much better. In Berlin we once again see a wasted Michelle Jenner, to whom the Spanish audiovisual industry continues to deny her the complex character she has deserved for years, and we embarrass others with the dialogues of Begoña Vargas, another extraordinary performer who cries out to be more than just a accessory doll.

The fact that Berlin is fierce and sassy does not make it any less of a macho-centric fantasy. Just like Berlin itself, four pseudo-romantic fucker phrases uttered in Paris don’t make it any less disgusting. Or yes, and with it a series that could have something, has nothing.

I believe in recycling, but not in taking things out of the trash, giving them a once-over with an iron and selling them as new.