This Town Sucks
So You Think You Have Powers?
The Inner Bitch [alt: The Inner Witch]
We All Do Stupid Things
Nobody’s Gonna Ruin Our Party
If there are two things Netflix have in abundance on its platform, it’s docu-series and teen dramas. You’re Nothing Special is a pretty aptly titled show because in essence, there really isn’t all that special about this Spanish drama. All the usual clichés are ticked, there’s a lick of creative visuals to boot, and the short run-time make this a breeze to get through. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty forgettable, and is armed with an unlikable protagonist who takes a while to warm to.
The story here begins with a big ol’ cliché. Teen Amaia is not happy after she’s relocated from Barcelona to the countryside village of Salabarria. Her mum has lost her job and is moving back to her hometown, much to the annoyance of her daughter. Also along for the ride is little 9 year old Ona. Amaia is convinced her life is going to be sh*t (her words, not mine!) and immediately presents herself as sarcastic, angry and judgmental.
It doesn’t take long for her to befriend Javi, Zhao and Lucia at school, who become her go-to clique – but it certainly takes a while for her to warm to them. Oh, and there’s also Asier as well, whom Amaia bumps into at a party and sparks fly. Is he the romantic love interest? No spoilers here!
It’s your usual set-up for teen dramas like this and it’s archetypal to a fault, even with the added ingredient in this one – magic.
During the first episode, Amaia learns that her grandmother, Petra, was actually well-known in the community for being a witch. She used to put curses on people, so Amaia and her friends decide to do the same, attempting to put curses and cast spell for those who deserve it – or who will pay a decent rate. This magic ultimately plays second fiddle to the drama though, despite what the first episode may have you believe. There’s a subplot involving prejudice against Ona, while romance sparkles throughout the 6 episodes.
In terms of progression, Amaia’s character does soften a little and become more likable as the show progresses but she continues to throw out annoying retorts and judgmental quips at those around her. I appreciate this may be accurate for moody teens but it doesn’t make a great impression for a protagonist we’re trying to warm to. However, the final episode does go some way to soften that blow, with Amaia and her mother’s arc one of the brighter spots of this series.
As for the supporting cast, everyone here is pretty cliched and one-note and there really isn’t anything here that stands out. That’s not to say the show is uninspiring though. The visuals are great and the soundtrack is pretty fitting. The editing and cinematography are also decent, with some stand-out split screen shots and some nice scenes featuring Amaia conducting her magic or reading tarot cards that are welcome.
Despite all of that though, You’re Nothing Special fails to add that spark to its story to help it stand out next to so many others in this field. This isn’t quite as fantastical as something like The Magicians, and it doesn’t have the same endearing characters or intriguing hook as something like I Am Not Okay With This. Instead, this Spanish teen drama falls somewhere in the realm of middling mediocrity, failing to add that sprinkle of magic to stand out.
Verdict - 5/10