Los Simuladores is one of Argentina's greatest TV shows (having a 9.4/10 rating on IMDB.com), with excelent acting, outstanding scripts, and awesome production. Also, you probably never heard of it.Los Simuladores (lit: The Simulators, or more accurately The Pretenders) are four-man secret organization that can "solve all kinds of problems"... for a fee. And no, they're not the bad guys.This group helps people who are desperately in need, by doing something they call drills (lit: simulations - hence the group's name) which involve complex plans that one way or another solve the problem. This may or may not involve deceiving the person with said problem, and always involves deceiving a whole bunch of other people.The sufferings of the person in need range from "owning money to the mob" to "having to introduce your family to your future in-laws", but could still ruin their life. Then some former client has to tell him/her how to contact Los Simuladores, who in turn will see if his/her problem is worth their time. Said person is usually charged a huge sum of money for the drill (twice the costs), but the group is willing to help those who can't pay it. Also, since those people are now in debt with Los Simuladores, they might have to provide help in future drills, which is an awesome resource of continuity nods.A comedic action/adventure show with moments of psychological drama, it is a cult series in Argentina. You can see the article (which is really complete) on The Other Wiki, here.Not related to The Pretender.
Los Simuladores provides examples of the following tropes:
Balanced Harem: Ravenna in the second season, altough it isn't a major plot in the series. He lives with three beautiful (and highly intellectual) women, who are deeply in love with him. However, he seems not to have the same feelings for them.
Bittersweet Ending: At the very end of the series, Lamponne organized a meeting where, for the first time, they opened up emotionally to each other. Consequently, the group decided to separate and stop their activities until further notice. Medina couldn't help expressing his feelings, eventually he breaks into tears after telling his fellows, one by one, that he loves them. Much to Lamponne's shame, of course.
The Bully: The team helps a young comic-book lover resist one.
Chekhov's Gun: Subverted. Through the entire second season, one of the members of the secondary brigade wears a black glove on his left hand. When asked about it in the finale, he just answers he hadn't realised the other glove was missing.
Cleopatra Nose: Maybe one of the reasons why Ravenna is so popular with women.
Darker and Edgier: Most stories deal with daily problems, however, there are episodes which deal with bigger and significantly darker issues than the rest:
"An Involuntary Job" (13x01, in which the team is hired by a mobster who wants to free his partner from jail, responsible for the deaths of children in meal centers by buying spoiled food, and Santos decides not to take the case, only to be stabbed in the leg and kidnapped, to force the rest of the team to work against their will, or else Santos would be executed).
"The B Brigade" (07x02, where the team infiltrates the FBI to free their fellow partners of the B Brigade who where captured by U.S agents who took them for actual terrorists and brought them under prolonged interrogation and torture).
In the second season, there's the B plot of Milazzo trying to find the four protagonists to get revenge for what they did to him in "The Last Hero". Altough the second season has lots of comedy, there are small segments showing Milazzo and his tireless search for the team, all this in a very dark tone with noir/thriller elements.
The fate of the original Máximo Cozzetti (which name Ravenna uses as a pseudonym), who's in a mental hospital believing there's a Soviet robot out there to kill him.
Picky Eater: Cultured and refined people may have selective tastes in food, but Santos takes this to the extreme. The only tea he drinks is Earl Grey, and his water must be non-carbonated and sodium-free, among other quirks. But he's picky not only with food, but aestethically too. When he works on a plan, he's specific at such extremes as the type of wood and style of the chairs he sits on and the format and recording company of the music he hears.
The Power Of Music: Frequently used to trigger mental states and emotions in unsuspecting "victims".
Pseudonym / Nom de Guerre: In the simulations, the guys use names taken from their past victims (like "Máximo Cozzetti", always used by Ravenna), or even names from the show's crew (like "Juan Carlos Cabral").
In the second season we learn that Mario Santos' name is a pseudonym too. His real name is Francisco de Aguirre.
Reverse Cerebus Syndrome: Could apply in the very last episode. First we got the conclusion of Milazzo's story arc; a thriller/suspense plot where he is determined to take revenge on the team. The opening scene is quite intense with a creepy atmosphere, flashbacks, distorted sounds. Milazzo is not only a very inmoral guy, he's very skilled with weapons and martial arts (what makes him extremely dangerous too) and because of the team, he's erased from existence; he doesn't have an identity, home or belongings, and of course he's pissed as fuck. But this story doesn't last too much, really; once the team gets rid of him (again), the episode goes through a tone shift, becoming a comedic Christmas special which deals with family ties and nostalgic childhood memories. This does not mean it is bad, in fact, is an excellent episode and great series finale.
After "saving" a (deceived) mobster's life, the thankful wiseguys offer repaying the favor to him (who's disguised as a doctor). He asks them to have a talk with the sexually harrassing boss of his girlfriend.
In the second season, after hearing about a particularly gross case of domestic violence, he asks "But didn't she cheat on him?" Cue collective Stunned Silence. "...What's the matter? I'm just asking, not justifying it!"
Later, he finds a man who bullied him in middle school and points a gun to his head. A "BANG" flag gun just to scare him, but still the guy didn't know it.
The B-brigade sub-leader tells Santos about a male kindergarten teacher who beats the kids. Santos considers the case's not worth a plan, and instead he sends a Big Guy nicknamed "Satan" to threaten him.