Quarantine is… not going well.
Corporations keep airing commercials thanking essential workers while barely paying them a living wage. Record numbers of people are unemployed. Our President is an idiot willing to let thousands of people die.
Everyone is tired. I’m tired.
The only thing keeping me sane is consuming media, including the nearly infinite amount of streaming television available.
And if you’re like me, I don’t have the emotional energy to sit through anything heavy and long like “The Irishman”.
Out of the more lighthearted options, Paquita Salas stands out amongst the rest, a true underdog with moxie. And the show’s soundtrack is exceptional and bubbly.
Sweet, hungry, and tragic–Paquita is a hit Spanish Netflix’s comedy series following an underrated talent agent as she passionately represents her clients.
A predominantly female identifying cast (minus Brays Efe who plays Paquita) the show consistently passes the Bechdel Test.
Although characters like Paquita and her sidekick Magüi ooze traditionally feminine compassion – them and the many other women are flawed, complicated, often unhinged, and absolutely hysterical.
Complimenting these characters, the soundtrack heralds their wild adventures while highlighting them as human beings, capable of failure and reinvention.
Here, I’ll recount the most impactful scene/song combinations from three seasons.
1. ‘El Hombre Del Tiempo’ by Los Cinco Temitas de El Buen Hijo
Season 1 Episode 1
This scene. The last scene of the pilot episode. THIS SCENE WITH THIS SONG.
Paquita sacrifices her night to deliver her client and friend, Macarena Garcia, to a film premiere. Paquita has just found out that Macarena, on the rise of her career, has decided to leave PS agency.
Although betrayed, Paquita chooses to be the better person, and does not resent Macarena for her choice.
“Has dejado cuatro años De libretas en tu vida Y ahora quieres viajar más Propulsión perfecta En el espacio más desconocido Me has mirado Me ha encantado escuchar”
The song’s lyrics mirror Paquita and Macarena’s friendship perfectly-it was beautiful, but not meant for always. Directionless and lost, Macarena is a lot like the subject in the song, she has success and luck in acting, but yearns for fulfillment.
In contrast, Paquita has fulfillment in her work at PS Agency, but is fairly ignored by Spain’s entertainment industry. Macarena has hurt Paquita’s chances of surviving, yet she still loves and respects her.
In return, Paquita understand the starlet’s need to explore, thankful for their journey. It’s bitter sweet, an amicable separation, a genuine connection put on pause.
2. ‘Soy Tu Secretaria’ by Belen Cuesta,
Season 1, Episode 4
This is truly…the horniest moment of the show.
Magüi, a shy, turtleneck wearing secretary has a musical theatre moment in her head, professing her sexual and romantic interest for PS Agency’s handyman, Alex de Lucas.
Choreographed with lots of thrusting and a costume change into a wedding dress, there’s no room for interpretation in the lyrics. This bitch wants to fuck and marry this dude.
“Yo puedo ser alguien para enamorate Y con un ron, la perra mas exitante Siento en cuerpo un dolor que me devora”
Sex positive, smart, hilarious, this Paquita Salas original song has actress Belen Cuesta showcasing her abilities.
With perfect comedic timing, Cuesta demonstrates that Magüi’s mousy nature is coupled with an undeniable fire for life.
3. No Controles by Olé Olé,
Season 2 Episode 2
At this point, Paquita has no luck in keeping her clients. Mariona Teres, a nobody who became an overnight megastar due to Paquita’s efforts, owes her agent fees. A lot of agent fees.
Mariona, unlike Macarena, shows no remorse or appreciation for Paquita and consistently avoids paying her a cent.
In this scene, the stakes are high, Paquita confronts Mariona while on the set of the film she landed for her. In opposition, casting director Violaeta Gil says she’ll ruin her new client, Belen de Luca’s fucking career, blacklisting them both from Spain’s film industry.
The scene also follows another actress onset, Edurne Bengoetxea, whom Violeta forces to apologize at a press conference for saying that she shits on Spain-“Que me cago en España.”
“No controles mi forma de vestir porque es total y a todo el mundo gusto No controles mi forma de pensar porque es total y todos les encanta”
The song, a cover of the iconic 80s hit by Flans, illustrates Paquita and Edurne rejecting the people trying to control them for speaking their truths. Without Mariona’s fees, Paquita will lose PS Agency.
And Edurne, criticized for her Basque accent because of Spain’s exclusionary and discriminatory film industry, has a right to feel upset with her treatment. Spain’s film industry is just as, if not more difficult to break into than Hollywood’s, indigenous accents and Latinx representation also sparse.
Paquita destroys an expensive set piece while Edurne publicly tells Spain that she loves acting but she’ll shit on Spain so long as she is a free woman with a voice.
4. ‘Cadillac Solitario’ by Loquillo
Season 3 Episode 1
Macarena Garcia returns, dragging Paquita on a wild odyssey, physicalizing an existential crisis. They trip Macarena’s rocker ex-boyfriend’s home alarm, assuring their arrest.
Once released from prison, they celebrate Macarena’s win at The Goya awards by going to karaoke, summoning the song allegedly written by Loquillo for Paquita while they were dating.
“Siempre quise ir a L.A. Dejar un día esta ciudad Cruzar el mar en tu compañía Pero ya hare tiempo que me has dejado Y probablemente me habrás olvidado No sé que aventuras correré sin ti”
Macarena is not happy as an actor. Although she scored a TV series in L.A., and is acclaimed internationally, she’d rather quit it all. Paquita followed her the entire night, guiding and nurturing, because her passion for representing talent is greater than her hurt pride.
Macarena and Paquita perform a piano karaoke version of this song, symbolizing the end of their journey together, no longer on pause. Although Paquita has lost her agency, Macarena gives her the encouragement to continue her own odyssey. It’s honest, it’s painful, it’s love!
5. ‘Baila Morena’ by Hector y Tito
Season 3 Episode 3
Working for a cruel stylist company, Magüi fears her new boss, and sneaks into an A-List party retrieve a dress she accidentally switched. Posing as actress Clara Lago, another socialite gives her an ecstasy laced margarita.
Simultaneously, Paquita’s last client turned writer, Belen de Lucas, awaits an audition for a prestigious theatre school.
Jealous of her script, another auditionee instills doubt into Belen, encouraging her to write a new monologue last minute, instead of turning in her already finished one.
“Morena, dale con tu técnica que yo tengo tu táctica Dale Buster, aceita las automáticas Yo soy tu gangster, mami, tú eres mi lunática Dale morena, que tú eres mi psicótica”
Humor contrasting seriousness, the stakes are high for both women. The song represents Magüi’s complete loss of control of her body, a parallel to her mental state at a job she hates.
With a seed of doubt in her talent, Belen writes in a wild race of time to finish a monologue that she thinks will please the auditors in the casting room, rather than believing in her prior work.
From slapping asses, kissing strangers, and stripping, Magüi physicalizes both their imposter syndrome, neither allowing themselves true fulfillment.
Paquita is Love, Paquita is Life…
There are few shows like Paquita Salas. It doesn’t pretend to be perfect, nor does it present it’s female characters as such.
Filled with love, aggression, and passion for their careers, these women form a raw form of comedy. Along with iconic music, their relationships create natural characterization that will hopefully inspire other artists.
Incredibly, these aren’t the only scenes with great song/scene matches – the whole series is filled with similar moments, never not outrageous or thoughtful!
If you haven’t watched Paquita yet, make sure to check her out on Netflix for some much-needed laughs during these strange times. You’ll be glad you hit play on such a vibrant and touching portrait of friendship.
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