Have you ever heard of the danger of overload? It is that syndrome that strikes us every time that, to make a good impression, we exaggerate, bow and bruise convinced that it will be precisely that superabundance to save us and allow us to survive. The unspeakable secret, of course, is that overload never works. Neither in the engineering field, when a system risks collapsing because it is subjected to an uncontrollable encumbrance, nor in the narrative field, whether it is a book, a film or a TV series.
The first part of the fifth season of The House of Paper, available on Netflix from September 3 pending the last tranche of episodes that will arrive on December 3, it lacks this: it happens too much, it explodes too much, there is too much noise. Putting a lot of meat on the fire almost always means proving that you can up the ante and that you can live up to it but the truth is that, if the grill is full, the steak will be half cooked and the result is a junk.
In the new episodes of the series, shot in the last year trying to overcome the problem of restrictions and the pandemic, everything fits together so quickly that it prevents us from processing the information: The Professor is a prisoner of Sierra, the hostages rebel, Gandia hangs between life and death, flashbacks of Berlin’s son and Tokyo’s lost love peep here and there in the heart of the action and the average fan de The House of Paper he no longer knows which way to turn. For at least two seasons we have stopped considering the events, if not credible, at least likely: too many have happened to imagine that something like this could even remotely happen in reality, but okay. Series like The House of Paper they require a leap of faith, and if it’s okay for the viewer to imagine themselves in a fanciful context and think about how they would behave, then it’s okay for us too. The problem is that The House of Paper had started with very different expectations and following narrative lines designed to have a well thought-out development, not to be stretched and frayed until they tear.
The extension of the series and the global success forced Álex Pina and his group of writers to use any means and any lead in order not to exhaust the story but to carry it forward as much as possible, but one wonders: where have we arrived? The House of Paper now you look at it because, after four and a half seasons, it will also be the case to understand who will come out of this blessed State Mint and who will get away with it, but the truth is that we all know a little bit that it won’t end here. The pressures are too high and the brand too recognizable to think Netflix won’t squeeze its creature to the last drop despite saying this will be the last season. It is very likely that of the House of Paper we will see a spin-off as per Game of Thrones or a movie in the cinema like for Sex and the City, maybe about the Professor or about Tokyo. How the product will continue to catalyze the attention of an audience attracted by the sirens of an increasingly rich (perhaps too much) streaming offer will be the real “hit” to hit.