'Maestro in Blue' Review: Does Netflix Drama Justify Season 2?

Maestro in Blue Maestro Christoforos Papakaliatis Orestis Orestis Chalkias Antonis Netflix Mega Channel
Netflix / Mega Channel

Does the Netflix series “Maestro in Blue” justify Season 2? Lies, forbidden love, and music - converge in Netflix’s “Maestro.” Titled “Maestro in Blue” for its Netflix release, the crackling drama is the streaming giant’s first Greek series. The series is written, directed, and stars Christopher Papakaliatis, who plays the titular maestro, Orestis, a man who brings his secrets to the Greek island of Paxos.

To clarify, “Maestro in Blue” has been out on Netflix for over a minute, and Season 2 is currently filming (recently in Corfu), per Christopher Papakaliatis’ Instagram. Papakaliatis indicated to Alpha TV that Athens and Paxos-set Season 2 will stream on Netflix, per Greek Reporter. So, aside from all of the Season 2 renewal news, let us get into my reaction to binge-watching Season 1 in less than a week.

“Maestro in Blue” Season 1 Review

A character drama, first and foremost, “Maestro in Blue,” follows nine characters, a critical number for an ensemble. It allows for the right abundance of drama without overwhelming the story. That said, the tale at play is a bit too complicated to unravel here. At its heart, “Maestro in Blue” follows Orestis as he organizes a music festival to bolster commerce on the financially struggling island, whose inhabitants each harbor hidden truths.

“Maestro in Blue” soon reveals that almost everyone on the island’s heart belongs to a secret someone. Nearly fifty-year-old Orestis is infatuated with 19-year-old, Klelia (Klelia Andriolatou). Klelia’s older brother, Antonis (Orestis Chalkias), is in love with Spyros (Yorgos Benos), whose abusive, bigoted father, Haralambos (Giannis Tsortekis), forbids their relationship. Meanwhile, Antonis and Klelia’s mother, Sofia (Marisha Triantafyllidou), has cheated on their dad with the local doctor.

Amid all of the romantic entanglements, a murder mystery looms. Yes, “Maestro in Blue” has a lot going on, including the insightful narration of a different character in every episode. As viewers learn more about each of them, their identities shift, making for human drama on steroids. The only characters that remain consistently scrutable are Spyros’ abused mother, Maria (Maria Kavoyianni), and Klelia and Antoni’s sage grandmother, Haris (Haris Alexiou).

As the puzzle pieces that comprise the ensemble come into sharper view, so does the idea that its message is incredibly confusing. “Maestro in Blue” insists that it is here to turn the shame that communities heap on their outcasts to – well – shame. The problem is it fails to realize that not all Netflix viewers are rooting for two of them – Klelia and Orestis.

Opinion: Klelia and Orestis

“Maestro in Blue” insists that theirs is a burgeoning love for the ages. (Seriously.) This take, when any objective soul could see that a 50-year-old man lusting over a teenage girl, is a story that has been told throughout antiquity. Orestis wants Klelia because she is a beautiful young woman. Klelia wants Orestis because he offers “new to town” “rebel” vibes, and his age has not diminished his appeal.

This is not love! It is an infatuation. Please acknowledge it for what it is, play it out, and move along. Klelia barely says anything other than how much she loves and desires Orestis. She builds up his ego, which has taken a hit throughout the half-century, he has been alive. Klelia is not an old or wise soul that Orestis find surprisingly deep.

The musically gifted, Klelia is a college-aged kid still trying to figure out who she is. Well, she is not going to find the answer when she is so busy goo-goo eyeing Orestis. Why would he want to hold her back by continuing to harbor and stoke her desire for him? A selfish one who puts his needs first, and that, my friends, is not someone that this viewer values.

I had hoped that in the current cultural climate, “Maestro in Blue” would break with clichรฉ and allow this “forbidden love” to be acknowledged for what it is. The chances of such a relationship healthily working out in real life is as low as Billie deciding she is over Brad over on “Sex/Life.” Of course, dramas are about exceptions, so who can really say they are surprised?

Opinions: Antonis and Spyros

As annoying as Klelia and Orestis’ relationship is, her brother’s love story with Spyros is far more intriguing and heartbreaking. But for “Maestro in Blue” to assert that the discrimination that Antonis and Spyros face is equal to that of Orestis for wanting Klelia is simply inaccurate. Orestis’ behavior has been openly embraced for centuries, and he in no way faces the bigotry aimed at Antonis and Spyros.

Speaking of whom, Antonis is exceedingly likable, caring, compassionate, and the real musical talent of the “Maestro in Blue” siblings. His gift especially shines during his performance of “Tyxero Asteri” in Episode 8. All of that to say, it is easy to see what Spyros sees in Antonis. You have to look really hard to try to find what Antonis sees in Spyros. The latter has emotional disturbances that go beyond his struggle to accept his sexuality.

Spyros is abusive, in my opinion, yet “Maestro in Blue” attempts to gesture this troubling element away like a maestro’s wand does a melody. Not sorry. The tune of a violent partner always sounds off-key. While all of this sounds very critical, “Maestro in Blue” does get a lot right. The performances of its cast are magnificent, the way the story is told feels fresh, and the direction is quite tremendous.

Is it worth watching on Netflix? Yes. Does Season 1 justify a Season 2 return? Yes. Season 1 leaves the story-driven door for Season 2 wide open to walk through. “Maestro in Blue” is a meditative series that evokes emotion and thought. In doing so, it provides numerous talking points, and like life, it is complicated and difficult to nail down.

“Maestro in Blue” Viewers Will Also Like This:

- “Ozark” for more small-town secrets boiling beneath the surface ๐Ÿค”

- “The Marked Heart” for another tale of star-crossed love ๐ŸŒ ๐Ÿ’˜ and obsession ๐Ÿคฏ

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