Stick with the singing Carlos, please!


Photo courtesy of Disney+

Would you believe me if I told you Disney+ made a show host one of the most essential artists in Colombia? This is The Low Tone Club.

The Low Tone Club is a Colombian comedy-drama released on Disney+ and premiered in February 2023. Amaranto Molina, played by Colombia’s own Carlos Vives, as aband teacher started a class at the Ultranova institute. He is intended to follow every instruction that the conservative school imposes. But he doesn’t.

The series’ plot varies as Molina tries to teach his class in an unconventional way, often disapproved by the famously strict director Mr. Kramer. Everything portrayed in the show is based on predictable things and poor acting skills. The entire show focuses on Molina’s struggle to deal with the institute’s harsh rules and his PTSD caused by its way of teaching. The plot is well constructed but lacks a sense of surprise and unpredictability. 

The Low Tone Club is not the type of series that attracts viewers to watch one episode after the other; the transitions between episodes are not as engaging as it is expected from a drama. However, this show portrays Colombian culture through traditional music, instruments, and the fact that Carlos Vives plays the main character. Although Carlo’s acting skills are lacking, the show aims to teach life lessons more than quality itself.

El Espectador described the show as a plot that highlights messages linked to the importance of teamwork, diversity, and passion for your work. For instance, the lesson is shown when the institute separates all students into either the high or low tone club, in which the “High” is a select group of the best music students and the low is the rest. Molina makes it for the Low Tone Club to be secure and do much better than the snooty High Tone Club members.    

The protagonist, Amaranto Molina, is portrayed by well-known singer and composer Carlos Vives. This is the first time in 30 years Vives acted in a movie or show. It somehow explains why he’s rusty or has a lack of experience as an actor. However, there are many scenes in which he does what he’s best at, singing and composing. 

Molina is not capable of following Kramer’s narcissistic way have control over the institute. He secretly teaches his students tunes, instruments, and way of thinking knowing that this could lead to some trouble. There is an episode in which he builds a marimba for a student who knew how to play it but was banned from the institute. Kramer’s response to this was that he furiously destroyed the instrument and made it look like an accident. 

Vives has publicly addressed that Molina is a reflection of himself, saying that they both find music everywhere. Shortly after, Vives released a new music album called El Club De Los Graves containing 12 songs used in the show. Each song has a symbolic meaning connected with the series Rompiendo Muros, Lo Que Ves Es Lo Que Hay, and Un Mundo Feliz, making reference to some of the meanings behind the show.

Even though acting is not particularly the strength of this show, there is one thing that drags the audience along, music. All the students of Molina’s class are talented musicians that play traditionally styled music with a modern twist that fits just perfectly with Vive’s journey exposing musical elements from every corner of Colombia. Molina is a shy and simple guy that didn’t want to fit into the Ultranova stereotype, he just wanted to spread his love for music to all his students and people around him. Molina can be compared with John Keating from the Dead Poet Society played by Robin Williams. Mr. Keating was a shy and noble man with a particular way to teach his students philosophy challenging the institution’s rules. Except Williams was a much better actor!  

In conclusion, it is clear why this show has been a hit not just in Colombia, but internationally as well. The Low Tone Club wants to transmit and romanticize the idea of being different, breaking barriers, and being one’s self. Despite being brand new, this show has no awards yet but earned its spot in one of the most prestigious entertainment media apps. An uncut gem!