From a real-life scandal to a tale of friendship and coming-of-age, Baby made an impact and bows out well with its final season.
It doesn’t seem that long ago since Baby first debuted on Netflix with a ton of hype around it given its inspiration in the real-life Baby Squillo scandal. The fuss scarcely seemed worth it for a good but by no means shocking teen coming-of-age drama, in which Chiara Altieri (Benedetta Porcaroli) became BFFs with tearaway Ludovica “Ludo” Storti (Alice Pagani) and got involved in underage prostitution. Nevertheless, the show found its fanbase, and a second season pleased them further by continuing the story of Chiara and Ludo and their pimps Saverio (Paolo Calabresi) and then Fiore (Giuseppe Maggio), with heavy underlying themes of class and the exploitation of young women.
Baby season 3 is a natural culmination for all of this given how it concerns the breaking apart of this prostitution ring by the police; an expected narrative that also, for once, provides a conclusive and natural ending for a Netflix show. It might make these final six episodes a bit predictable, less about twists and turns than unavoidable developments seen coming a mile away, but that mostly helps the show to dig into the nitty-gritty of how the operation was taken down and what it being taken down means for its main characters.
The most interesting aspect of this has always been the girls, and how they exist in the difficult middle ground between the short-term benefits of money and protection but the long-term risk to their health and freedoms, prostitution being a business that is always rigged in favour of the pimp. The go-home season makes sure to address this, as well as its usual topics of consent, class, relative privilege – in terms of both money and reputational power – and friendship. It felt, for want of a better term, like a final season, like a conclusion, like the end of a long and difficult journey that two friends shared together.
Something obviously has to give to allow for this, and in large part, it’s pace and surprise. But Baby season 3 also maintains many things that the first two did well, including the sharp look and the solid acting, both helping an audience to buy into the plight of the characters. For once, I’m pleased to report that not only did a Netflix original actually end, but it ended well, and in a way that is sure to leave fans satisfied. Imagine that.