Itxaso and the Sea Finds Authenticity in a Fictional Tale

Created by María Cortés, the Basque Netflix show ‘Itxaso and the Sea’ presents a coming-of-age narrative about a teenage girl whose life gets turned upside down following the tragic death of her mother. Consequently, at seventeen, Itxaso has to move to a whole new place to start a new life with Mikel, her father, who has remained distant her entire life. While the big move affects the young girl, it also changes her life in ways she never imagined as she uncovers her untapped passion for surfing and crosses paths with new personalities.

At its core, the show remains a teen drama highlighted by the close connections that the titular protagonist, Itxaso, forms in the seaside Basque Country town. Furthermore, the story’s themes delve into intricate topics of taut father-daughter relationships, severe grief, and the complications of new beginnings. Therefore, the realistic narrative presented in ‘Itxaso and the Sea’ may lead some viewers to wonder about the show’s basis in reality.

Itxaso and the Sea Finds is Not Based on a True Story

Despite its mundane and probable premise, ‘Itxaso and the Sea’ is not based on a true story. Antonio Díaz Huerta directs the show with a team of screenwriters shaping the fictionalized storylines that make up the overarching plot. As such, the show remains a fabricated tale devoid of tangible connections to real-life people or events.

Yet, given the show’s subject matter, characters and instances end up reflecting reality in authentic ways. For instance, Itxaso’s self-actualization journey, as she processes the hulking tragedy in her life while simultaneously coming to terms with her new reality, is bound to leave an impression on viewers, allowing them numerous relatability points. Stories about people starting their lives anew following life-changing events have held people’s attention and interest for a long time.

From films like Martin Scorsese’s 1974 ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’ to the more recent feel-good drama ‘Someone Great,’ people can find stories with similar themes of self-discovery and transformation on the heels of a loss. Likewise, other films such as ‘The Father,’ and ‘Eighth Grade,’ explore familiar waters of complicated father-daughter relationships. Meanwhile, the 2010 film ‘The Kids Are All Right’ delves into the unconventional but realistic depiction of discovering a new relationship with a yet absent father figure.

Therefore, ‘Itxaso and the Sea’ certainly shares many intersecting similarities with previously existing media in terms of premise and base subject matter. Nevertheless, the Basque show sets itself apart by highlighting Itxaso’s unique situation while also allowing other characters and their storylines to shine through. As a result, audiences end up with numerous diverse narratives to relate to their own lived experiences. Characters like Adbul, Peio, Ane, and several others in the supporting cast boast similarly authentic stories about different walks of life.

Furthermore, as a story about teenage experiences, this show has the natural ability to appeal to a wide range of audiences while also providing specific representation. Still, in spite of the same, the narrative also has the ability to showcase more mature storylines, particularly through Mikel’s character. Similar to Itxaso, Mikel also finds himself thrust into a life-altering change. Even though the man has been a father for seventeen years, he’s never had to confront that part of his life until now. Thus, the show’s starting point introduces a new beginning for Mikel as well as affording him plenty of space for character development.

Consequently, we also get to see the other side of the coin and watch Mikel’s storyline develop as a new father to a teenage girl. In fact, for the most part, the developing relationship between Mikel and Itxaso informs the show’s most authentic and relatable aspect. With tumultuous parental relationships at its center, ‘Itxaso and the Sea’ seamlessly provides a realistic and relatable story.

Nonetheless, the show’s narrative remains constricted to fictionality and doesn’t have an origin in reality. As such, the storylines explored within the show can be entirely credited to the screenwriters, including Carmen Llano, Miguel Machetti, Guille Van Dreï, and creator María Cortés, among others.

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