‘El Internado’ Arrival Should Be Embraced

Joshua Perry, News Editor

The shock of the new school year and the changes that came with it took a while for most to get over, but here are some who may still be recovering from trauma.

Honors Spanish 3 students had their world turned upside-down when the series “Velvet,” watched in Spanish 2 classes at EHS, was replaced with a different soap opera.

True, they’ll never see Rita’s friendly smile again or relate viscerally to Ana’s love life, but the “Velvet” replacement isn’t as bad as it seems.

The title of the drama is “El Internado,” or “The Boarding School” en ingles. The plot centers on a remote boarding school for the Spanish elite, where all is not as it seems—employees hide secrets, teachers disappear, and monsters are rumored to lurk in the woods.

In the middle of this is a group of six teenagers, who resolve to get to the bottom of an old unsolved incident, dealing with autocratic school administrators, dank subterranean tunnels and messy love quadrangles on the way. It’s like a scandalous “Scooby-Doo.”

I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first. The whole 2007 vibe was starkly different from the chic, stylish 1950’s setting I was used to with “Velvet.” But despite the janky establishment shots and lack of verisimilitude, “El Internado” has managed to get me hooked. Here’s why.

The drama’s use of character development rivals even that of “Velvet.” The audience is led to believe at first that they will have to endure hours of predictable dialogue from stereotypical stock characters, but au contraire.

Nearly every individual you think you know will reveal at some point that they aren’t merely a cardboard cutout but a living, breathing, multi-faceted individual. Their personalities should by no means be taken at face value.

The plot is engaging as well. The everyday gossip-worthy events at school are interesting enough on their own, but they are compounded with a well-established atmosphere of fear and uncertainty as the students realize the true dangers that stalk them. Spooky goings-on and ghastly discoveries make for a chilling and enthralling story.

So, despite how much I miss the sense of taste and romance in “Velvet,” I’m content with the present alternative. As long as they keep the subtitles, I’m ready to learn Spanish.