A lmost all religions across the world tell us that there is a guardian angel watching over and helping us every step of the way. Using this common thread of belief, Brazilian TV show Ninguém Tá Olhando (original title) or Nobody’s Looking creates a world of angels called ‘angelus’. The difference between what we believe and what probably happens (or doesn’t) is established right in the beginning with the angels referring to themselves as angelus repeatedly. The show dubbed in English is a parody of beliefs and faith. The angeli like government officers are allocated to humans and work in an extremely bureaucratic manner.
They work without any incentive and cannot ask questions to their superiors. They are expected to be present in crisp uniform comprising a white shirt and red tie and without a hair out of place. They have wings but cannot fly. There is often no logic to what they are doing except for the fact that they are helping humans stay out of dangers. The angelus also have no super powers unlike angels shown in pop culture and cannot make things happen magically except that they are invisible to the human eye. In super palatable 20-25 minute episodes (they get progressively shorter towards the end of the series), the show cleverly dissects our belief in angels and super powers. It also questions: is there a God or a supreme power watching us at all as we are led to believe? One angelus named Uli finds there’s no one called ‘chief’ who is allegedly assigning all the duties and that leads him to question the very existence of his species. The angeli are also shown to have desires and needs like human beings.
In a very telling scene, the angeli head for the latest standup comedy show in town and it turns out to be a spiritual guru talking to a crowd about auras, chakras and guardian angels. While the crowd of humans assembled listen carefully and seem to be entranced by the spiritual talk, ‘a whole office’ of angeli cackle each time the guru talks about the powers of spirits because the angeli know that humans are living in a make-belief world and are unaware of how the angeli function. Angelus Uli then falls in love with a human he is assigned to help and this ensues a series of romantic cliches. The series ends on the note that Uli and his human love interest have reconciled but now she is pregnant with an angelus child, hinting towards the return of a second season. Heavenly angels having children with mortals—sounds right of the Indian mythology sans the preachiness.
(Ninguém Tá Olhando)
Directors: Daniel Rezende
Cast: Victor Lamoglia, Kéfera Buchmann, Júlia Rabello, Danilo de Moura