At a steady 8 episodes, Salma Hayek’s Monarca remains a hidden gem, with season 2 thickening the story, and making it a toxic drama worth watching.
This review of Netflix’s Monarca season 2 contains no spoilers. The second instalment of the crime drama was released on the streaming service on Friday 1, 2021.
To kick off 2021, the ever-busy streaming service has dropped an international title that caught the imagination of crime drama enthusiasts in late 2019. Monarca returns for Season 2, the thirsty cliffhangers in Season 1 making this a long-awaited return for fans.
Like its predecessor, Monarca has the same substance and approach; combining a family business empire, a world of corruption and crime, and an urgency to clean the establishment. The story relies on power-hungry characters to drive the story.
It follows with the same premise — after the opening instalment showed Ana María take the reigns, at the request of her father, who was soon murdered, Season 2 continues to deal with the repercussions of a cover-up and the intricacies of renewing an empire. There’s a true power struggle, crime versus goodwill, with a little mix of politics that heralds this pulsating story.
And it’s a straight continuation too; Ana María is compromised after her bloodied shirt is used as evidence against her, and the opening premise sees audacious blackmail; Monarca represents a shaky empire, ready to be stripped away, layer by layer, with generations of a family ready to spoil the accumulated riches.
Monarca holds a torch to good performances like the previous season, but the real highlight is its knack for a throbbing soundtrack. It’s ever-present, with the score ripping through some scenes, sneakily, and catching the viewers by surprise. While this TV series is relatively unknown, it’s an impressive feat that they’ve managed to mix music score with dramatics. It’s a noticeable nod of approval.
Season 2 thrives off power imbalances, and the need to have a purpose, which is something that is an unspoken conversation in a relatively privileged world. I always find stories fascinating when they surround wealthy families and their outer circle influencing in; it’s never about the money, it’s about maintaining a message, and keeping politics, diplomacy and crime appeased. Monarca represents a crime cold war, with none of the characters nailing where they stand; they all position themselves on the sidelines and wait for the next move.
At a steady 8 episodes, Salma Hayek’s Monarca remains a hidden gem, with Season 2 thickening the story, and making it a toxic drama worth watching.
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