“Smiley”: the new Netflix series that makes the LGTBQ+ community visible

Carlos Cuevas and Miki Esparbé are a couple in ‘Smiley’, the new Netflix series that will be released in the streaming platform on December 7. In fiction, a Christmas romantic comedy, the Catalan actors play Álex and Bruno, two very different men, but who cannot help but want each other in a relationship full of ups and downs.

Based on the successful play by Guillem Clua, National Award for Dramatic Literature, ‘Smiley’ was, in the words of its performers, something necessary and that can help make the LGBT community visible.

“For Netflix to make a series that revolves around this theme seems like a goal to me and even something urgent,” Esparbé assures in an interview with Europa Press. “It’s nice to be able to contribute to generating references and participate in the fact that, just as the play was staged in hundreds of countries, the series reaches every home”, adds the actor from Manresa about ‘Smiley’, made up of 8 episodes of 45 minutes long.

“If that is not our horizon, turn off and let’s go”, Cuevas supports him when asked if he believes that in the future all prejudices surrounding LGBT-themed series and films will be eliminated. “I aspire to that yes, I think that in the last five years the doors are being pulled at a brutal speed, and you see it in the young kids”, says Esparbé.

“It is the differential fact of the series, that the LGTB stories They are the protagonists of the plots. The funny secondary character, who used to be gay, here is the straight one,” explains Clua, whose play on which the series is based has been seen in theaters around the world, about the character Albert (Eduardo Lloveras), the Bruno’s best friend “But we don’t have to sell it as an LGBT series, we sell it as a Christmas romantic comedy, fun and full of optimism and light,” he adds.

And it is that, as the playwright previously pointed out, the secondary plots of ‘Smiley’ also have as protagonists to people who belong to the LG collectiveTB. This is the case of the one that involves Vero (Meritxell Calvo), Alex’s close friend, and Patri (Giannina Fruttero), a lesbian couple looking to experience new things.

The character of Pepón Nieto, Javier, is also of capital importance, a “transvestite” -as he likes to be called- who serves as a hinge to unite the rest. “I was very interested in showing the reality of the older gay man, who is usually invisible in love stories and who is left aside even within the group itself,” explains Clua.

‘Smiley’ also means one more example of the rise of Catalan fiction in Spainpreviously very closed to the local circuit but increasingly open to the rest of the territory thanks to the proliferation of streaming platforms and successful series such as ‘Merlí’, starring Carlos Cuevas himself.

“‘Smiley’ is the first series here [Barcelona] that it does not have a plot entirely in Catalan, and for us it is a pride that our language can be known and that it travels to 180 or 190 countries in which this is released,” says Esparbé. “I think that what will happen from from now on is going to be heard more Catalan and other co-official languages ​​in Spanish movies and series”, concludes Clua.