We often don’t get television shows that speak about toxic masculinity and how it affects men and women in general. Several films and television shows have been made that showcase the men and the toxicity they carry with each other in herds. Most of them are in the drama genre, which makes the subject matter rather somber. “Alpha Males” is a comic take on four middle-aged men who are striding through a midlife crisis and struggling to showcase their masculinity in the world right now, where they are considered equals and nothing that is slightly considered sexist is tolerated. Can they survive this postmodern world as they have grown up with men being the breadwinners of the family?
‘Alpha Males’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Series?
The show begins with Pedro Aguilar, a high-ranking executive at a television network, being confronted by his boss rather sweetly about the plan to diversify their channel by introducing many new projects. Pedro expects to receive good news in the form of a promotion. Unfortunately, instead of a promotion, he is given a spot in the team led by Christina. Pedro refuses to work under a woman, no matter how talented she is. Pedro’s male ego is hurt when his boss points out that Pedro is sexist, and that he isn’t admitting that fact. Pedro defends his choice of a show run by a network that demeaned plenty of communities and, thus, received low ratings, costing his channel a lot of money. His boss points out that his channel needs to bring in a feminine voice to change the overall environment of the network as well as the content it puts out. Pedro disagrees with it and says people have forgotten how to laugh at jokes. Pedro is humiliated, and he quits the job. His girlfriend, Daniela, is worried about how they can afford the mortgage on the palatial house he just purchased. Pedro informs her that he will receive a handsome amount in severance, which is enough for them to survive till he gets another job. Daniela goes into crisis-solving mode and starts the process of becoming a lifestyle influencer, through which she would get plenty of collaboration work, money, and recognition. Pedro is initially skeptical of what she is doing, but her intent to contribute eases his mind, and he goes with the flow. Pedro is unaffected by his quitting his 12-year-old lucrative job, and he figures he will find a way to grab another job opportunity. Daniela, though, is scared because she wonders if Pedro is taking this seriously. Daniela’s crisis-saving work brings some hope to her that she can now be the breadwinner and Pedro can take a backseat.
Santi, aka Santiago’s daughter Alex, moves into his home because she cannot possibly deal with her mother, Santi’s ex-wife Blanca. Blanca is a control freak mother who is hyper-vigilant regarding everything related to her daughter’s life. Angry at her mother’s constant attempts to dictate her life, Alex moves in with her father because she knows it is easy to communicate with him. Blanca loses her mind over the fact that her daughter moved in with her ex-husband. Blanca was the one who cheated on Santi; she has the home and the car that belonged to both, and Santi, along with that provides alimony as well. Despite all this, Blanca is constantly in a tussle with Santi, this time over Alex’s decision to move in with him. Alex is a 16-year-old teenager who helps her father by setting up a Tinder account for him so that he can finally move on from her mother and live the life he wants. Santi is skeptical of this move, but he falls for his daughter’s insistence. Santi, of all the men in the group, is the most sensitive and prefers not to be sexist. He corrects his friends whenever they act or behave in a way that showcases their toxic nature. Santi is the type of friend everyone deserves. He is aware that women are equal to them and lives by that belief, which Pedro and Raul find ridiculous.
Raul is a restaurant owner who is a classic example of a male chauvinist. He is cheating on his long-term girlfriend Luz with his restaurant partner’s wife and proclaims that cheating is a part of men’s DNA, but Luz will always remain the love of his life. Despite his cheating on Luz, a high-profile lawyer, Raul decides to propose marriage to Luz because he now wants to settle down with her. He is not ready to acknowledge the fact that he is cheating on her and has various justifications for his behavior. Right before he can propose to Luz, she puts across a proposition they should consider an open relationship. The rules will be set by both, notarized for their guarantee. The whole idea is to spice up their relationship, and Luz is very keen on going ahead with it. Suddenly Raul realizes he is an idealist and a traditionalist who doesn’t believe in such measures to keep their relationship strong and healthy. Even though he is cheating on Luz, Raul is being a hypocrite by not agreeing to Luz’s proposal. Raul comes across as a typical man who would try to get away with infidelity but is against what his girlfriend is requesting. An open relationship would mean they will know who they are dating and it would be strictly physical. Because Raul cheated on his wife and he knows he is not trustworthy, his insecurity comes from that thought process.
Luis, a traffic police officer, is the only married person with kids in the group. His intimate life with his wife is dwindling, and he is unable to understand what is going wrong. His wife Esther, a driving school instructor, is trying her level best to reignite their intimacy, but all goes in vain as Luis is always tired and unwilling to try anything new for the sake of their marriage. Esther is beyond frustrated, and Luis is clueless about how to keep Esther happy. Out of all four men, Luis and Santi are sensitive, think about the people they are with, and give sensible advice to the other two. Pedro and Raul, on the other hand, are very much alike: chauvinistic men who refuse to show their sensitive side to their respective partners and who have always believed in the fact that men are breadwinners and can do anything they want and get away with it without any consequences. Pedro leaves his job without worrying about the consequences, and Raul suddenly feels insecure about Luz’s open relationship proposal. Jealousy, insecurity, one-upmanship, and male ego are the things that fuel Pedro and Raul, which makes them do despicable things.
‘Alpha Males’ Ending Explained – Where Do Pedro, Luis, Santi, And Raul’s Friendship Stand By The End Of Season 1?
Daniela slowly starts becoming popular as a lifestyle influencer, and she starts getting a steady income out of that. Pedro is visibly disturbed by the popularity she is slowly gaining but cannot convey any of these insecurities to her as he is on the back foot right now. Daniela is constantly in front of her phone camera, talking about various healthcare, skincare, and lifestyle products, and starts promoting them. Pedro wonders if this is what his life has come to. He is insecure about the fact that she is bringing in the big bucks and he is at home sitting idle. Thankfully, all these thoughts never come out while he is conversing with Daniela, who is unaware of his growing insecurity. Pedro’s parents visit him and request him to buy a yacht worth 85000 euros for themselves. Unable to convey that he is unemployed, Pedro gives all the severance money to his parents. Pedro’s male ego is hurt, and he is ashamed to inform his parents of his unemployment. Soon Daniela learns that he gave them this money and did not think about the mortgage they had to pay for the house they were living in. Daniela is furious over the fact that Pedro chose to be proud and gave away the money, while she refused to say no and calmly made them understand that he is in a bad position financially due to his job loss. Daniela is unable to understand why he can’t talk about his situation with his parents, to which Pedro responds that it is complicated. Pedro here again puts his ego ahead of his necessities and refuses to make his parents believe that he might be a failure for losing a steady job.
Santi, on the other hand, is mortified by the number of dates he goes on through the Tinder profile set up by his daughter. Most of his dates end up being a big no-no for him, and he does not go on a second date with any of them. His daughter Alex does not lose hope, though, and keeps setting him up with many dates in the coming months. Tired of being on awful dates, Santi takes a break from all of this and meets a woman in an old-school way, which is meeting a woman at a bar. He finds the woman fascinating, but after spending time with her for the next few weeks, he realizes there is no chemistry between them. Santi does not know how to break up with her. To avoid that feeling of breaking up, he starts going on Tinder dates again. Santi is confused years after his divorce about what he wants from a partner. He is a divorcee with a kid and has no idea how to talk to women. Luis, Pedro, Raul, and Alex believe he is still in love with Blanca, which is why he subconsciously breaks up with most of the women he goes out with. Santi is a sensitive human being, and knowing how Blanca treated him, he is still attracted to her as he goes to help her whenever he can. Though he never admits the love he harbors for her, it is assumed, and he knows no one can replace Blanca in his life. His daughter is fed up with telling him repeatedly to explore life because he is free now.
Luis and Esther try counseling for their marriage and are on the verge of ending it, which is not good news. Esther has lost interest, and Luis is struggling to find ways to keep their marriage alive. They are asked to concentrate on the upbringing of their children, meanwhile. Esther joins a local gym to get rid of her anxious feelings. At the gym, she meets a trainer, and she is attracted to him. Initially, Esther does not act on her attraction, but she realizes the trainer is attracted to her too. Esther and her trainer end up sleeping with each other because they cannot contain the primal attraction they feel. Esther cannot believe she did something like this and wonders if she should say anything to Luis about it. Esther is good friends with Luz, who asks Esther to follow her passion and instincts. Esther does that and ends up sleeping with the trainer again. The trainer claims that he loves her, and Esther starts responding to his feelings. Esther is at a point in her marriage where she knows she cannot expect anything from Luis, for he is unwilling to work on the marriage the way she wants to. Esther’s attraction towards Luis diminishes, and that’s the reason she falls for the attention she is receiving from her trainer. Esther was simply following her emotional and physical needs. Luis realizes Esther is more distant than ever and plans a trip to Paris. Esther makes it clear in Paris that there is nothing left between them and she wants to end their marriage. Luis is taken aback by this decision but agrees to it. Luis is at a stage where he is now trying his level best to make his marriage work, unaware of the fact that Esther and her trainer have hooked up. Luis agrees to the separation, but once he knows of th infidelity, Luis becomes livid and starts acting up. They divide their time so that they can take care of their kids one by one. Luis and Esther are on complicated terms. After they organize a massive birthday party at Pedro’s mansion, Luis and Esther show some sort of attraction toward one another, which is seen as a good sign. Esther and Luis, despite their differences, have been married for a long time and have kids from it too. Their marriage cannot break this quickly as there is emotional baggage attached to it that is difficult to let go of. Even if they get back together wholeheartedly, it will be good for them to restart their marriage and stay together for their kids.
Raul’s insecurity towards the open relationship concept worries Luz, and she proposes to break up as he clearly cannot hold on to his emotions. Raul reluctantly agrees to the open relationship and forms legal documents mentioning their terms and conditions. Luz starts dating other men as per their contracts, but an insecure Raul starts following her, and Raul makes up stories of his dates to Luz. Luz initially believes his stories but soon realizes Raul is not going on any dates. She also learns that Raul has been following her and her dates. Luz is livid but does not break up with him but instead encourages him to go on dates with other women. Raul finally goes on a date with another woman, and he feels good about it and conveys the same to Luz. Though his past girlfriend, his partner’s wife, comes back into his life and requests to have one last rendezvous with him, Raul succumbs to his old habits. But this woman ends up calling her husband and letting him know that she is having an affair with Raul. Raul decides to sell his share of the restaurant to his partner and conveys the same to Luz. At the meeting, the partner reveals that Raul has been having an affair with his wife for three years. Luz is shocked and horrified, and she decides to break up with him once and for all. Luz is livid about the fact that she gave up her plans to move to Amsterdam for him. Raul and Luz break up, and she informs him that she sold his share of the restaurant for one euro. Luz has every reason to be mad at Raul because Raul has always been an egoistic chauvinistic man who could not look beyond his need to control, his insecurities, and his desire to the alpha male.
All four men attend the deconstructing masculinity lecture on the insistence of Santi. Luis, Pedro, and Raul, who reluctantly join him. Though Luis and Santi understand the need to remove toxic masculinity, Pedro and Raul are unable to come to terms with the fact that masculinity is part of nature and nothing can eradicate it. Pedro and Raul are unable to understand the concepts the lecturer is trying to make them understand, for they have grown up with toxic thought processes. Pedro’s misconception is that it’s a scheme to gain money from people, and he starts his series of lectures about the importance of male virility, where he speaks about how masculinity is a forgotten concept, and he starts propagating age-old ideas of men being superior and women being inferior. Pedro’s series of lectures go viral, and he becomes a sensation which is something. He loved the validation he was receiving from social media, and at the same time, Daniela’s reach was getting affected. Pedro is unaffected by how much his toxic talks are affecting Daniela. He claims during a televised interview done by his previous employer that his partner Daniela is fully supportive of his ideas. Daniela makes a call during the interview while it is being recorded and claims that she never agreed to his thought process. She publicly breaks up with him. Pedro hopes this was just a prank to regain her lost followers. On reaching home, Daniela informs him by putting her foot down that their ideologies are now poles apart, with which she cannot live as a hypocrite. Maybe he can live as a hypocrite, but she has values that she has garnered for herself. Daniela moves out. Daniela, Luz, and Esther are examples of women who take control of their lives when things go south in their personal lives. They are financially secure, and emotionally, they are sure they will find someone who loves them for who they are. Meanwhile, Pedro, Raul, and Luis are coming to terms with their breakups; they do not see it coming because they thought the women in their lives would never leave them, no matter how badly they treated their partner’s values. This breakup comes as a shock to all three of the men, and they look forward to a life without them. Santi gets back together with his ex-wife Blanca, as she is the only woman who gets him, and they have a chemistry that no one understands.
‘Alpha Males’ Season 2 Expectations
Season 1 ends with three out of four men breaking up with their long-term partners. They receive a certificate of attendance for attending lectures on deconstructing masculinity, and they don’t know if it will help them or not. Season 2 will probably be about the men dealing with their breakups and possibly watching their ex-partners make progress in their professional and personal lives. It will be interesting to see Luis and Esther’s relationship and where it will be headed. Will they head towards divorceville? Santi and Blanca’s getting back together will also be explored, and the audience will want to watch them as a couple. Pedro and Raul getting away from toxic masculinity is something the audience would want to know about.
“Alpha Males” is an interesting take on toxic masculinity and how it generally affects everyone who believes in the fact that men are caretakers and superiors to other genders in society, especially in an era where women are equally independent; emotionally, and financially. The screenplay is too spread out, and various subplots are introduced but soon forgotten. The ending of Esther’s affair with the trainer was not well concluded, and the back-and-forth relationship drama between Luz and Raul felt repetitive after a while. The screenplay could have been nicely packed if plenty of unnecessary subplots were not introduced. We hope these subplots will continue in the second season to serve the purpose of introducing it. But the idea put forward by the writers and creators leaves an impact on the audience. “Alpha Males” is a good watch because it talks about basic toxic masculinity problems in a subtle yet humorous way.
“Alpha Males” is a Spanish-language comedy-drama, now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.