Embarking on a tantalizing journey through the streets, kitchens, and language of Buenos Aires, the Oscar-winning actor Robert De Niro makes his inaugural appearance on the small screen this week, diving into an Argentine television series that not only indulges viewers in a charming story but also provides a rich, sensory exploration of the Argentine capital.
“Nada,” showcased on Star+, ensnares its audience in a comedic yet heartwarming cultural collision, intertwining the lives of the quirky food critic Manuel, portrayed by Luis Brandoni, and De Niro’s character, an American writer navigating the vibrant and sometimes chaotic tapestry of Buenos Aires. This new series provides a unique platform for De Niro, renowned globally for his cinematic performances, to weave a narrative that is both an entertaining fiction and a celebration of Argentine culture, through the lens of a foreigner discovering its multifaceted charm.
De Niro’s character doesn’t merely explore Buenos Aires but immerses himself in its varied elements, from getting acquainted with the delectable local cuisine to grasping the colorful, albeit profane, local slang such as “boludo” and “pelotudo.” This is not merely a character journey but a personal one for De Niro as well, as he, with genuine enthusiasm, embraced the opportunity to speak in Spanish for the series. According to co-director Gaston Duprat, the actor was keen to engage deeply with the language, prompting the creation of a curated list of Argentine insults and their meanings to be utilized during filming.
Filmed amidst the iconic neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, including La Boca and Recoleta, “Nada” serves as a visual and cultural feast, presenting classic Argentine dishes such as the robust “bife de chorizo” steaks and decadently sweet desserts drenched in “dulce de leche,” a creamy, caramel-like confection. Through the series, the cuisine becomes not merely a backdrop but a character in itself, reflecting the soul of the city and its people, contributing to the unfolding narrative, and defining the experiences of the characters within it.
“Nada” unfolds over five half-hour episodes, each sprinkling in a dose of Argentine slang for the viewer, subtly educating while entertaining. Having premiered at the San Sebastian Festival in Spain last month, it now finds its way to screens across the globe, being available on Star+ in Latin America, Hulu in the United States, and Disney+ in various European countries.
For De Niro, an actor of immense caliber and repute, this series marks not only his debut into television but also a collaboration with a friend, Luis Brandoni, blurring the lines between reality and fiction, as the characters navigate their friendship amidst the rich, flavorful, and expressive landscape of Buenos Aires. Through its comedic elements, heartwarming narratives, and cultural explorations, “Nada” promises to be a delightful experience that transcends mere entertainment, offering viewers a seat at a vibrant Argentine table, laden with tales of friendship, discovery, and the uninhibited joy of exploring new cultural horizons.