Zorro Season 1 (2023) Review – A fresh take on a superhero genre tackling weighty themes

Season 1

 

 

Episode Guide

Episode 1 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 6 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 7 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 8 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 – | Review Score – 4/5

 

With great power comes great responsibility. Uncle Ben’s cautionary warning to Peter Parker defines Zorro too, the latest Spanish TV series. The action-adventure period drama ‘Zorro’ narrates the multi-layered story in a very engaging way. This is about good versus evil, oppressor versus suppressor, and the duel of black vs. white too. In a similar vein, Zorro is hope, a myth, and a promise. 

This period piece is set against the backdrop of the Californian conflict between Mexico and Spain in the early nineteenth century. Diego De La Vega, a young landowner, comes to California to investigate his father’s death. Instead of that, the fortune offers him something else.

Diego finds the purpose of his existence in taking on the mantle of the masked vigilante called Zorro, which also helps him see beyond his personal vendetta.

Diego has a possible love interest in Lolita Marquez. In addition, the series tackles weighty issues such as slavery, conversion to Christianity, and patriarchal orthodoxy, giving it a universal appeal.

The 1830s reconstruction in all ten episodes really nails it, making the whole series a visual feast. The nighttime scenes are always stuffed with vibrant color palettes, reminding us of the time. Moreover, the set design, camera movements, choice of words, and dialogue all bring us back to the old California while it is still trying to find itself.

The background music, especially the ones we’re treated with when Zorro shows up, including the signature crack (sound of whipping) and Diego’s rapier cutting through the air, just amplifies the excitement. You’ll feel that you’re right there in the desert with the masked vigilante.  When it pertains to screenwriting, ‘Zorro shares similarities with many heroic love stories found in  Hollywood films.

The on-off romance between Diego and Lolita, spanning from their early years to adulthood, features memorable moments like the bullet in the hat, sharing a passionate and rapid kiss at a masquerade ball, a heartbreaking marriage ceremony, leading up to a final confrontation where Lucia, asks Diego to never contact her again.

The story often transcends scenes about personal struggles, giving a well-executed action scene that’s become the staple of the beloved character. The scene where Zorro takes a leap of faith from the Church’s tower to embrace death and avoid getting captured by Monastario’s men deserves applause. 

The series explores conflicts and dilemmas between characters and ideologies. In the series, Diego is in a constant tussle with Nah-Lin, a woman of the tribe who was hoping to become the next Zorro. Unfortunately, Nah-Lin’s dreams and ambitions are ignored when Diego returns to California.

Their clashes go beyond just physical confrontations; their ideologies also collide. Dialogues like “Zorro doesn’t defend the rich, nor kills the innocent” or “The suit doesn’t belong to me; it’s everyone’s” accentuate these ideological struggles. In addition, this series is jam-packed with serious discussions and criticism about love, slavery, love for the motherland, and feminism.

Dialogues like “signing as a woman, they wouldn’t take me seriously, that’s why I had to sign as a man” and “They are animals; they don’t deserve to be buried in the sacred ground” highlight the aforementioned themes and vices. Many scenes in the series might flood back memories of the 2013 Academy Award-winning film, 12 Years a Slave.

Character development and standout performances by the actors take the series to a new level, particularly from actors like Miguel Bernardo as Diego, Paco Tous as the mute Bernardo, Renata Notni as Lolita, Emiliano Zurita as Enrique, and Dalia Xiuhcoatel as Nah Lin. Their performances are worthy of brownie points and also lend a hand in the show’s success.

Rather than focusing on one key character, Zorro represents everyone in a contemporary materialistic society. The series talks about the idea of looking beyond oneself to serve the greater good of humanity. Captain Enrique’s dialogue, “Dead or alive, he’s still a person; show some respect,” encapsulates what Zorro is about. 

Zorro follows a traditional superhero storyline featuring the clash of good versus evil in 19th-century California. If you’re not a fan of classic hero stories or period dramas or are looking for something completely different, this might not be your cup of tea.

However, if you’re looking for a series with well-crafted character arcs and a mix of action and romance, ‘Zorro’ is a unique twist on the superhero genre by tackling themes such as love, justice, and societal challenges.


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  • Verdict - 8/10
    8/10
8/10

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