In 2010 ‘Paco’s Men bade farewell forever to their Antena 3 viewers, or at least that’s what they thought at the time. They left, having become a veritable TV phenomenon that lasted 9 seasons, and which served as the launch pad for budding actors like Mario Casas, leaving behind in our collective memories one of TV’s most memorable “impossible” love stories of our times: that of Sara and Lucas.

They bowed out, believing their moment has passed. But what they didn’t realize back then was the formula they had hit upon, had no expiry date. Since then, on each occasion they have “returned” (in one way or another) no one has been left indifferent.

The first time was in April 2016, with the launch of the Atreseries channel which featured several of the media group’s most popular shows, including ‘Aquí no hay quien viva’, ‘Compañeros’, ‘The Boarding School‘,’ The Boat’… and, of course, ‘Paco’s Men’. The surprise came when they took stock of how the new channel was operating in its first month only to discover that the top 20 most viewed broadcasts were entirely those of the adventures of Paco Tous, Hugo Silva and Michelle Jenner.

And ten years later, that eternal romance between the audience and The Mediapro Studio‘s crime series was sufficient strongarming to convince Atresmedia to shoot a new season in two eight-episode blocks, loyal to its original essence, only in a modern-day setting.

With all that said and done, series creators took on the challenge to of accommodating their characters to the times that have changed us all by leaps and bounds. Daily lessons in feminism, LGBTQI visibility and turbulent times are just a sample of the  ingredients that currently go into ‘Paco’s Men who, for the second time, are back and once again, no one will be left remaining indifferent.

Technology, more present than ever

The return of the series sparked huge expectation and loyal fans were in front of their TV screens on May 10th to reunite with their favorite characters. That said, in the event some unexpecting and unprepared members of the public should cluelessly stumble across the broadcast without realizing this was a fresh batch of episodes, series creators took special effort in marking everyone’s card from the outset that our  protagonists are living in our time.

In the first few minutes they had already had a conversation with the car robot charged with opening and closing the doors, even commenting how they were flirting on Instagram. Something unthinkable for the Pacos of a decade ago and, nonetheless, steadfast in conserving their original essence in all its splendor.

Women in power and greater sexual diversity

From the opening scene it’s made patent that the name ‘Paco’s Men’ is merely in place to preserve the original title, but it might now be easily rebranded as ‘Paco’s People’. The female characters carry just as much, if not more weight than the boys, maybe not

physically, but mentally as they are often the ones bringing home, and saving, the bacon. As would have been the standard in times past, our heroines are no longer mere obstacles or trophies, and instead stand tall as protagonists in their own right with their own narratives now transformed into role models.

Just as when Pepa and Silvia were also a reference as one of the first lesbian weddings of any Spanish TV series, now series creators are embracing transsexuality, banking on a character who shares this experience and will once again be assisting viewers in broadening their minds.

Cases fresh from the pages of breaking news

If the Pacos were dealing with current affairs 10 years ago, today’s crew are also venturing into some of the most controversial territory from headlines in recent times, which include the transfer of Franco’s coffin, to the Catalan independence movement, among others.

Contemporary cases that continue to force our protagonists to live close to the edge yet, masterfully combining frenetic action scenes with trivial conversations about their personal lives and wrapping it all up with a one-liner. An unthinkable mix of genres that always made this series unique and which, between talking robots and social networks, still works today.

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’.