TVE recently started to air trailers for El Continental, its new drama focusing on criminals in 1920s Madrid, and social media users quickly pointed out striking similarities between the aesthetic and that of British international smash hit Peaky Blinders, which is set in Birmingham during the same time period.
— Mariola Fuentes (@mariola_fuentes) August 8, 2018
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“A cheap Spanish-style copy of Peaky Blinders with Fernando Tejero instead of Cillian Murphy. What could go wrong?” wrote Victor Hurtado in a tweet accompanied with a screenshot from the Spanish show.
Una copia barata de “Peaky Blinders” a la española con Fernando Tejero en lugar de Cillian Murphy. ¿QUÉ PUEDE SALIR MAL? pic.twitter.com/A916UFw2Tc
— Víctør Hurtadø (@victor_hurtado) August 12, 2018
Others soon joined in, with Raul Baza Navarro complaining that “the worst thing about TVE copying Peaky Blinders is they're not investing this money in something good, new and different. It's not possible that there are no young people with good, new, different ideas”.
One critic went as far as editing the show's Wikipedia page, which as of the morning of August 13th begins with the line “El Continental is a Spanish TV series that is a cheap copy of Peaky Blinders, produced by Gossip Events for TVE”. Politician Gabriel Rufián also joined in with his own criticism.
¿Peaky Blinders? No conozco a ningún Peaky Blinders. Yo me llamo “El Continental” pic.twitter.com/pvSdTjzN59
— Hater de Desembarco (@CunaoDesembarco) August 12, 2018
Comparisons have been made between TVE's new effort and Telecinco's bizarre attempt to launch a Spanish version of classic American sitcom Cheers in 2011 – almost 20 years after the original finished airing.
The Spanish Cheers was on the air less than a month when Telecinco announced its cancellation, opting not to film the entire 26 episodes as previously planned, and instead shortening the run to 13 due to poor ratings.