GlobalThe secrets behind 'No one lives here', the popular Spanish series that...

The secrets behind ‘No one lives here’, the popular Spanish series that marked a generation

At the beginning of the 2000s, a production caught the attention of Spanish viewers. From the broadcast of its first episode, it captivated the audience and in just a few months it became one of the most profitable series of the decade.

‘There is no one living here’, written by Iñaki Ariztimuño, produced by José Luis Moreno and directed by Juan Luis Iborra and the brothers Alberto and Laura Caballero, it was a true television phenomenon. Its actors became the best-known figures in the country’s entertainment industry and the impact of the production was such that it attracted the attention of foreign markets. In Colombia, RCN produced its own version of the series and it became one of the most remembered productions by Colombians in recent years.

The cast of No one lives here (Archive)
The cast of No one lives here (Archive)

20 years have passed since the debut on Spanish television of ‘There is no one living here’ and there is still an audience that enjoys its story on streaming platforms. Every once in a while, someone posts something about the series on social media, keeping its charm alive. Rarely had Spain witnessed such an event at an audiovisual level.

For the Caballero brothers, television was an integral part of their lives from an early age. His parents worked in Spanish television, which provided them with an environment in which they soaked up television culture. This family background and his love of television played a crucial role in the creation of the series.

The series was a risky project that almost no one believed would work. Production took place in the midst of constant chaos, with the technical team and cast working at full speed for endless days to meet the weekly delivery of episodes.

From left  To the right, Mariví Bilbao, Luis Merlo, Emma Ozores, Beatriz Carvajal and Emma Penella, in a scene from the fifth season of 'No one lives here'.
From left To the right, Mariví Bilbao, Luis Merlo, Emma Ozores, Beatriz Carvajal and Emma Penella, in a scene from the fifth season of ‘No one lives here’.

The recently published book There is no one who lives here: Behind the scenes: the delirious history of this our communitywritten by the journalist Javier P. Martinsheds light on the ins and outs of the series and the people who made it possible.

This is the chronicle of a television miracle, narrated by its protagonists. The author reconstructs three of the four years that the production lasted, through more than fifty interviews with those who lived this experience, from Fernando Tejero and Malena Alterio to the scriptwriters, including the technicians and family members.

Cover of the book by Javier P. Martín that recreates what happened behind the scenes of the popular Spanish series 'No one lives here'.  (Penguin Random House).
Cover of the book by Javier P. Martín that recreates what happened behind the scenes of the popular Spanish series ‘No one lives here’. (Penguin Random House).
[”Aquí no hay quien viva” puede comprarse en formato digital en Bajalibros clickeando acá]

The book offers an intimate look at the genesis of the series. Throughout the text, the author describes the intensity and challenges faced by the team behind ‘There is no one living here’ during that time, revealing how the actors and crew underwent a hellish recording routine that included grueling days of up to 18 hours. Labor self-exploitation and lack of rest were a constant on the filming set, fueled in part by the success of the series and the affection of the public, but also by a chaotic industry.

The series, which captured the essence of the Spanish working class in a humorous way, introduced unforgettable characters. The book highlights Belén, played by Malena Alterio, as an icon that represents an entire generation. Furthermore, the series was a pioneer in the realistic representation of a gay couple on Spanish television, addressing relevant social issues of the time.

‘There is no one living here’ It continues to resonate with audiences today, even those who didn’t see it at the time. According to the author of this book, it is all due to his timeless humor. The series manages to laugh with its audience and not at them, hence its great success.

♦ He graduated in Audiovisual Communication from the University of Seville in 2012. Since then he has practiced cultural journalism in some of the most widely read media, specializing in film and television fiction: SensaCine, eCartelera, ICON, El Diario, InfoLibre, El Confidencial

♦ Throughout his career he has created the formats Ca’pasao, a current film magazine with Juan Sanguino, ‘Sesión golfa’, a podcast of in-depth interviews with actors, screenwriter directors and other professionals in the Spanish audiovisual industry, and Perdidas: We Have to Go Back, a podcast in which he analyzes all the episodes of the series ‘Lost’.

♦ Made Chris Pratt dance to I want to dance of Sonia and Selena and gave Hacendado sangria to drink to Scarlett Johansson.

There is no one living here. Behind the scenes: The delirious history of our community It is his first book.

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