“Dating in Barcelona” has left to big ratings in Spain, both on its first window debut on Catalan public network TV3 and on Amazon’s Prime Video, where it bowed to become the streaming services most watched show.
Written by Pau Freixas Èric Navarro, Ivan Mercadé, Clara Esparrach and Eduard Sola, it follows in the course of an episode two dates happening simultaneously in the city of Barcelona. Drawing contrast and larger social point from one another, the series manages to make insightful commentary on the modern ways of dating while shuttling dynamically from each story, always maintaining a lighter mood.
Beyond the appeals of the episodic format, bulwarked by something of a reaction to lengthy and lore-heavy series, the show’s minimalistic, self conclusive concept, only demanding performer’s availability for half an episode, also allows for a top-tier cast, taking in Carmen Machi (“Piggy”) , Laia Costa (“Victoria”) and Carlos Cuevas (“Smiley”) amongst many others, blessing the six-episode series an array of strong performances.
Variety talked with Freixas, a showrunner on some of Spain’s most successful series from “Red Band Society” to “I Know Who You Are” and “Todos Mienten.”
The series suggests that dating evolved in an Internet age. Could you comment?
Indeed. When we started the writing process, we talked a lot with Eric Navarro about how things have changed in the last eight years in regards to blind dating, through dating apps. At the time when the series was created, dating over the internet was something new that even caused some embarrassment to those who did it. Some even lied about it! Right now, on the other hand, everyone has apps for dating, this way of looking for love has become the norm and is more than accepted. What happens is that today, there’s also a certain exhaustion. Most of the people we meet through apps are people who have already been on a ton of dates, and are tired of that routine. So when the spark arises, when love arises, it is even more beautiful because of the contrast that is created between the exhaustion of having dates with strangers that lead to nothing, and the illusion of falling in love again.
Having characters who are over 50 again seems to make a comment on societal change…
Yes, surely there is a social change in relation to that age. Right now, those who are in their fifties may still want to find or rediscover love, to start their life again (something that perhaps a few decades ago was less accepted). They still feel that they have a lot of life ahead of them. But we also chose to represent that age in some dates, because it helps us to tell another perspective on life. Because in general, 50-year-olds have things very clear, they know what they want and they don’t have that naiveté of young people. So not only is it a social portrait of the evolution of 50-year-old people, of how they see romantic and sexual relationships, but it also helps us to tell another perspective and explain sentimental life from another point of view, another moment in life.
We talk and support racial, gender diversity. The series supports the idea of romantic diversity, and the idea of individual diversity. Could you comment?
We are grateful to live in a world where sexual, racial, etc. diversity is increasingly assumed. We see it, more and more, in our friends, in their children, etc. That is what organically made us want to talk about different types of relationships and sexual orientations. We are finally closer to having a world where everything fits and we wanted to simply portray what surrounds us, in a very realistic way.
You’ve been involved in many of the great changes, trends, and experiments in the Catalan film-TV industry, making works in Catalan and Spanish….
The challenge is to find the balance between a social portrait that has both languages, Spanish and Catalan, and at the same time promote content in Catalan, a minority language that is important to promote and represent.
But it is clear that moving Catalan content internationally is more difficult, so if you want to take content in Catalan to another level, you have to make a stronger financial investment. The sector has evolved a lot, it has grown a lot at the budget level, and it is ready to do very powerful things.
We need more financial support, bigger budgets to create unique and very attractive content, so it can travel more.
By Variety - See full article here