Maybe Netflix’s next big streaming hit, Most Beautiful Thing is female empowerment at its most glamorous in a musical seven-part series out of Brazil.
If there’s anything likely to pick up a major following this weekend despite Netflix seemingly devoting all of its promotional dollars to the second season of The OA, it’s the Brazilian seven-part Original Series Most Beautiful Thing, otherwise known as Coisa Mais Linda. The show, following on from the success of Samantha!, is a period drama set in 1959 that unavoidably evokes comparisons to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which can’t be a bad thing.
Quite gorgeously shot and starring the stunning Maria Casadevall as Maria ‘Malu’ Luiza, a wealthy housewife who moves from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro with her husband in the hopes of opening a restaurant, only to find herself penniless and abandoned, Most Beautiful Thing is female empowerment at its most glamorous, as Malu opens a bossa nova bar and club and attempts to topple the male-dominated industry while developing a romance with aspiring musician Francisco “Chico” Fraga (Leandro Lima).
The details differ, obviously, but the Mrs. Maisel vibes are strong; a beautiful female lead striving to make it in a patriarchal industry despite deeply ingrained cultural attitudes holding her back. The show, defined by its impressive musicality, knows how to hit the right beats, dropping lines like, “We don’t realize how strong we are until we have to be,” to what one assumes is an audience eagerly anticipating lines just like it. And there are more besides.
Maria Casadevall is an incredibly compelling and likable lead, bolstered by a strong supporting cast that includes Fernanda Vasconcellos, Patricia Dejesus, Icaro Silva, and Thaila Ayala. A deep admiration for bossa nova specifically and Brazilian culture, in general, helps Most Beautiful Thing to radiate a specificity and authenticity that’ll doubtlessly appeal in a big way to certain local demographics. The show’s underlying themes of female empowerment, strength, and success against all odds will resonate universally, however, and there’s every chance that this just might be Netflix’s next big streaming hit.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.