This is a comedy series that will differentiate itself from American teen series on Netfllix, in style and approach – not that one is better than the other. Produced in Catalonia, Spain, the setting gives us a glimpse of life there, with the beach party during San Juan, the mountain ranges in the Pyrenees, etc. The story of a teenage witch is often a guaranteed success. Reminiscent of both the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996) and its remake Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018), You’re Nothing Special is “an in between” of the two – the 2018 series being far better, though, in technical quality and storytelling. The script of You’re Nothing Special gives the protagonist more depth, and it makes her more relatable to the viewers. As for the dubbing, it is not bad. In fact, it is better than it has been in other series, and manages to convey the cadences with smidgen of authenticity. Amaia's life, according to her, just sucks. Overnight, she has to say goodbye to her life in Barcelona, where she has all her friends and her day to day already established, to go live in her mother's village, where NOTHING ever happens. However, she will soon discover something that could turn her life around... that perhaps she has inherited the powers of her grandmother: a woman she never met, but with the reputation of being the only witch that has ever lived in the town of Salabarria.
There was a time when fantasy shows, or movies sparked a genuine interest in adults and children alike. They had a certain charm to them, a way of engaging you in the magic of the story. Where did that go? What has made the content of that genre so unremarkable? “You’re Nothing Special” is the story of Amaia, a bratty teenager, who moves to her grandmother’s town and struggles to settle in with her family. Her grandmother is rumored to be a famous witch, and through a series of accidents, it is perceived that Amaia has inherited the same. Whether it is a hoax or not is a matter of debate. However, the magic of the series is sorely missing.
Amaia’s Journey As The New Witch Of The Town
Amaia has moved from Barcelona to her grandmother’s town with her sister and her mother. This move happened after her mother separated from their adoptive father and lost her job. One of her old friends helped her get a job at a bakery in town, and she has moved the entire family there. Amaia acts out and frequently makes it clear that she is not happy about this. While she seems to love and respect her adoptive father Moussa, she doesn’t know who her birth father is, and it is a point of friction between her and her mother. In fact, upon a little investigation, she comes to know that her mother dated a famous photographer named Jovi in high school. She assumes that it must mean that he is her birth father. However, it is later revealed by her mother that while they were sweethearts, the pair broke up when Jovi needed to go abroad and that he is not Amaia’s birth father. Devastated, Amaia focuses her energies elsewhere. She is clearly not fond of the growing attachment between her mother and her school teacher, as she fears that it would mean that their stay in the town would get extended if their relationship gets serious. Due to this, she refuses to accept him and is often rude when he comes to visit. One day, while helping her mother clean the attic, she finds a letter written in 2004, in which a guy is breaking up with her mother. Noticing the date, Amaia suspects that he might be her father. She notes down his name—Bernardo—and goes to find him. Turns out, he is the owner of a music shop and is old enough to be her grandfather. He has been married for more than 30 years, meaning that if he is Amaia’s father, it was due to an extra-marital affair, and that is the fact that her mother was protecting her from. Amaia takes time to come to terms with this and eventually reconciles with her mother, but without telling her that she knows the truth about her parentage.
Through the course of “You’re Nothing Special” Season 1, we come to realize that Amaia is not just a bratty teenager who thinks she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is someone who has a desperate need to be liked by everyone and cannot think beyond herself. This is the exact reason that causes chaos in her life and everyone’s life around her. On her first or second day of school, she makes a group of friends—Javi, Lucia, and Zhao. She also develops a crush on Asier, but unfortunately, he already has a girlfriend, Irene. Through rumors, she comes to know that her grandmother was known as the town witch, and she had clients all over the country. Just as something fun to do, the group decides to try one of her spells. Javi chimes in with a suggestion. He had been bullied by a boy named Fran Chivite all his life, and he wanted him to feel the same helplessness and fear that he did. The group casts the spell, thinking nothing of it, and heads out to a party. But they come to know that Chivite has been in an accident. They are all spooked and wonder if the spell had something to do with it.
The next day, a classmate of theirs, Jokin, asks Amaia if her mother can cast spells like her grandmother could. On an impulse, Amaia tells him that she can do it. He asks her for a love spell. He wants to get back together with his ex-Rori. Amaia lets him know that it is possible, for a price of 20 euros before the job and 20 euros after. Jokin agrees. Amaia picks up the method for it from her grandmother’s books and tells Jokin that if it doesn’t work, she will give him back his money. She tells her that he thinks she is a fraud since her grandmother never failed. From then onwards, we see Amaia change her language. She starts talking in terms of definite(s) instead of possibilities. As for her friends, they like the idea of earning potential and, hence, run a little tactic of their own to convince Rori of Jokin’s love. It works, and they get back together. Amaia’s reputation as the “town witch” starts to grow.
One of the next few people to approach her is Chivite himself. He asks her whether she can do something to fix the wrong things in his life. Amaia tells him that this negative energy around him is the result of his bad karma, and he must seek forgiveness for it to be gone. She is hinting that he must apologize to Javi, which he does, but to no avail. Javi himself has taken a potion from Amaia, which she tells him will help him find his “Romeo,” but both of them treat it as a joke. Nevertheless, he joins a dating app and goes to meet a guy from there. He turns out to be Chivite’s father, and not wanting to continue the date, he requests to be dropped off. The next day, he tells his friends this, but it is a secret between them. However, Chivite later confronts Amaia about the bad things in his life not resolving, and she turns it around that he must resolve some secret with his dad for that to happen. We can guess that Chivite probably knows and is coming to terms with it. This is another example of Amaia just telling people what they want to hear and using their secrets to her own advantage. Javi warns her that this can’t go on, but she disregards his advice.
On Lucia’s end, she starts off by not liking Amaia too much but eventually accepts her as a friend. She likes Mateo, but he is interested in another girl. However, Zhao has a crush on Lucia, and he makes a pass at her at one of the parties, making her furious. Later, when they talk, Lucia tells him that she only likes him as a friend. Zhao is upset but is trying to come to terms with it. Amaia tries to reassure him and tells him that Lucia probably has feelings for him but is just hesitant. Zhao tells her that Lucia said no, and he is not going to interpret that as a yes. This is another instance that proves that Amaia doesn’t really understand people. Sure, she means well, but only if everyone likes her, so she says what others want to hear.
Next is the story arc of Amaia, Irene, and Asier. We know about the existing equation between them. Buoyed by the success of her status as the ‘witch,’ Amaia casts a love spell on Asier. As the story moves forward, Irene talks to Lucia about her therapy not being successful. Lucia gently nudges her towards Amaia and tells her to try the magic. Initially hesitant, she confides in Amaia. She tells her that she has known Asier her entire life but doesn’t seem to love him. With a little prodding, she reveals that she might be a lesbian. Previously, we had seen that Irene and Asier had an on-again, off-again relationship, and now we know why: Irene was not emotionally invested in it due to her orientation. Amaia encourages Irene to deal with this, which results in the pair breaking up. But Asier is still ignorant of the reason. However, one day, when both of them are walking, Asier presses her for a possible reason. He believes that she might be able to tell him with her witchy powers. Giving in, Amaia tells him that Irene is a lesbian, and that is the reason she has broken up with him. This is probably the worst thing Amaia has done in the “You’re Nothing Special” series. Outing someone is a special kind of crime, and nothing can ever justify it. But Amaia does it anyway, proving once again that she only cares about herself.
‘You’re Nothing Special’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Is Amaia Really A Witch?
Right before the year-end party, Amaia gets the news that her family might be moving to Barcelona. What she had wanted for the longest time is suddenly making her uneasy. Because right there in that small town, Amaia had made a name for herself, something she wouldn’t be able to do back home. She leaves the discussion for the next day. At the party itself, Amaia walks in like a queen, but her entry is interrupted when Irene splashes beer on her face.
Can we just take a moment to say that we don’t feel even a tiny bit bad for her? Her intrusive and selfish nature had earned her this. But anyway, the reason for Irene’s actions is that since Amaia outed her to Asier, the word has spread to the entire school, and now, everyone knows. Amaia is embarrassed, but her friends encourage her to come out and enjoy the party. She meets Asier and, while talking to him, leans in for a kiss, but Asier tells her that he does not see her that way. In a moment of clarity, he asks her if this is the reason, she has been doing whatever she has been doing so far and whether this is the reason she outed Irene. As much as we don’t endorse what Amaia has done so far, we can’t help pointing out that she only told Asier about Irene’s truth. He was the one who told the whole school. So, this was really his fault. Coming back to the scene, he leaves angrily, and Amaia has had enough. She decides to go back to Barcelona and is drinking a lot of alcohol when she runs into Zhao. They sit and chat for a while, during which he assures her that things will be alright. There is a moment between the two, and they end up kissing. Seeing them, Lucia is upset, and she goes to the DJ, who is, incidentally, Chevite. He lets her play the next song, and at that moment, she kisses him. Javi himself is talking to a guy who he had suspected was following him for a long time. The guy reveals that he had been doing so because he was into him. While talking, he reveals that his name is Romeo. This sends us to a flashback to when Amaia gave the love potion to Javi and told him that this would help him find his “Romeo.” He also remembered that despite the charlatan-like lies, her spells had worked for Chevite and Jokin, proving that there might be some magic after all. It turns out that Amaia is a witch who can cast spells. She has inherited the gift from her grandmother. She overreached in some places, but she is genuine, after all. And she made magic happen by getting together with Zhao, bringing Chevite and Lucia closer, and making Javi find his “Romeo.” Magic does come to those who look for it.
Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘You’re Nothing Special?
We wonder about what works for “You’re Nothing Special” because it has failed to cast a spell. The ending was sort of cute, but it was so abrupt that it did not make us feel the butterflies it should have. While we appreciate how it did not feel the need to wrap up everything in neat little bows, the justification of some of those felt off. For example, the matter of Amaia’s father was not fully resolved, nor was her sketchy moral compass about outing Irene, for which she did not seem to have any regrets and was not at all held accountable. The story is a little choppy in bits and desperately unremarkable. Spain seems to still dedicate a part of its entertainment to producing content in the fantasy genre, and they don’t want to give up on it just yet. But we definitely want to see better things. It doesn’t look like there is going to be a second season, and there shouldn’t be either, because we don’t care. For now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for something better from somewhere, because this is just not cutting it for such a dearly loved genre.★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★