Rebelde: Battle of the Bands—but make it a telenovela.

The official trailer for Rebelde (2022), courtesy of Netflix.

Looking for a new trashy teen drama after Elite went off the rails? Don’t worry, I got you covered.

The cast of the original Rebelde (2002).

Rebelde is a Mexican telenovela reboot of the highly successful Rebelde, filmed in 2004 (which is a reboot of a 2002 Argentinian show called Rebelde Way!)

The show is set in Elite Way School, a prestigious boarding school home to the teenagers of Mexico’s wealthiest families, and the country’s brightest scholarship students. The show’s main characters decide to create a band, RBD, parallel to a real-world band composed of the actors playing those characters. RBD sold over 15 million records, making them some of the best-selling Latin music groups of all time.

The 2022 reboot features a new generation of students at Elite Way School. The main characters are focused on entering the school’s exclusive music program and winning the annual ‘Battle of the Bands’.

There are many references to the original show, with the reboot’s characters openly discussing their intent to be like the ‘celebrities’ that went to Elite Way back in the day.

One of the show’s many love triangles, courtesy of Netflix.

Characters come from a variety of backgrounds and from countries all across Latinoamerica. Some students have a celebrity following, and others are harrowed scholarship students. Class tensions are a central focus in the show (similar to in Elite) as scholarship students are harassed by a secret society of rich students. Romances ensue and the classically dramatic plot points of telenovelas are present.

Unlike its predecessor, Rebelde (2022) is very progressive, featuring queer characters and relationships, a super stylish cast not afraid to ditch gender norms, and open dialogue about politics and privilege. Ultimately, this is a Netflix show about singing teens, but it’s a super entertaining binge sure to help practice Spanish comprehension. Plus, the songs are pretty catchy.