Neon Season 1 Review – An exposé of the music industry

By Ricky Valero
Published: October 19, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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Neon Season 1 Review - An exposé of the music industry


Neon is a well-written series that exposes the highs and lows of chasing your dreams in the music industry.

Santi has one hope in mind, and that’s to become the biggest reggae star in the world. In the Netflix original series Neon, Santi, his manager Ness, and his friend Jordan Mendoza move to Miami to make this dream a reality. Shea Serrano created the series with Eli Gonda and Max Searle behind the director’s chair. 

This review is spoiler-free.

Neon Season 1 review and plot summary

Neon follows the story of Santi, an up-and-coming reggae star who moves to Miami with his friends/team in hopes of signing a record deal and living the high life in the big city. 

The series starts with us meeting Santi, the musician, along with Ness and Jordan, his friends/team that will represent him. The trio are on their way to Miami hoping to land Santi his first record deal. Upon arriving, they meet with Mia, a rep of the label A&R. However, shortly after the meeting, we realize that Mia isn’t who she said she was, opening the door for others to sign Santi.

Throughout each episode, Shea Serrano’s portrayal of breaking into the music business shines bright. Santi’s struggles are like many that deal with grinding their way to the top of any business. Santi’s attempt at stardom is met with many obstacles, from an assistant pretending to be something they are not to a journalist with a vendetta or record executives out for themselves.

However, Serrano’s writing of the back half of this show is truly brilliant, especially with the introduction of Gina, a mob-like boss who swoops in to wow Santi and his team with lots of money and intimidation. Gina is equal parts sexy and scary at the same time and played to perfection by Jordana Brewster. Brewster kills you with words one minute and makes you fall to your knees the next.

Although Serrano’s writing is strong within the characters, it almost felt like too much was going on with them throughout the season. At every turn, an extra layer takes away from other vital plot points, turning the entire story upside-down.

The series might lose track of certain storylines, but one thing that is always on point is the music. The Grammy Award-winning team Tainy & One Six brought all original music to the series and did not disappoint. The soundtrack available on all streaming platforms already is filled with bangers.

Is Neon Worth Watching? 

TV shows like Neon don’t come by very often in terms of being a well-balanced series that runs a tight thirty minutes an episode, making for a one or two-sitting binge. These types of series are often bogged down with the little things, and while Neon has its issues, it is always interesting. 

So if you are looking for an easy bingable series that highlights the good and bad of the music industry while producing some stellar music and a strong cast, Neon should be on your radar. 

What did you think of Neon Season 1? Comment below.

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Netflix, Streaming Service, TV, TV Reviews
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