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Series / Estoy Vivo

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The guy in the left is the hero of the story... but oddly enough, he's dead.
Estoy Vivo (I'm alive), is a 2017 Spanish television series by Televisión Española.

Andrés Vargas is a Spanish policeman investigating the case of a dangerous serial killer, El carnicero (The Butcher). On a chase in which he is left alone by his partner, Vargas drowns. He then awakes in a place called The Walkway, where he is told that his death was not meant to happen. Vargas wants to come back to his family, but he can only do it in a new body. Fortunately, a policeman called Manuel Márquez dies on his way to the police station for his first day of work, and so Vargas is free to enter his body. He finds out that five years have passed, and makes his goal to win his family back.

In his new life, Vargas will have the help of his Enlace (Liaison), an ally sent by the Walkway to check how he's adapting to Earth and help him out. Vargas will also have to work hand by hand with his oldest daughter, who has entered the police corps and is his new partner, and survive the (literal) demons haunting him.


This series has examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Bea and Patri suffer at the hands of two. We don't know their social status but they are confident and vicious.
  • Artistic License – History: The three original Liaisons comment that Elena Gamboa was friends with Fernando Simón, the memetically incompetent real life figurehead of the Spanish COVID-19 management center, which obviously draws groans from all the other characters. This gag makes little sense in-universe, however, because Season 4 seems to take place in an Alternate History where the pandemic never happened (there are no masks, no security measures and no mention about the virus, for instance, and it is still implied to be set in current time). Given that Simón gained his awful status with the pandemic and was virtually unknown to the average Spaniard before, the characters here shouldn't have even known who is the guy the Liaisons are talking about.
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  • Artistic License – Law: In Season 4, a couple of environmental agents impose a fine on Márquez and company for accidentally killing an animal of an endangered speces with their car, even although Márquez shows them his police badge. This situation already strikes as odd, as it's unknown how the agents discovered it was their car which killed the animal, but even putting that aside, it doesn't really apply to real life. In Spain, the National Police outrank that kind of agents, and given that Márquez identified himself as a cop and implied he was in midst of an operation, they would have been forced to comply and redirect the matter to higher instance.
  • Bald of Awesome: Both Vargas and Márquez had them back when they were alive and in their bodies.
  • Berserk Button:
    • The Vargas family is quite temperamental.
    • Andrés doesn't like hypocrites. Or people who sleep with his daughter.
    • Bea hates it when people disrespect her father.
  • Child Prodigy: Bea is a very gifted child, capable to build their own afterlife communication devices.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Liaison, initially due to not being familiar with Earthly conventions and later for being a quite wacky guy overall.
  • Continuity Snarl:
    • The series cannot seemingly decide whether there are human relationships among the Walkway agents or not. One of the Liaison's establishing moments in the very first episode is pondering about romantic love as if it was something alien to him and his race, and this is how he reacts to his own attraction to Susana... but many episodes later he is shown to have a past but still flirty relationship with a female Walkway coworker, who clearly likes him back enough to make a concession for him in their laws. As if this incoherence was not enough, when Carlota reveals herself to be another coworker, she is just as unexperienced in human relationships as Iago was before the second revelation.
    • Iago's fighting abilities are so dependant on the episode in question that the script seems unable to explain it as a whole. At some points, he is a superhuman badass who moves explicitly faster than a trigger finger, while others he is an useless Non-Action Guy who can be held hostage with complete ease. At Season 2, he was swarmed by Medieta's human bouncers, while in Season 3 he fought a multitude of Walkway agents like him and was wasting them until being forced to surrender.
  • Dirty Old Woman: The three original Liaisons, who constantly lust after Iago. One of them even grabs his ass on one chance.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: Bizarrely for a Spanish TV series, this seems to be all over the story, as it employs multiple narrative clichés of American media and sometimes makes the setting resemble United States in ways it should absolutely not. For instance, Bea starts the series in a heavily trite trio of unpopular classmates (a black boy, a Hollywood Nerd girl genius and a punk outcast, all of which are typical of American highschool fiction but not of Spanish media), Laura uses Anglo-Saxon family naming conventions that are mostly alien to Spanish culture (most notably, calling every female member of her family "a Vargas", despite in Spain the maiden name is retained after marriage and gets added to the husband's surname for their children, meaning none of the three women are Vargas in a strict sense), and the Madrid slums are portrayed as a hilarious mix of Detroit and Mexico DF (with nasty bikers, narcos, black gangbangers and an amount of guns almost impossible to find in Spain).
  • Ethereal White Dress: All of the Walkway staff wear white clothing, giving an angelic yet unmistakably death-related image.
  • Hot-Blooded: Vargas/Márquez is prone to violence.
  • No Name Given: The Liaison, not being human, lacks a name. In order to blend with humans, he goes first by the name of Joaquín before settling down in Iago, both given by Márquez.
  • No Social Skills: The Liaison starts gleefully ignorant of human conventions, and his attempts to learn them are an entire subplot in Season 1, often with humorous results.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Carranza, in order to show he's possessed by the Butcher.
  • Our Angels Are Different: The Liaison and the rest of the Walkway staff, both in function (they guide souls to afterlife) and esthetic (they are all attractive humans dressed in white).
  • Schizo Tech: The Walkway technology is a mix of cool holograms, Steampunk-looking ray guns and ordinary batteries.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: Earlier in the series, the Liaison strolled through his and Márquez's house nude or in underwear, stating humans are too bothered by their bodies.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Many of the main cast, given their jobs as police detectives, but especially Iago, who is always in a shining white suit.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Alejo Sauras's character being introduced as a superhuman martial artist before being turned into a wildly inconsistent fighter echoes Javier Gutiérrez's previous series, Águila Roja, where his character started being a Combat Parkour expert who gradually devolved into an unathletic loser.
    • When the Liaison first meets Susana, Márquez introduces him as Joaquín, which the latter absentmindedly completes as Joaquín Sabina after spotting a poster of the mentioned singer. She then jokingly tells him to call her Shakira.
    • Iago's name comes from Iago Aspas, a player from the soccer team Celta de Vigo, which is based in Galicia, just like the character is supposed to hail from.
    • As usual in Spanish pop culture, Cuarto Milenio is namedropped about all the supernatural things.
    • The series started as Whole Plot Reference to YuYu Hakusho, with a supernatural detective being brought from death... and equipped with a blue energy gun of all things.
    • The last episode in Season 1 involves a plot to use a supernatural stone during a red eclipse to open a portal to the demon world while demons are gathered and trying to kill the main characters. A reference to Berserk?
    • Season 3 makes a Whole Plot Reference to another classic anime piece, Wicked City, to the point of the resolution of the climax being almost the same.
    • Also in Season 3, Iago has a to fight against waves of other identical Liaisons in their suits, and it turns out the villain is one of them gone rogue, just as in The Matrix Reloaded.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: Iago's fighting abilities depend completely on what the script demands in every episode. In some, he's literally superhuman, capable to react avoid bullets and perform high-flying martial arts attacks. In others, he is a non-action character who gets captured by minor villains with minimal struggle. And then, in a middle step, he's still a really good martial artist, only not superhuman, and can be overwhelmed by enough opponents. There seems to be no in-story reason for such changes, and it's never ever commented on by other characters either.
  • Teens Are Monsters: Two girls in her class are exceptionally cruel to Bea.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Márquez is in love with Laura, who is still mourning her late husband Vargas... who is Márquez.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: In his first appearance, the Liaison ponders how humans only get in trouble with their insistence to love each other. He later goes to experiment it with Susana. This is not very well established, though, as other episodes show him having an old flame in the Walkway.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: in The Walkway, time goes by slower than in Earth. Vargas has trouble adapting due to him spending barely some hours on the Walkway and going back home five years later.

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