TV Review: “Luis Miguel: The Series” (S2, Episodes 4-6)

A&E senior staff writer Elías Roman recaps and critiques episodes 4-6 of “Luis Miguel: The Series” in the second piece of a three part installation.

On April 18, Netflix debuted the first two episodes of season two of “Luis Miguel: The Series,” a hit show chronicling the behind-the-scenes life of Mexican pop icon Luis Miguel. In the second installment of our three-part series of articles, we’ll be recapping episodes four through six of the series while also diving into what worked and what didn’t. Read part one here. 

When we last saw Luis Miguel in the ‘90s, he was struggling to juggle his responsibilities as a father, as a brother, and as an international pop star. This episode delves into Luis Miguel’s relationship to fatherhood, exposing how inept and unprepared he really is — as well as how disillusioned he quickly becomes. Luis Miguel is prone to putting his own desires and pleasures ahead of his relationships, and he’s no different when it comes to Michelle. No moment in this episode demonstrates this better than when he and Michelle’s on-set babysitter decide to get it on in his trailer, leaving Michelle unattended. While Luis Miguel is busy indulging himself, his daughter goes missing, cutting short the babysitter’s and his activity. When Michelle is finally located, Luis Miguel chastises her for wandering off, refusing to see how he’s largely responsible for the whole scenario. He doesn’t seem to realize that if he had put Michelle above his own desires, she wouldn’t have gone missing. For the first time, Luis Miguel seems to be confronted with the consequences of his actions, yet he refuses to take responsibility. 

Watching Luis Miguel’s inability to confront his weaknesses can be frustrating, but it also reveals just how much the privileges of pop stardom have affected his interpersonal relationships. He’s so used to handing off his responsibilities to others that he doesn’t know what to do when he’s unable to. It gives viewers a valuable insight into the inner workings of Luis Miguel’s psychology, and while frustrating to watch at times, it gives us a chance to further understand him. In the 2000s timeline, his relationship with Michelle has not improved since the last episode — his relationship with his daughter challenges him, even confuses him. He buys her a house, but when Michelle is still not happy, Luis Miguel turns away. We’re shown just how warped Luis Miguel’s concept of interpersonal relationships has become, thinking that material goods would suffice in place of paternal affection. Despite his emotional clumsiness as a father in both timelines, the episode ends on a heartfelt note. In the ‘90s timeline, viewers are treated to a heart-swelling scene of Luis Miguel singing the lyrics to “Ayer” as he looks at his daughter. He decides to cut the shoot short and walks off set, declaring he’s going to go spend some time with Michelle. As Luis Miguel and Michelle indulge in some ice cream and coloring books, we’re given hope that the foundation for something beautiful is being laid down. This emotional beat is further emphasized when he gifts his daughter the book that his own mother used to read to him, showing viewers that Luis Miguel sees hope and healing through his relationship with his young daughter. The episode delivers the final sweetening blow to viewers’ hearts when in the 2000s timeline we see Michelle decide to move in with her father, after quoting the Italian storybook that her father read to her all those years ago. We’re left on a rare uplifting note at the end of this episode, hopeful that Luis Miguel and his daughter will be able to mend their relationship.

The fifth episode of the series revolves around the worsening health of Hugo, Luis Miguel’s manager, as well as Patricio Robles’ mysterious plans. Throughout the series, but especially in the second and fourth episodes of this season, we see how integral Hugo is to Luis Miguel. He’s the voice of reason to Luis Miguel, whether it be about giving up the search for his mother or building a relationship with his estranged daughter. Their relationship held a lot of weight, and it feels like that wasn’t acknowledged by the show in this episode. Hugo passes on, and we see Luis Miguel at his mentor’s funeral, but any emotional beat present in this scene is quickly pushed out by the arrival of Luis Miguel’s grandmother, who is seeking to gain back custody of Luis Miguel’s younger brother. The latter narrative immediately distracts us from the central focus of this episode. 

At the beginning of the episode, we see Luis Miguel meet with Frank Sinatra (yes, that one) to talk about doing a duet together. When the plan suddenly falls through, it’s revealed that Robles was behind its demise. The series builds Robles’ character arc slowly, showing him engaging in shady activities but never explaining his endgame. This keeps viewers engaged and wanting to see where this story is going, waiting for the moment when all the waiting will pay off. His intentions are finally exposed to us in the sixth episode when he explains to his accomplice that his goal is to get close to Luis Miguel and become his manager. The series makes it obvious that he has no intention of helping Luis Miguel, but is instead looking to leech off of the singer’s success. He’s cold and calculating, making viewers feel like he’s a real threat. Earlier in the season it’s implied that there was some kind of money-related problem with Robles, something that viewers can’t help but think about as he tries to manipulate his way towards the top. Episodes five and six parallel this story of exploitation with another, making viewers sympathize with Luis Miguel.

In the 2000s timeline, there appear to be some inconsistencies in Luis Miguel’s finances, hinting at the possibility of his team stealing money from him. This timeline also deals with the issue of Luis Miguel’s ear, as he reveals to Michelle that it’s healed enough to the point where he can begin singing again. Once in the booth, Luis Miguel is sorely disappointed to learn that he’s having trouble singing like he used to. This leads him to an angry night in the company of alcohol, creating an even bigger rift between him and his daughter when he’s too busy drinking to help her when she calls. The tension between father and daughter thickens, as Luis Miguel doesn’t like the idea of his manager and his daughter being together, and Michelle feels abandoned and let down once more.The sixth episode shows viewers the 2000s timeline, where we see how his worker Jose has protected himself from any consequences regarding the accident in Peru that almost cost Luis Miguel his ear. Jose has made it look like it was Mauricio who signed off on the faulty equipment, creating a heightened sense of dramatic irony, forcing viewers to watch helplessly as Luis Miguel grows angrier with his childhood friend, setting the stage for an explosive season finale.

Release Date: April 18, 2021
Starring: Diego Boneta, Luis Miguel, Anna Favella, Óscar Jaenada
Created by: Pablo Cruz
Network: Telemundo Telenovelas

Image courtesy of Remezcla.

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