El Reemplazante is a chilean TV series who aired on Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN) between 2012 and 2014.
After a risky financial operation who lead him to a three-month prison sentence, former financial executive Carlos "Charly" Valdivia (Iván Álvarez de Araya), went from having a very comfortable life, to living with his father Dionisio (Sergio Hernández) and his brother Pancho (Roberto Farías) in the commune of San Miguel, in Santiago. His new life leads him to take the job of math teacher in the Príncipe Carlos school, where his father works as a inspector, and his brother also works as a teacher. Having a harsh beginning, sooner Charly starts to slowly gain respect from his students, and at the same time to realize about the tough reality of them, the problems they face, and their dreams, repurposing his own life in the process.
The series premiered one year after massive protests were helding in Chile, demanding free and quality educationnote . It was acclaimed for both the realistic representation of the students of low income families, and the state of education in Chile.
Currently both seasons are available on Netflix.
El Reemplazante provides examples of:
- Animal Theme Naming: Claudio's sidekick is just called Hamster. No real name, just Hamster.
- Back for the Finale: Remember how Pancho left in the first season finale, disgraced and sued by Jorquera? He came back for the second season finale.
- Back to School:
- Implied with Charly. The private company who is owner of the Príncipe Carlos, requires that those who are teaching in their schools, must have an academic degree in education, something who Charly lacks. He managed to negotiate his permanence in the Príncipe Carlos, under two conditions. The first one is that his students must get in the PSU an average score higher than 500. And the second one, is that he must regularize his academic situation, getting an academic degree to be in line with the company requirements. Charly is not seen going to college, but it's implied he is doing it offscreen.
- Played straight with Hamster and other adults. One of the plots in season 2 is the creation of a nivelation workshop in the Príncipe Carlos, which allows adults to improve their education level. In the particular case of Hamster, Claudio asks him to get into the workshop, so they can drug dealing inside the school.
- Bathroom Stall Graffiti: The bathrooms of the Príncipe Carlos tend to be full of graffitis written in the walls and the WC doors. Fitting with the bleaker tone of the whole second season, their first episode ends with Charly inside one of the bathrooms, seeing the phrase "Hoy lloramos nosotros, mañana lo hará tu madre"translation written in a wall, with an swastika and the SS symbol, both drawn below.
- Bland-Name Product:
- A "Blink And You'll Miss It" moment: In episode 6, at the time Maicol and Flavia are taken out of the Príncipe Carlos by the police, there are reporters outside the school. One of them has a microphone with a circular "8" logo, refering to Canal 13, who at that time had that logo, but with a "13" instead of a "8", and the arc inside the circle upsided down.
- A similar situation was averted in episode 11. Charly, Dionisio, and Berta, are watching Jorquera's declarations on the TV news channel 24 Horas, which belongs to TVN.
- Character Aged with the Actor: Six years after the final episode aired, and in less than a week from the referendum in Chile to change the current Constitution, a video featuring Maicol, Flavia and Toyita was viralized. In the case of Toyita, it was reprised by Maite Neira, who instead of the little girl we saw in the series, now it's a teenager.
- College Radio: Pancho, as the interim principal of the Principe Carlos, authorized the purchase of radio equipment, which allowed the creation of a school radio, operated by Kathy, Samuel and Lalo. As an agreement, the school radio can be used only for music broadcast, not for protesting. This agreement eventually breaks when the students got aware of the irregularities triggered by Lalo's death, who may end with the Principe Carlos closing its doors.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Claudio may be a dangerous criminal, but he is livid when he finds out that Arturo tried to abuse Toyita. He even scolds Maicol for not telling him about it.
- And later he has Arturo caught, beat up and tied up in his house so Maicol can shoot him, though he ultimately doesn't go through with it (although he gets him arrested by police detectives). Claudio is quite understanding of Maicol's decision.
- First Day of School Episode: The first episode is this for Charly.
- How We Got Here: The very first episode starts with Charly in his first day as a math teacher at the Príncipe Carlos school, his unsuccessful attempts to make his students to behave properly, and the "stab" he received from Maicolnote . Once he fell off due to the "stab", the episode goes back three months before, showing the reason why Charly was sent to prison, his arrival to San Miguel, and why he took the job of math teacher.
- Only Known by Their Nickname:
- Andrés Rodriguez, mainly known as Zafrada.
- Maicol's younger sister is named Victoria, but everyone calls her "Toya" or "Toyita".
- Hamster. See Animal Theme Naming above.
- Psychologist Teacher: Charly. Once he gains experience as a teacher (and gains the respect of his students), it progresivelly becomes this.
- Reluctant Retiree: The shooting inside the Príncipe Carlos, triggered some security measures (like see-through backpacks and presence of the police officers on the front door) that Dionisio doesn't think will avoid another similar situation. When Nieves, in a personal conversation with him, pushes him to act in a way in which he is unable to act, he says if she wants to fire him, it's better to say it to him directly. Nieves proposed him an agreement in which he resigns of his position as inspector. He meditates for a while, finally accepting the offer, leaving vacant a position which he helded since the first episode. He accepted not because of the compensation money he will receive for his years of service, but because of the authoritarian way decisions are made in the school.
- Special Guest: Blanca Lewin, in her final two episodes as Ana.
- Spoiler Title: Go to Netflix and check the titles of the episodes of both seasons. At least, half of them are this.
- Tagline: "Rompió las reglas... y cambió sus vidas."Translation
- Take This Job and Shove It: Ana, when she realized had no material to work with, went to principal Nieves's office to complain about it, only to know her art classes were demoted in favor of classes preparing the students for the PSUnote . Having no option but to accept this work conditions, and sick of the contempt tone of the current administration of the Príncipe Carlos upon she and her classes, she quits her job in front of Nieves's face.
- Those Two Bad Guys: Claudio and Hamster are partners in crime and often seen together.
- Voiceover Letter: In episode 7, Charly proposed to his students a special task: Write a letter about her personal dreams, so Charly can send them to the newspapers. The motivation is that if one letter is published, all the students will get a good grade. Of all the written letters, it's Flavia's letter who is published. At the moment Charly, Ana, and later Maicol are reading it, we hear Flavia voicing it. While she's voicing it, we know about one of the personal dreams of Flavia at the same time it is fulfilled: Know the snow.