Invisible City (Cidade Invisível)

[3 stars]

Ready for a  bit of Portuguese dark fantasy? Then you’re in luck. Invisible City plays with a lot of South American myths, constructing a series of origin stories and tying them up with an old mystery.

It isn’t brilliantly acted, or written for that matter, but it is engaging as it unfolds over its 7 episodes. How each of these creatures came to be is very much in line with the darker view of the world that persisted for millennia before Disney and their ilk sanitized these kinds of tales. Myths and legends grew out of the understanding that the world is a harsh place and that powerful beings aren’t always devoid of their own issues.

The show itself is a unique kind of police procedural driven by the Environmental Police Department in Rio de Janeiro. Rio has been getting a lot more focus over the last decade. This is one of the first that plays more in the suburbs than the favelas or rich areas. Which isn’t to say that class and money don’t come into play. They do. But while aspects of that drive the story, it is primarily about the people and creatures and their relationship to the world around them. Though, as you can surmise from the title, there is a lot of subtext to it all.

Fortunately, it has been renewed, so you aren’t going to be left totally hanging at the end of this first season. While there is a resolution to the overall story, it definitely ends on a cliffhanger that will carry it forward. But it is all within the framework of the tale, and so it feels fair, if frustrating.

Invisible City Poster


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