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TV Review: Is Netflix's 'Valeria' The TV Show Writers Need To Watch?

Valeria En los zapatos de Valeria Diana Gómez Netflix
Image by Netflix

As a writer, shows about writers are always intriguing, especially when they are realistic depictions of one’s struggles. Netflix’s “Valeria” starts on a good note as it mentions buzz terms such as “imposter syndrome,” and the plight of an aspiring writer confronted with the economic realities of pursuing a dream.

The title character of “Valeria” is faced with having to get a job to support her and her husband, Adrián (Ibrahim Al Shami J.). She does not want to get one. Valeria (Diana Gómez) wants to borrow money instead, so she can focus on continuing the novel she has made little progress on despite the free time to pen it.

Instead of seeking a job that incorporates writing (freelance work, etc.), Valeria’s only prospect is as a security guard. Yes. Her friends try to be supportive. However, they have struggles of their own. The Netflix show works its way around to their varying romantic conundrums, all while they try to balance the self-obsessed Valeria.

Herein lies the issue with “Valeria.” There is nothing to like about her. She is a selfish person who prioritizes her desires, thoughts, and dreams above everyone else’s. Valeria even steals an abandoned/forgotten baby gift to manipulate her pregnant sister. A regrettable act.

If Valeria showed signs that she was willing to grow and change, I would be further influenced to stick around and continue watching Season 1. However, the narrative of “Valeria” does not seem headed in that direction. It is tough to get the sense the premiere finds her behavior as abhorrent as this viewer does. 

As a writer, I get the desire for Valeria to work, but she has to deal with reality. There has to be realism and respect for those not living in the bubble that she is in while working on a novel. As someone frequently swept up into the renderings of their imagination, I have learned it takes discipline. 

Shows about self-centered people are commonplace. They are not personally appealing. “Valeria” has a breezy enough premiere. It fails to set the hook necessary to make this Netflix viewer continue to watch. The main questions at stake (Will Valeria succeed with her novel? Can her friend ruin a marriage? Will Valeria ever stop being a jerk?) are sad to contemplate. 

I expect Valeria to get a happy ending, and I do not want to stick around to see her get one. Like Tokyo on “Money Heist,” she does not deserve one. We are in a TV era where there is so much to watch on Netflix and beyond. So, a show has to make a strong play at getting one interested. 

“Valeria” does not boast the edgy charisma of “White Lines,” which also featured problematically selfish people. If it had it, I would be willing to give “Valeria” a second episode. If someone knows that I am off-base with the premiere and Valeria grows as a person after all, please let me know in the comments section below. 

I am always willing to give a show a second chance. After all, there is an appealing aura around the series’ cinematography, and the cast seems excellent. Season 1 of “Valeria” is currently streaming on Netflix alongside a lot of magnificent TV content.

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