If 3% is indicative of Brazilian talent, then I need more.
There are few shows that really get my blood pumping; Black Mirror (why didn’t I watch this sooner), Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 8 (best 20 minutes ever), Black Sails (sexy pirates, count me in), and the last 5 minutes of every Lost episode. So when I say that I don’t know if I’ll physically be able to wait for season 2 of 3%, I mean it.
3% is directed by Cesar Charlone who was the cinematographer for City of God and it has the same gritty feel. This show gives out more questions than answers and every character is interesting and multilayered. There are the stereotypes; mysterious bad girl that doesn’t care about anyone, the jerkface that you love to hate, the cool popular guy, yet they work in the show.
3% is set in an unspecified future where almost everyone lives in poverty: their shirts are ripped, their houses are dilapidated, their hair needs a good deep conditioner or hot oil treatment and there is only one option for them to better their lives, the Process. When the citizens turn 20 years old, they have the opportunity to go through the Process. There are several stages that become more challenging and many do not make it past the interview portion. Their numbers dwindle as they go through the tests until only 3% are left. They then get to receive their vaccine and make their way to the Offshore and live ”happily ever after.”
However, things aren’t all sunshine and roses for those on the Offshore. There’s a group called the Resistance who believe that the Process is unfair and that everyone deserves the wealth from the Offshore. They try to infiltrate the Process and the Offshore, but we’re not sure how successful they’ve been.
The best thing about the series besides the world building is the characters. Every character we’re introduced to is interesting and the backgrounds we get provide great insight to their behavior. Every episode looks into the background of one character (kind of like Lost). Without further ado let me introduce you.
Michele, the “main character”.
Michele (played by Bianca Comparato) is your run of the mill girl that’s just trying to make her life better. She’s quiet most of the time and seems to hang in the background, but whether that’s her being a floater or being observant remains to be seen. Not much else to say about her that aren’t spoilers.
Ezequiel, the bad guy? (shoulder shrug).
Ezequiel (played by João Miguel) is the head of the Process. He designed the current Process and is in the middle of some controversy. One of the people he let through murdered someone else (the first time since the founding couple established the Offshore 100 years ago) and some are not happy with him. He also likes to almost drown himself every morning.
Aline, the one that needs espionage training.
Aline (played by Viviane Porto) is one of the members of the Offshore. She is there to supposedly watch over the Process and take notes, but errybody knows she’s there to try and take down Ezequiel. Girl needs to learn how to be more secretive because I like her.
Fernando, the character with no chill
Fernando (played by Michel Gomes) has my favorite scene from the season. He’s in a wheelchair and there are rumors that the Offshore can cure his quadriplegia. He has a heated argument with Michele about how them wanting to “cure” him is taking away who he is. It’s a great moment and one we don’t often see with disabled characters. He has spent his whole life preparing for the Process yet he rejects some of their beliefs.
Marco, the leader and level headed one.
Marco (played by Rafael Lozano) comes from a family that ALWAYS passes. He’s trying to reunite with his parents who left him with his nanny before going through the Process. He’s a pretty cool dude and he’s always chill probably because he knows he’ll make it through. There’s really only one character I actively dislike.
Rafael, the guy that everybody hates.
Rafael (played by Rodolfo Valente) is a douchebag. He starts right out the gate cheating which pisses people off, but like the honey badger, Rafael don’t care. He also belittles people and seriously needs to take a class in social niceties. He’s that bully in school that always has a smart thing to say and you just want to strangle them. He is all about himself and passing.
Joana, the girl that pretends to hate everything but is actually full of sunshine and rainbows.
Joana (played by Vaneza Oliveira) is the goat. She’s smart and cunning and doesn’t give a flip about anything but getting through the Process. She’s so great that if I ever wanted to take over the world I’d take her, Michonne, and Madi Scott.
As you can see from the casting, the show is diverse and it’s not just with the main cast. The members of the Council and those going through the Process are all diverse. It’s nice to see the Afro-Brazilians represented, but they also include Asian-Brazilians. If that doesn’t sell you then I don’t know what you’re doing here.
If you love Dystopian stories, or diverse stories, or kickass women, then watch 3%. If you don’t love those things, then watch it anyway. The story rarely goes how you think it will and each episode will only leave you with more questions. Thankfully, it’s been picked up for a second season and I hope that it lasts for longer.
Tayci is a mother of 3 boys and a Ravenclaw and a member of #WizardTeam. In her spare time she tries to write, but usually plays Fallout 4 or Tropico 5. You can find her work here and here and you can find her onTwitter and Tumblr @taycibear.