“I like challenges”, says the new music teacher, “welcome to the boarding school Las Cumbres“, the director replies and with that brief dialogue from the first chapter it is possible to summarize what the viewer is going to find before the remake produced by The Mediapro Studio and Atresmedia set to premier this February 19th on Amazon Prime Video.

And this drama inspired by ‘The Boarding School Laguna Negra’ offers us as many challenges, threats, and mysteries to be solved, as it does references to the original series with its differences and similarities that fans will have fun discovering themselves.

But the main and most important thing to keep in mind is that we’re facing a completely new project. (Spoiler Alert!) Iván Noiret (Yon González) and Julia Medina (Blanca Suárez) are in charge of warning us, who looking into the camera, promise us that it’s: “Nothing like what happened to us”.

“The Boarding School Las Cumbres”.

A modern-day series with allusions to the past

Apart from the fact of the prior protagonists making it clear that we’re dealing with a new series, the forms, stories, and details also assist in detaching us from that memory. Our setting is a spectacular boarding school, located atop a mountain summit as astonishing as it is gloomy elevating the location to the position of one more character in the plot.

The landscape, which under normal circumstances might be described as idyllic, is imbued with such tenebrosity that it contaminates students, teachers and even the fauna that inhabit the area. But this time, (and here comes another of the major changes) while the previous Boarding School version only took in students who “came from the best families in the country”, here they “accept students other centers reject”. As such, the darkness thickens and permeates every nook and cranny of this place.

The fights, prison “refrigerator-style” punishments, ravens, the dense fog surrounding the school and the issues tour boarders carry with them confronts us with much tougher, colder characters, who have come up through the school of hard knocks making it harder for audiences to empathize with. But we’ve already been warned: getting into this school is a challenge.

But if you are fan of ‘Laguna Negra’ who came in search of vestiges from the past, you won’t be going away empty-handed either. Warning, you’ll have to be on the lookout for them, because they’re very subtle nods of the hat. The music teacher will play a few notes that “transport us through time and connect us emotionally with different times and different places” that might sound familiar to you.

Joel Bosqued. “The Boarding School Las Cumbres”.

Mysteries to be resolved, from start to finish

In addition, the mystery they had previously put the house on is once again central axis in the storyline of this production, thereby masterfully preserving the persistent sensation that someone is spying on our cast …

And nobody’s there just by chance, there’s a connection between them all that we’ll have to discover or that’ll be revealed as shock eye-openers giving rise to fresh enigmas to decipher. The first: the new teacher’s obsession with one of the students.

Then, we have a blonde girl (who will remind many of Paula, the character played by Carlota García) and who you shouldn’t take your eye off for too long. As well as the Holy See, which will be another of the recurring issues we mustn’t lose sight of. And, as we warned you all at the outset, everything in ‘Las Cumbres’ is there for a reason, even though the reason might need some deciphering at first.

A cast that blends up-and-coming promise with well-known faces

A hallmark of The Mediapro Studio productions, casting plays another vital part in the series. As was the case with ‘Laguna Negra‘, here we’ll also witness the birth of some pretty impressive up-and-coming promises (like Ana de Armas, Blanca Suárez, Yon González, and Martín Rivas), currently some of the most sought-after stars, the casting crew for ‘Las Cumbres‘ have also signed several heavy hitters in the talent department.

Top of that list is Asia Ortega, followed by Francisca Aronsson and Claudia Riera. As far as veterans are concerned, it’s a real delight to enjoy the on-screen presence of established actors once again such as Ramiro Blas and others celebrity names including  Joel Bosqued and Mina El Hammani. Casting director Luis San Narciso, one of the most highly regarded experts in Spain, managed to merge the interpretive talents of tried and tested actors with that of the fresh faces.

All the above who are charged with putting into practice the words that Iván Noiret and Julia Medina pronounce in a brief appearance that continues resounding in our heads: “What we went through those days was like a brutal loss of innocence.” And although everything will be very different, the reality is that the next installments always end up taking over from their predecessors…

Paula Hergar
Paula Hergar is a 360 journalist as Paquita Salas would say, writes about TV in Vertele and presents, writes, and directs Zapping on LOS40. In addition to collaborating in cultural programs in La 2 and being the author of the book ‘Around the world in 80 series’.