Of the 10 most-watched non-English TV shows of all time, the Spanish-language crime drama Money Heist accounts for three of the slots on that list. Individual seasons of a Netflix show can each be listed separately, which explains why 30% of that ranking is comprised of Money Heist seasons 3-5 — and it also helps explain why the streamer felt the need to launch a spinoff of the wildly popular series, with Berlin set to arrive a little over a month from now.
What it’s about: In the original Money Heist series, “The Professor” plans a daring heist of the Royal Mint of Spain. He’s the brains behind the plot, while “Berlin” executes it as the leader of a team of criminals all codenamed after cities.
In the new series, viewers will follow Berlin as he plans a daring heist of his own, one that entails stealing $44 million worth of jewels in Paris. He taps a team of savvy criminals including cybersecurity mastermind Keila; his close friend Damian; Cameron, a risk-taking loose cannon; weapons expert Bruce; and a locksmith named Roi.
“It’s a trip through the golden age of the character, when he robbed around Europe crazy in love,” Money Heist creator Alex Pina said in a Netflix interview about Berlin, adding that the show also has a lighthearted side: “That’s the most surprising (thing), the comedy.” He thinks Pedro Alonso’s Berlin is definitely “going to make people laugh a lot.”
Why I’m excited: Berlin was a fan-favorite character in the original series, so I’m pretty excited about the potential of a Better Call Saul/Breaking Bad situation here. Better Call Saul did more or less than the same thing, taking an eccentric but well-liked Breaking Bad character and using a prequel to build an entire new story around him that served as a creative extension of the original series.
In Berlin, we’ll see the same happen with the Money Heist character, long before he finds out about his terminal diagnosis and before he starts taking hostages in the Royal Mint of Spain.
Who’s in it: The cast includes —
Pedro Alonso (Money Heist) as Berlin
Michelle Jenner (Isabel) as Keila
Tristán Ulloa (Fariña) as Damián
Begoña Vargas (Welcome to Eden) as Cameron
Julio Peña (Through My Window) as Roi
Joel Sánchez as Bruce
When will it be released: Berlin arrives on Netflix on Dec. 29. Check out a trailer for Berlin below.