Episode 1 of Rebelde Season 1 begins with a teen hazing at Elite Way School. These freshman students are all brought together into the main hall and forced to strip.
Before we find out the outcome to this though, we cut back in time several hours back to catch up with each of our kids about to start school.
Jana is a musician but overshadowed by her mother. Luka is an influencer but has an estranged relationship with his father, especially when he finds out Luka wants to pursue music.
Sporting a blonde mohawk, Dixon is another new arrival. Unlike Luka, his Mum struggles to hold back tears in the wake of her son leaving. Joining them is an English exchange student, Maria Jose (MJ), a jock in Sebastian and a sweet, chilled kid called Esteban.
All of them are there to study music, of course, but their real target is the Musical Excellence Program, which can be reached by winning the Battle of the Bands. Everyone here is talented – but that’s not enough to sels. These kids need to learn quickly that there’s more to music than talent.
Their principal, Celina Ferrerr, gathers all the kids after they’ve got changed into their uniforms. Emilia and Sebas are the co-captains going into this year, with auditions due to take place for Battle of the Bands.
Now, already we have some drama brewing between the different kids. MJ is a fish out of water, constantly checking social media and causing disruptions with her teacher. Dixon begins stealing from his fellow students – including his own roommates.
Meanwhile, Esteban takes a fancy to Jana, and the pair have a spark together… but she’s dating Sebas. However, when MJ sits with Esteban at lunch, the two start to get along well too.
That night, things take a turn for the dramatic. Esteban helps Jana with her song after-hours, but Sebas winds up seeing them sitting cozily together on the same bench. This will almost certainly cause drama going forward.
However, there’s no time for that as we catch up to the opening scenes of the season. The hazing takes place and all our main characters are forced to sing together. The thing is, they’re actually really good. Unfortunately the masked students cause a massive fire to break out, courtesy of spilling alcohol and dropping candles. As the fire rages, the future of this school hangs by a thread.
Having not watched the original Rebelde, I can’t comment on how well this has been adapted. However, this Mexican series hits all the usual hallmarks of the teen drama category, with some distinct Elite and Dynasty vibes. The combination of soap opera drama and the usual YA storylines actually works pretty well, and this is definitely shaping up to be a real guilty pleasure.
The introduction to the different teens is well-handled, while there’s enough tension and hostility between them all to keep things interesting. There’s certainly a lot to like here and while it has a fair share of clichés, there’s enough in this to stick with to find out what happens next.