3%: Chapter 1: Cubes (Cubos)
November 25, 2016 2:54 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

In a grimy near-future, 20-year-olds stream to a sleek testing facility to compete for a spot in an idyllic land known as the Offshore.

*This is the 104th year of the Process.
*Aline has been sent to observe Ezequiel, Nair tells him it is because the occurrence of the first homicide in 100 years the Offshore has Councilors worried that there are flaws in his direction of the Process.
*After a first wave of eliminations via interviews (after which a despondent Alexandre commits suicide), more are eliminated through a cube-building test - Michele and Fernando succeed through cooperation, while Rafael succeeds by ruthless cheating.
*Joana notices that Rafael's registration is falsified, and proposes/blackmails him into an alliance since she can turn him in if he tries to betray her.
*Marco is confident that he will be part of the 3%, since his family members have always made it through.
*Ezequiel's people learn via the interrogation of a member of the Causa resistance group that there is a mole amongst the candidates and narrow the identities down to Michele and Bruna, due to their address. Cassia tells them she will kill them both, unless the mole confesses. Michele convinces Bruna that their only hope is to grab Cassia's gun to kill her and escape, but it was a trick to make Bruna attack first, and she is killed.
*Michele joined the Causa because her older brother was killed in the Process, and she holds Ezequiel to blame.

*This is the first Netflix Original made in Brazil.
posted by oh yeah! (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm intrigued by this one -- it doesn't look like any of the usual sites are recapping it, I had to go back and watch it a second time to get all the character names down, since the cast listing on imdb is pretty sparse still and missing headshot for most of the actors. I'll probably try to watch & post an episode a day; I'm watching it with the Portuguese audio & English subtitles.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:15 PM on November 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow, this is a fantastic start and the whole premise is right up my whatever-the-portuguese-word-is-for alley. I'm watching it with the English language dubbing and subtitles.

I'm curious about the nature of the tests, as the testing seems sort of arbitrary. In the interview one, it seems the key things they're looking for are candor, sincerity, and confidence. But not too much confidence. And the cube thing... Motor skills and spacial skills? And yet the one candidate made it through by cheating, and Ezequiel waved him on through. So maybe there's a bonus for craftiness.

Ezequiel is troubling.

That tar blindfold stuff was awesome and I'd like to buy some for personal use.
posted by mochapickle at 6:25 PM on November 25, 2016

This show is fantastic. It sort of reminded me of the cancelled series The Lottery, except 1000x better.

How did those tar blindfolds not peel off a layer of skin when they were removed?
posted by fuse theorem at 8:29 AM on November 26, 2016

Well, they were tar-like future-goo, not actual tar - I figure they just went from liquid to gel like an exfoliating facial mask does.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:36 AM on November 26, 2016

We just binge-watched a bunch of these. It's really, really good. I'd recommend the original Portuguese with English subtitles - I think you'd miss a lot of the inflections and emotion listening to the dubbed version.
posted by Happy Dave at 1:34 PM on November 26, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have to say, I had to adjust at first to the somewhat clumsier aesthetics of this show (accustomed as I've lately become, it seems, to super high production value). Things like the really theatrically fake-tattered clothes the plebs were wearing, the "futuristic" shooting location (which apparently is inside a football stadion in Sao Paulo), some of the cheapo sets...

And then halfway through this episode all that totally grew on me and I actually feel like it adds a ton of charm to the whole thing. Even though it's a Netflix production, the budget-conscious look of the show makes it seem fresh and kind of indie.

Anyway, I love the diverse casting. I practiced my very rusty Portuguese and googled a bit what the Brazilian media has to say about the show. I came across an interview of Viviane Porto (who plays Alina, the woman who has arrived to monitor the Process) where she says that her role as a black woman who's an authority figure (a "boss mother fucker" as she puts it herself) is ground-breaking in Brazil. As is having a protagonist who uses a wheelchair, and generally having so many actors who are POC.

Other tidbits: the people behind the show came up with the idea as twenty-something students at the University of Sao Paulo, and they started out by posting an independently produced pilot episode on Youtube, which eventually lead to them selling the concept. I'm not going to watch it now for fear of spoilers (also, I understand maybe 25% of what they say), but perhaps after finishing the series I will.

Very curious to see where this goes.
posted by sively at 2:44 PM on November 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

and googled a bit what the Brazilian media has to say about the show

I was shaking my fist at whoever decided to title this show "3%" - so hard to google for! I guess it made sense as a title since it's the same in any Portuguese or English, but, so hard to get relevant search results.
posted by oh yeah! at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2016

Mochapickle: it's "beco"!
posted by umbĂș at 3:56 AM on November 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Just watched the first episode and thought it silly but very enjoyable. It does a good job with the characters, in keeping them well delineated and distinct, but not mere types. I'm looking forward to continuing.
posted by tavegyl at 8:00 AM on November 29, 2016

Wait, what's beco?
posted by mochapickle at 12:16 PM on November 29, 2016

I might give this one more look without the English dubbing, which is annoying. But to me it's little more than an on-the-cheap Hunger Games/Maze Runner/Divergent mashup with porn-level acting skilz.
posted by sixpack at 12:18 PM on November 29, 2016

Definitely give it another chance in Portuguese, sixpack - I just tried to watch the episode with the dubbing on out of curiosity and couldn't last 5 minutes.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:02 PM on November 29, 2016

Alley in portuguese
posted by umbĂș at 6:14 AM on November 30, 2016

I also am getting annoyed by the quality of the dubbing, but not convinced its the only problem. Will try ep 2 in the original to see if it comes across any better.
posted by biffa at 12:19 PM on December 4, 2016

mochapickle: Yeah! That spray on stuff looked interesting.

Also, "beco" yields a lot of results for spray gun suppliers.
posted by drfu at 11:02 PM on January 8, 2017

Agree with you, Dave. At first I tried it the other way, then settled on that way.
posted by MidSouthern Mouth at 5:51 PM on May 11, 2017

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