Insiders

Insiders
Insidersnetflix.jpg
Yeah, I'm thinking I'm out.
Genre: Reality show
Running Time: 43-60 minutes
Country: Spain
Release Date: October 21, 2021 - present
Created by: Jose Velasco
Distributed by: Netflix
Starring: Najwa Nimri
Seasons: 2
Episodes: 14


"There's a good reality competition somewhere within the convoluted format of Insiders. But the pains the producers take to keep their secret from the contestants makes it all about the conceit and not the contestants themselves."
Joel Keller, Decider


Insiders is a Spanish reality show hosted by Najwa Nimri that premiered its first season on Netflix in 2021.

Premise

Twelve contestants are gathered in a production facility where they will have accomodations to live, under the pretense of the final casting phase for an upcoming reality show. But they are unaware that they already are on the show, and being recorded at all times.

Why It Sucks

  1. The contestants react to pretty much everything in such an over-the-top manner that it's easy to mistake them for bad actors.
  2. Some of the tests the contestants are put through are needlessly cruel. Most notoriously, in the second episode, they are given a gun (whether it shoots blank or live bullets is never clarified) and told to shoot one of the four live rabbits locked in glass capsules in front of them, which might be illegal. While a few of the contestants refuse, several do pull the trigger. Furthermore, they are told that they will be cut from the casting if they discuss the test with the other contestants.
    • Not helping is that the incident with a gun on the Rust set that resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins happened on the same day as the show's launch, and since the test is the episode's main focal point, it probably cannot just be edited out.
  3. The back-and-forth between Iván Molina and Estefanía quickly grows boring as their dynamic stays the same for the whole season: Estefanía misses her boyfriend, flirts with Iván anyway, some petting and kissing, Estefanía feels guilty over cheating on her boyfriend, rinse and repeat.
  4. Not a single one of the contestants is actually likable (maybe Tatiana, but she was actually an actress hired to deceive the real contestants), as most of them are loud, annoying, petty or some combination of the three. Nicole and Iván Molina in particular stand out for all the wrong reasons.
  5. Some of the twists to the game result in unfair eliminations. For example, after Hugo is eliminated in a vote among the housemates, he can choose the next eliminated among the contestants who did not receive any votes, but he is told that the person he picks to eliminate will also choose the next elimination. Therefore, being one of Nicole's allies, he picks Fama, who had not wronged him in any way but is the only person of that lot that he knows won't boot Nicole from the game.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Najwa Nimri at least does a compelling job as the show's host/narrator.
  2. It is one of the few Spanish reality shows to feature a trans contestant in Nicole.

Trivia

  • Due to secrecy being key to the format, multiple seasons were filmed before show even launched.

Reception

While Insiders was praised for its runtime, very short for Spanish standards (where three-to-four-hour galas are norm), and some local reviewers found the concept intriguing, others pointed out that the show complicated itself too much looking to keep contestants and viewers alike on their toes, and that it lacked a clear unifying thread.

Insiders holds a 4.2/10 rating on IMDb.

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