This Elite Couple Is Giving Us Cruel Intentions For 2018

Photo: courtesy of Netflix.
There's no shortage of misbehavior from the posh people of Netflix's juicy teen drama Elite. However, if we had to rank the characters for their devious behavior, it's clear that high school power couple Lu (Danna Paola) and Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau) could give everyone else on the series a run for their money. In fact, these two are so scandalous in their ways that their story arc heavily resembles one in iconic '90s movie Cruel Intentions.
Just in case you weren't a teen who watched the 1999 Sarah Michelle Gellar classic a million times, Cruel Intentions stars the former Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Upper East Side mean girl Kathryn, who makes a bet with her stepbrother/occasional lover Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) that he can't seduce "good girl" Annette (Reese Witherspoon), a proclaimed virgin. Sebastian is doing it all so that he can finally get Kathryn into bed, but he ends up falling for Annette for real.
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Fun fact: Cruel Intentions is based on 1782 French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, because yeah — people were always this messed up.
A similar scheme is put into place on Elite. In the first episode, new student Nadia (Mina El Hammani) catches Lu and Guzman having sex in the showers at their very fancy school, Las Encinas. Having sex during school house (and in the locker room, no less!) isn't allowed, and Lu is terrified that Nadia will expose the couple, who hasn't exactly been the nicest to the school's newbies. (Lu has been particularly cruel about Nadia, who is Muslim, wearing her hijab to school.)
So Lu hatches a plan: Guzman will seduce Nadia, so that she won't spill about Lu and Guzman's illicit hookup. Lu also hates that Nadia is so judgmental about Las Encinas' morally questionable ways; if Nadia hooks up with Guzman, this will hypothetically prove that the religious teen just as indecent as the rest of her classmates. Surely, that would surely knock her down a few pegs.
Devilishness aside, the plan doesn't exactly work. Lu didn't count on Guzman falling for Nadia in a real way. Aw, hey, Cruel Intentions! Lu clearly has never seen this movie all the way through. The scheme never works out in the scammer's favor.
Elite serves as a nice reminder: Cruel Intentions has firmly cemented its rightful place in pop culture. The film was adapted into a popular musical, which ran in both New York and Los Angeles. Later, a spin-off TV series about Sebastian and Annette's biological son starring Gellar in her iconic role received a pilot order at NBC. The pilot never made it to series, alas, but at least we have Elite's scheming teens to seduce us.
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