Las Chicas Del Cable or The Cable Girls is Netflix's longest-running non-US original series and became immensely popular following its release in 2017. The show came to an end in 2020 after five profound and complex seasons that took the viewer on a wild rollercoaster of emotions.
There is so much that I love about the show, from the opulent 1920's aesthetic to the backdrop of the Spanish Civil war against which our story unfolds. However, my absolute favorite aspects are the celebration of femininity, diversity in womanhood, strong female friendships, and the message of female empowerment that is so central to the show's storyline. It also helps that the show has a healthy dose of romance and drama, crime and mystery, and the glamour of the flapper era.
But today, I have chosen to focus on the stories of the main five characters of the show, their character development, and their journeys.
1 . Lidia Aguilar/ Alba Romero:
The show starts with Lidia, a prostitute, planning to run away with a friend who gets killed by her husband, and Lidia is wrongfully incarcerated for the murders. After being blackmailed by a corrupt police officer who wants her to steal money from the National Telephone Company, she ends up in Madrid. She starts out as a cold-hearted robber, but things get a lot more complicated when emotions get involved. Lidia's character goes through so much in the show, from having her daughter kidnapped by her evil mother-in-law, to her sick stepdaughter ending up in battle. Being sent to a women's correctional facility and ultimately dying while trying to flee with her fellow prisoners.
2 . Angeles Vidal:
We see Angeles go from a victim of domestic abuse and infidelity to a free woman after her husband is killed. However, this isn't the end of her troubles as the police begin investigating her for her husband's murder, and she is judged for being a working single mother. Ultimately, Angeles is jailed for her husband's murder, but her friends attempt a jailbreak and are almost successful until the prison guards open fire, and she is shot and killed.
3. Carlota Rodriguez de Senillosa:
Carlota is the ultimate rich brat who opposes her parent's wishes and starts working. However, her character arc is perhaps my favorite. She learns to work for her money, figures out her sexuality, mends her relationship with her parents, stands, and almost wins Madrid's Mayor elections. She, too, is incarcerated in relation to the murder of a political opponent, the girls manage to prove her innocence, and she is set free. Following this, she leaves Madrid to become an investigative journalist.
4 . Maria Immaculada "Marga" Suarez:
When we first meet Marga, she is a confused and demure small-town girl who is at a loss in the big city. Throughout the show, she grows so much; not only does she become more confident and self-assured, but she learns to stand up for herself and others. While the civil war rages, the other three have left the country, but Marga braves it out in the war-stricken Madrid, all the while juggling a complicated pregnancy and hiding a fugitive husband. Even though she has plenty of her own problems, she volunteers and helps others out while working full time; in my opinion, she is the strongest of all of the main characters.
6. Oscar Ruiz (Previously Sara Millan):
We first meet Oscar as Sara Millan, a supervisor at the National Telephone Company. Oscar is a transgender man who struggles with his identity but ultimately learns to express his true self. Oscar and Carlota fall in love and get married. Though their relationship hits some bumps, it is still very solid and healthy.
There are many reasons to watch this show, if not for the impeccable storyline that keeps you at the edge of your seat, then at least for these incredibly nuanced and layered characters. I loved how the show explored topics like female sexuality, freedom and liberation, independence of women, non-traditional gender and sexual identities, race, class issues, and the spectrum of womanhood and its diversity. These topics are incredibly important and occupy a central position in modern discourses. It is pleasantly surprising that they were discussed openly in the context of an era where they would have been considered extremely taboo.
Consider this my rather long and pleading attempt at convincing people to watch Las Chicas Del Cable.