Sintonia offers a unique snapshot of complex individuals trying to navigate difficult circumstances, and it remains compelling even the third time around.
This review of Sintonia Season 3 is spoiler-free. You can check out our previous coverage of this show by clicking these words.
Sintonia is primarily the product of KondZilla, a filmmaker and DJ whose musical influence has been felt all throughout the series. But it’s really the authentic enthusiasm for the culture that KondZilla and his co-creators, Guilherme Moraes Quintella and Felipe Braga, have used to elevate this quietly complex Netflix drama about friends trying to navigate their lives and their relationships as their personal circumstances change.
In this third season, which runs six episodes like the previous installments have, circumstances for the leading trio have changed more than ever. Doni has found his way out, or so he thinks — his music career and his love life are both good and have taken him to Paris on tour. Nando is still in, but only barely; he has a path to a law-abiding life that he can’t wait to take. And Rita has, through religion, found politics, though a specific kind of evangelical politics that puts the needs of her potential constituents at cross-purposes with the needs of her benefactor.
Sintonia has always been about these three, close friends since childhood, united by their shared circumstances and hardscrabble upbringing. Keeping that bond intact across three seasons can’t have been an easy writing feat, yet even though roughly equal focus is paid to everyone’s personal endeavors, the show still really sings when they come together. There’s a lot of warmth and understanding the three share, and the obvious love they have for each other is a lovely way to humanize and complicate individuals who, especially in the case of Nando but also with supporting players like Cleyton, haven’t necessarily behaved in the nicest (or most legal) way.
Of course, this is the point. By uniting these characters in their background but following their very different journeys into adulthood, the show is able to explore how people are defined by their circumstances differently, and how there are many paths to personal emancipation — not all of them easy, granted, but all with light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, anyway.
Since we’re invested in the fates of these people, and largely want the best for them even as we’ve been privy to their most shameful moments and self-destructive decisions, this season’s relatively moderate pace doesn’t feel like as much of a downside as it otherwise might. This isn’t to say that nothing happens, simply that Sintonia is confident enough in its world and characters to not force the issue. An open-ended finale suggests a further future for the show that I, for one, would be interested to see.