The third European TV series that I have watched so far also gave something different and new compared to the first 2 but still tackling dark themes (Perfume and Money Heist). It portrays how everything might look perfect but everyone needs a secret life to survive. Baby is an Italian Netflix tv series directed by Andrea De Sica and Anna Negri. It is actually based on a true story when two high school girls in a wealthy part of Rome were selling their bodies to buy luxury products. I liked how the series showed authenticity and ultimately, the screenwriter, Re Salvador, shares that the series is actually about love, not prostitution despite the reviews claiming that the show normalizes the lives of sex traffickers.
The story revolves around two teenage girls from an elite high school in Rome who engage in prostitution. It is very easy to identify with the characters as well as to empathize with what they are going through because they are somehow relatable and it allows the viewers to connect with them. The two girls are very different: Chiara is a popular track and field star who excels in school and seemingly has a perfect life; however, she is actually living a friends with benefits lifestyle with her best friend’s brother who has a girlfriend. Her parents are also on the brink of their marriage and are thinking of a divorce. On the other hand, the other teenage girl, Ludovica, is an outcast because of her sex scandal with one of the boys in school with all the students calling her a slut and shaming her everyday. She also lives in a troubled home as she is raised by a single mother who spends all their money on various young men to have a relationship with her.
Just by looking at the main characters of the series, they bring an interesting twist because both of them have seemingly different lives but due to their problems at home, they are brought together and they start to become friends. At one party, the head of a prostitute den takes notice of Chiara and Ludovica and asks them to work for them by going on dates with older men. Ludovica agrees due to the money she needs to pay off her school debt and Chiara agrees due to not being content with her life and wanting to find thrill and excitement. While watching the series, I found the characters very intriguing and it was interesting to see what was going on in the minds of the protagonists and to see where their adventures take them.
The cinematography of the TV series is very beautiful because it features places around Rome in the day and is contrasted with the underground nightlife there. There are also nude and sex scenes present. I guess this comes from the fact that in Europe, sex and other things pertaining to sex are very out in the open and is not taboo. In addition, I loved the series’ soundtrack that was fitting to the theme and overall feel of the series. The music used in the TV series is also very interesting because they feature Italian songs that the younger generation usually listen to like EDM and other party music.
Ultimately, Baby brings something new and fresh, and the atmosphere it gives is appropriate given that it is a teen drama that puts teenagers in a very adult and dark place. There were no scenes in the show that were particularly shocking; most of them were expected but it was still very entertaining to watch and it lets you see the different culture of the Italians and what makes them do what they do. Overall, I enjoyed watching it because it sheds light upon real issues and experiences.