At Prime Video you are in luck. Fallout, which premiered in April, is its biggest success since The Rings of Power and its most watched series among the coveted 18 to 34-year-old audience. And Maxton Hall, which landed in the catalog two weeks ago, turns out to be (so they say) their most watched series in non-English language history, even though expectations were not particularly high. You just have to enter the platform and take a look at the lists of the most popular series to see that it is also fantastically received in these parts. But what are the keys to this youth proposal? And is it worth it?

Maxton Hall, which is a German production, doesn’t exactly come out of nowhere. It is based on a trilogy of romantic novels by Mona Kasten, published under the titles Save me, Save you and Save us. The starting point, like its universe, are easily recognizable. Ruby Bell (Harriet Herbig-Matten) studies at Maxton Hall, the most elite school possible, where the children of the aristocracy, Arab sheikhs and big businessmen are enrolled: the kind of families that consider that their offspring should only procreate with other heirs of millionaires.

Ruby, however, is not part of the elite. She is the scholarship student. She is intelligent, attractive, but she has developed a gift: that of going unnoticed, with the aim of reaching Oxford unscathed, the university she dreams of entering. But these plans go awry when she sees a professor making out with Lydia Beaufort (Sonja Weißer), whose family has a fashion empire, and her brother James (Damian Hardung) tries to buy her silence. He is conceited, superficial and the most popular boy in school and, since he cannot be otherwise, he cannot help but feel something more than indifference towards Ruby, whom he had never noticed.

The international success is due to TikTok. The videos with the looks between Harriet Herbig-Matten and Damian Hardung permeated beyond the German networks, awakening the curiosity of the international public eager for romantic and adolescent content, and triggering that interest into real consumption. It is a style of success similar to that of Elite: a series that a priori could have remained in its linguistic niche but, as if it were a United States production, has found international consumption. And, consequently, it has been renewed for a second season.

Of course, just because it is a success does not mean that it contributes anything new. It is a series made from genre tropes, especially toxic youth romanticism, with the need to present an unpresentable gentleman who has to reform himself for love while she becomes a modern Cinderella. It also starts from the premise that a girl so canonically attractive can go unnoticed in a school only because she “tries not to attract attention” while she raises her hand in class all day long.

In fact, there is a tired element in the formula used by Maxton Hall. Why, instead of being falsely critical of the school’s elitism, does she not fully embrace the amorality of privileged elites? Why is it always necessary to justify each and every one of the toxic actions of the protagonists? Why, among so many clichés, doesn’t it have the guts to tell something new or in a new way? Because, between traumas, short skirts, queen’s dresses and aspirations to enter Oxford (as if any other university implied the vital ruin of a human being), there remains a series that is too simple.