Many of the new streaming platforms have changed our way of seeing and producing our audiovisual content. As a proof, we can see that some of the shows that have changed our social image are: Amazon Prime, Filmin, HBO… but the one that has spotlighted in years is, whithout any doubt, Netflix.
The platform has become a brand itself and we no longer find strange that some of their shows or programs have merch in our favourite shop such a t-shirt or even atrezzo of their shows like “Money Heist’’. Its productions have been an absolutely revolution and that is because Netflix has found a perfect way to reflect our society and to make us meeting other realities. Netflix is more than entertainment, it has become a crucial factor to achieve a social change.
Among all its catalogue we can find two series that have led the hole views around the world in April: Unorthodox and Never have I ever. Both productions opted for an unknown cast and powerful stories that are capable to keep us glued to the screen. Maybe, at first instance, there isn’t a correlation between them, but both of them tell religious themed stories. Unorthodox tell us the story of Esther Shapiro, born and raised in the ultraorthodox jewish community of Statmar, in New York. On the other side, we have Never have I ever, starring Devi Vishwakuma, a 16-year-old girl that lives in an Hindu family, also in United States.
The treatment of the religious issues in the series are completly different:
Unorhtodox talks harshly, slowly, silently and deeply whereas Never have I ever it’s a dramatic comedy, a show about teenagers thay have lived in a capitalist and occidental society. But the most significant and unifying point is that, surprisingly, they are both true stories. Both relate the story of two girls that lived their vital experiences near the religiosity. And that little fact raises a whole powerful fact: racism.
The religion as a race. Two stories completly different that complement each other perfectly to ended up offering a powerful and shocking truth. Two ways of living and teaching religions with a whole new perspective. Neflix has done it again. It has turned the tables and spoke about a part of a silent society, and even more, a silent problem. Netflix has given them a voice.
And that voice spotlights the prejudices of religiosity. They teach you both sides: they teach you a religion that oppresses, that conditions, that sets standards and that takes you away from the social reality of your own time. But they also teach you the religion that brings peace, empathy and love. And in these two ways of looking at it, there is balance. In the hidden message of the two realities that are alive in both productions, there is something more powerful: Comprehension. The understanding of running away and also of the ritual. They make us think about why our rejection of religion has led us to a rejection of believers.
The most interesting thing is who tells the story. Two young girls, two women. If there is a consensus in anything, it’s that, on the side of religion, women have always suffered a discrimination typical of the patriarchal society we live in and that they have been those who, for years, have been in charge of hearing, seeing, remaining silent and raising children. In these two productions, the role of women is essential and with this, her own vision is latent. There is no doubt that both protagonists are showing, through different meanings, a life linked to their Gods and routines. It can be through a conversation with another woman or through the way a sanctyfied book is being treated. Both women reveal the questions through their actions and feelings.
Although it is true that Unorthodox focuses more on religion than Never have I ever, both contains a strong and important message behind their stories. Both are being streamed around the world, becoming another reference to series-lovers.
Netflix has gambled and has won once again, leaving us questioning about who we are and who we can become.