In my struggle to find capable queer television series where gay men aren’t used solely as comic relief, I came across a Spanish drama on Netflix titled Merlí: Sapere Aude. Noted as a spin-off from creator Héctor Lozano, Sapere Aude follows a young college student, Pol, as he begins his years studying philosophy. Born to a working middle class family, the show focuses on his struggles affording college, the clashes between members of his friend group and the coming-of-age love triangle that develops as Pol begins to accept his bisexuality. Sapere Aude is noteworthy becomes it realistically paints the picture of an average bisexual man in modern times. I highly encourage you add it to your Netflix binge list. Season 1 is only 8 episodes long, and since the show streamed on Movistar+ between 2019 and 2021, the second season is already forthcoming.
Merlí: Sapere Aude is full of taboos, especially in the realm of sex and gratification. [Warning: Spoilers ahead!] All of the lead and supporting characters are very fluid with their sexuality and are open to exploring new things. One character is having sex with his biological aunt, and everyone knows about it except his mother. Another character constantly cheats on her boyfriend of three years with guys and girls, and always pushes him towards threesomes. And, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a college teacher pleasure herself with a sex toy on any network show until Merlí: Sapere Aude. Although very brief, Pol even finds himself in the middle of a tryst between a barely legal guy and a much, much older man.
This leads to the show’s most talked about moment. Probably. Throughout most of the first season, Pol is hopelessly pining after one of his classmates and new friend, Rai. After a study session, Rai absentmindedly leaves a yellow highlighter in Pol’s bedroom. Turned on my being so close to his crush for such a long period of time, Pol takes the highlighter and proceeds to fillate the studying tool before, well, fucking himself with it until he orgasms. I’m not much of a toy guy myself in that respect, but I assume Pol using the highlighter in such a way was due to it having been a “part” of Rai; since Rai had touched it, kept it in his pants pocket and even softly chewed on it at one point. In screwing himself with the highlighter, Pol may have felt closer to Rai to an extent.
If this hasn’t raised your “what the fuck” alarm to a disastrous level, I do recommend checking out Merlí: Sapere Aude. It’s a quick, witty drama with a unique take on education and the cast do well with their parts. Let me not forget to mention that Pol (Carlos Cuevas) and Bruno (David Solans) are absolutely studs. Even if you find no interest in this show, their looks alone will be enough to keep you glued to the television. However, I believe a lot of you will be routing for Pol to find the love he so desires.