The Importance of Netflix ‘Cable Girls’

Fighting for freedom and the power of female friendships

Actress Blanca Suárez as main protagonist, Alba Romero (who later changes her name to Lidia Aguilar), Cable Girls Season 1

In 1928, women were essentially seen as accessories to be shown off…” the first episode of Cable Girls begins.

Originally titled, Las Chicas Del Cable, the series is narrated by and told through the eyes of main protagonist, the mysterious Alba Romero — who must later hide her true identity and change her name to Lidia Aguilar.

In the end, all of us, rich or poor, wanted the same thing: to be free. ~Alba Romero/Lidia Aguilar

Las Chicas Del Cable, is the first Spanish original series produced by Netflix. It aired its first season in April 2017. The series centers around four very different women working as switchboard operators in 1928 Madrid, Spain. These women unexpectedly end up forming a tight friendship with one another throughout the first season and help one another navigate through life’s difficulties.

A woman’s independence was seen as an act of rebellion, and fighting for freedom was a struggle that took a lot of courage. This is the driving force of Las Chicas Del Cable.
Promo for Cable Girls Season 2, from left to right: Marga Suárez (Nadia de Santiago), Ángeles Vidal (Maggie Civantos), Carlota Rodriguez de Senillosa (Ana Fernández), and Lidia Aguilar (Blanca Suárez)

Las Chicas Del Cable‘s main focus is on the struggles women faced during the early twentieth century, with universal themes centered around love, sacrifice, pain, betrayal, and the fight for freedom in a patriarchal society. Many of these themes are still relevant today — especially more important issues on the show — such as discrimination in the workforce, spousal abuse, and LGBTQ rights.

Lidia, Marga, Carlota, and Ángeles learn that they must band together in order to stand up for their dreams, and by the end of season one, each has helped shape one another into a better and stronger version of themselves.

A woman’s independence was seen as an act of rebellion, and fighting for freedom was a struggle that took a lot of courage. This is the driving force of Las Chicas Del Cable.

Only those who fight for their dreams can achieve them.
~Alba Romero/Lidia Aguilar

While women have come a long way over the course of ninety years, historical drama’s like Las Chicas Del Cable remind us of a time that existed when majority of women hardly held a voice in society. Women were second-class citizens and many were expected to simply get married and bare children, all while remaining subservient to their husbands or father’s, even if they were abusive.

Agnes Pardell from Lleida University writes in “Women and Politics in Spain,” that it wasn’t until 1932 when women in Spain were finally given the right to divorce, “abortion was legalized, the crime of adultery was abolished, and legal rights ensuring women’s equal access to the labour market were taken.”

Sadly, even then, women would still have a very long way to go to achieve true independence from society, and not just in Spain but across the world.

Season 2 of Cable Girls

Main Reasons to Watch ‘Cable Girls’ (a break down)

  • Female-driven story-line and powerful female friendships
  • Detailed and authentic historical 1920’s set design that is both visually pleasing and helps pull you further into the series and the lives of the characters
  • The costume design is spectacular (I want to own every single hat and beaded headband the women wear on this show)
  • Complicated love story (at times a bit cheesy but also endearing)
  • Touches on LGBTQ rights and the discrimination's they faced, which is an issue hardly discussed in historical dramas
  • Focuses on the power and courage it takes to navigate in a man’s world and the difficult choices that must be made in order to get there
Through sacrifice, pain, and hardships, women are a lot stronger than society thinks. We are a force to be reckoned with, no matter what era or part of the world we live in.

Whether you are a native Spanish-speaker or not, this is a show worth checking out if you appreciate historical dramas and strong female friendships (I highly recommend you keep the original European Spanish and just turn on the subtitles). So far there are two seasons and season three is set to release sometime this year.

Lidia (Blanca Suárez) with main male protagonists and two main love interests, Francisco Gómez and Carlos Cifuentes (Yon González and Martiño Rivas)

The male characters in this series are also faced with difficult decisions and caught between the dynamics of power and love. The men must learn to shed the machismo personas that society has cultivated in them in order to better appreciate and make space for the women in their lives. And while some men are disrespectful, controlling, absolutely despicable and misogynistic — typical for the times — others are supportive and chivalrously stand by the women on this show, for better or for worse.

Carlos and Lidia

Las Chicas Del Cable is an important international show that touches on universal themes that are still relevant in today’s society all across the world. Each character has her own unique story, and the dialogue and expressions conveyed help bring life into each episode in ways that keep you on the edge of your seat, enwrapped in the emotions and always wanting more.

Through sacrifice, pain, and hardships, women are a lot stronger than society thinks. We are a force to be reckoned with, no matter what era or part of the world we live in.


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