‘Control Z’: Closer to a telenovela than a TV show

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Courtesy of Netflix

Marisol Chávez, Web Editor

Control Z is exactly as if Mexico got their own Gossip Girl, but then somehow got mixed up with a script of La Rosa de Guadalupe.  

Sofía Herrera, played by Ana Valeria Becerril, is a damaged high school junior that was gifted with Sherlock-like deduction skills. After the juicy secrets of all her classmates are compromised by a hacker, it becomes her mission to uncover the hacker’s true identity and restore the status quo.  

The plot, although ingenious and with potential, slowly becomes predictable and almost boring. Sofía’s deduction skills start out a promising characteristic of her and her investigation but end up being useless, as she is fooled and deceived by the hacker numerous times. 

The rest of the characters are also alright, and all have promising storylines, sometimes making decisions that complicate their characters even further, but it often feels like the need for drama overpowers the need for character development. 

El Paso native and trans actress Zion Moreno plays Isabela de la Fuente, a teenager whose secret that she is trans gets out without her consent. Her story stands out from the rest, along with the one of Michael Ronda’s Javier Williams. Javier is the son of a famous football player, and he is one too, but vows to not play football ever again after accidentally killing a fellow teammate.  

Stories like theirs, and even some of the main characters, like Sofía’s father being alive after faking his death for years, are forgotten by the writers and it feels like the viewer is expected to forget about them too as the season ends. There is almost no resolution throughout; the only reason they had a season finale was because they uncovered the hacker.  

In terms of portraying diversity, it could do better. Although some of the main character’s storylines include LGBTQ issues, and Moreno belongs to the LGBTQ community, it is not at all diverse in terms of social conditions. It is well known that Mexico’s inequality is rooted in matters of class, and the show does not attempt to fight it. 

Every home that is shown throughout the episodes is far from modest. All of the teenagers attend El Colegio Nacional, a private high school with tall, glass ceilings. All of them come from rich, famous or important families, and if they don’t it is almost seamless.  

Almost 53 million people in Mexico live in poverty. The closest the series gets into portraying financial struggle is when Natalia Alexander, played by Macarena García, steals money from the school’s dance planning committee and looks for ways to pay it back. She becomes a drug dealer. A solution that is not only disturbing but also extremely predictable. 

On the list of reasons why you should watch Control Z, Zion Moreno is at the top. If you’re looking for an effortless drama that will make time pass by as you’re quarantined at home without anything else to do, watch this show. Otherwise, baking banana bread for the fifth time could be a better choice.  

Marisol Chavez may be reached at [email protected]