Los Billis

Los Billis

A sharp and sleek coming-of-age set in 1980s Colombia

7.3

TV Show

Colombia
Spanish
Drama
2023
Francisca Estevez, Julian Zuluaga M, Mayppel

TLDR

If you combine all the John Hughes movies and set them in Colombia, you’d have this show.

What it's about

In a rich suburbia in Bogotá, Colombia, high school student David (Julian Zuluaga M) joins a gang called the Los Billis in the hopes of finding himself…and getting closer to his crush Andrea (Francisca Estevez).

The take

As a teen series, Los Billis follows a familiar structure. David, like most teen heroes, is shy, awkward, and hopelessly in love with the most popular girl in his high school. With the help of his friends, however, he learns to stand up not just against bullies but the harsh looming reality of adulthood. It sounds typical on paper, but Los Billis benefits from a rich production value and a clear theme, that of social class. There’s not a gelled hair out of place here, but more than nailing the ‘80s look, Los Billis masterfully (and never forcefully) connects nearly every problem the kids face to money. They’re constantly yearning for, losing, and fighting over it, which is the reality many teens outside the US face. Often, Los Billis will also touch on colonialism, like when David admits they all judge each other based on how closely their outfits resemble American teens. For the most part, Los Billis is textbook coming-of-age, but it's enriched by the unique Colombian teen experience. 

What stands out

Any time the gangs are fighting, the kids are partying, or there’s generally just a lot of people in the scene. Those scenes are so awkwardly staged and directed, filled with extras not knowing what to do with their bodies and the weakest, most pitiful “woo!”s you’ll ever hear. You get the sense that the actors were just grabbed from the shooting location and given zero instructions about the scene they’re suddenly in. These parts of the show would’ve been frustrating to watch if they weren’t so funny. 

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