Spain’s first Netflix original series, Las Chicas del Cable (Cable Girls), has amassed a huge fan base for its message on women empowerment, despite the show’s name. The show follows four women looking for freedom in the late 1920s, a time where women were treated like second-class citizens. It is able to give its audience a taste of style and lifestyle in the 20s but stayed rooted to the main theme of problems facing women in an oppressive society.
Each character represents a different social issue that is faced by women: domestic violence, marrying for security, and generally a patriarchic society. The main character, Alba or “Lidia” (Blanca Suarez) as she is referred to later, is a young woman caught between a murder and is then being exploited for money as bail. She goes to become a telephone operator where she is supposed to steal from the director. This is when romance, friendship, and selflessness comes in as the director was her former lover from her youth, Francisco (Yon González). To make things more scandalous, she finds herself in a love triangle with her former lover and his brother-in-law, Carlos (Martiño Rivas).
Her co-workers Carlota (Ana Fernández), Ángeles (Maggie Civantos) and Marga (Nadia de Santiago), are unaware of her secret identity or morals as they go through life facing problems of their own and their friendship grows. Their bond grows as they support each other to take a stand of their own and rebel against oppression from the various male characters. Ángeles loves and is very good at her job, but is forced to quit to keep her husband happy, more specifically his masculine identity that believes she should be a housewife.
The show redefines and pushes the limits of “having it all,” when in the 1920s having it all was having a house, husband, and children. The women here want more, they want jobs, positions of power, and the law on their side. Each episode shows a particular side to the lifestyle in the 20s that clearly show the role of women in that time. Yes, they were oppressed, yes they had no rights without male permission, but still “the world is in the hands of women.”
A mix of romance, empowerment, and drama, this show is a hit for Spain’s first Netflix original. Fans (including myself), are waiting for the second part of season one, as the cliffhanger dropped on the last episode is enough to make anyone’s heart race and mind spin. The feminist drama has many more stories to tell.