• Saira D.

La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) > Breaking Bad & Prison Break

If shows like Prison Break and Breaking Bad satisfied your intense crime/drama series needs, then La Casa de Papel (“The House of Paper”) or Money Heist for anyone with a Netflix subscription in an English-speaking country, is about to be the cherry on top of your crime/drama sundae. That’s right, this series literally tops the two.

I know I know, you must be thinking “what? A series superior to Breaking Bad and Prison Break? Not possible.” Well, my blog and I are here to tell you that yes, yes actually that is possible. How and why, you might ask? Simple. Álex Pina’s La Casa de Papel is fast-paced, adrenaline-infused, incredibly smart and you’ll pretty much love all the main characters.

Breaking Bad and Prison Break definitely share similar traits no doubt, but did you love all the characters in Breaking Bad? No. Walter White got so damn annoying as the show progressed, you probably got as irritated as I did just seeing his face and hearing him speak each episode. Prison Break seasons one and three were so good I literally got a headache watching it – simply because of how intense the episodes were – and was willingly open to endure the pain just to see what happens next. But, that’s only two out of five seasons... La Casa de Papel on the other hand is everything I’ve mentioned above throughout all four seasons and, it even got a documentary because the fandom worldwide for this Spanish series is that real. On top of that, a fifth season is definitely happening post-pandemic. I can't wait!

La Casa de Papel is a heist series that takes place in Madrid, Spain, focusing first on the Royal Mint of Spain and later, the Bank of Spain. As I said before, this series is fast-paced. Not only do we get to witness the intense and extensive preparation for the heists, but we also see them go down, in a back and forth manner between past and present. The shifts between past and present can sometimes be quick or carry on for longer, but whether we’re in the past or present La Casa de Papel gives you entertaining and action-packed scenes from beginning to end. This definitely isn't an Oceans type of heist vibe if you know what I mean (although this series is no stranger to suave characters).

Following up on the above, this series is about as adrenaline-infused as Prison Break seasons one and three, but unlike Prison Break, the adrenaline is consistently felt across all four seasons. La Casa de Papel’s adrenaline factor is definitely something that keeps you watching episode after episode, leaving you at the end of a season in a day or two and if you're “lucky” enough to just start the series now, you can binge all four seasons in a week or less (if you’re that type of series watcher) or, you know… you can space it out. Whatever works for you hombre!

Now, if you're into watching shows that deal with highly intelligent people and their incredibly well-thought-out plans (like Breaking Bad and Prison Break), then La Casa de Papel will satisfy that craving 100%. The “Professor” is this series Walter White or Michael Scofield – a super smart guy that knows what he’s doing – and it’s precisely because of that that you’ll be and stay hooked each episode. I mean really, how can people actually have a plan for just about everything? Well, as the series shows us, a lot of time, thought, resources and some coordination with other people that know what they're doing or know the heist location well, is how. And what's so great about all that (something that probably comes across as obvious and mundane), is that it isn't mundane to watch at all. The planning parts of the heist are just as good as the heist scenes, and I’m being 100% honest with you right now.

Lastly, the characters. Oh, this series characters… Each given a name after a major city somewhere in the world, you’ll come across a group of not-so-law-abiding citizens who couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet, they grow to be a family that will always have one another’s backs, no matter how much they may or may not fight amongst themselves (which, I guess can be applicable to a lot of families… so that’s when you know its real!) These ride or die men and women each have something special of their own, and it’s because of this mix up of crazy differences that you’ll find yourself relating to, or sympathizing with many of the characters in your own way.

The above is clearly a stark contrast from Breaking Bad and Prison Break, and is one of the main reasons as to why this show is so much better overall than the aforementioned. It’s like that spicy kick you need in certain kinds of food, or that tangy punch your key lime pie needs to really make it an amazing dessert. Breaking Bad and Prison Break are like eating pho or, let’s be real, anything really without Sriracha, and La Casa de Papel is whatever food with Sriracha. So if you’re not sold just by that metaphor alone, then you obviously haven’t tried Sriracha sauce before. My word of advice? Watch La Casa de Papel and eat something (literally almost any kind of food) with Sriracha.

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