A violent courtyard scuffle between teens roils into a string of increasingly devious and vengeful acts perpetrated by their parents in creator Lucas Paraízo’s “The Others.” Slated to screen at this week’s Mipcom market in Cannes, the Globoplay original series tackles masculinity and miscommunication with urgency.
Paraízo, whose prior medical drama “Under Pressure” sold to more than 60 countries, expressed an interest in breaking down the intricacies surrounding the frail state of human connection and points to intolerance for a lack of constructive everyday dialogue.
“The series brought this idea to a scenario in which neighbors don’t know how to live with differences and are unable to accept the view of the ‘other.’ In that sense, I consider the series to be quite universal. We all live surrounded by neighbors anywhere in the world, but we’re increasingly less willing to dialogue and negotiate points of view,” Paraízo told Variety.
“The consequences of this intolerance are everywhere and cause disagreements and, ultimately, even wars. What could be resolved with good communication turns into a spiral of anger and revenge.”
Directed by Luisa Lima (“Where My Heart Is”), the 12-episode narrative begins as Cibele, played by Adriana Esteves (“Brazil Avenue”), stands stoic and shocked-silent, going through the motions to secure the safety of her family. She winds through her condominium building, her injured son Marcinho (Antonio Haddad) in tow. The suspense is palpable as she finally arrives at a neighbor’s apartment for a clandestine meeting to purchase a gun. The hour-long episode flashes back to reveal the brawl at the core of the madness, and we see each set of parents try to cope with the initial threat and its aftershock. Due to their stagnant views and a healthy dose of pride, tensions escalate to absurd proportions.
Adults meant to act as role models for generations growing up in their shadow find themselves reduced to desperate tactics in the face of conflict and the mounting turmoil the world thrusts upon them.
“Children and adolescents are inevitably the result of their parents’ upbringing and behavior. The problem is that fewer and fewer of these parents are prepared to set themselves as examples. This happens not just because of neglect but because of the oppression that families suffer to survive,” Paraízo relayed.
“Most families around the world are in debt and work overtime to survive. In the series, both families are reflections of this. Parents are tired and impatient; their dreams were shipwrecked. The majority live frustrated in a world without opportunities for everyone, and naturally, their children suffer the consequences of this discomfort,” he added.
Throughout the series, masculinity is dissected as the boys and the men in their lives represent all sides of traditional and modern values. On the surface Marcinho and his father Amâncio (Thomás Aquino) are softer yet lack conviction, while Rogerio (Paulo Mendes) and his father Wando (Milhem Cortaz) demonstrate tough love, a bit macho and reactionary.
“The crisis of masculinity is one of the main themes of the series. On one hand, we have an aggressive and sexist father, Wando, on the other we have Amâncio, who tries to dialogue without much success. Both are stereotypes of masculinity,” Paraízo explained.
Adding, “As the series progresses, there’ll be many escape points and twists that will bring layers to these two men and their children. Rogério will reveal himself to be the result of a brute creation but will be the victim of a tragedy. While Marcinho will try to look for an example far from his father to be able to be free and live his desires without so much control.
“In ‘The Others’ nothing is what it seems. All the characters go through transformations. The ones that you hate at first, in the end, at the very least, you empathize with them and see their reasons.”
Cibele and Mila, played by Maeve Jinkings (so good in “Toll”), also topple stereotypes and serve to drive the show into relatable territory, the narrative and character arcs providing a mirror towards the broad audience and provoking a discussion on the collective way we deal with trauma, emotion and rage.
“We are ‘The Others.’ The series brings to light a conflict between two teenagers that could be resolved by their parents if they knew how to control their emotions and talk to each other,” Paraízo stated.
“I think we live in a world today, post-pandemic, and with the rise of extremist movements that puts people in extreme and opposite situations. The ‘other’ is no longer seen as someone who can be supportive. The simple fact that we are different already becomes a threat. The series aims to raise awareness about the consequences of this non-acceptance and provoke the public to identify themselves and rethink their actions.”
The series, nominated for the Venice TV Award and among the most watched series in the Brazilian TV giant’s history, begins filming its second season this month and promises to pick up in the same condominium complex audiences have become absorbingly acquainted with.