For decades, Malta has been an unsung hero of the cinematic world. Our magical screenworthy scenery has been used to portray the battlefields of Greek myth in Troy, two different continents in The Known World of Game of Thrones, and a multitude of different real-world countries (see Munich, By The Sea, World War Z).
But when it comes to admitting that Malta is a real country with its own beating heart and culture, the cinematic world has been far less kind to us. And honestly, no one’s been a more of a prick to Malta than Netflix has. As a small nation, we rightfully get excited whenever our island gets mentioned in an international production, so we compiled a list of the Maltese mentions in Netflix shows. It was funny at first, but soon turned pretty frikkin’ hurtful.
1. The Red Sea Diving Resort
One of the more recent mentions, this begins with a group of secret agents practising their fake identities and accents ahead of their mission. But when it comes to the guy who is meant to be Maltese, well they just decide to take the piss…
According to the film, no one knows or cares about Malta (sad face).
And that accent’s bloody awful. You know the scene in Inglorious Basterds when Brad Pitt tries to speak Italian? Eerily reminiscent.
2. Queen of the South
I guess this is one of the better mentions. A few episodes at the beginning of the third season are based here, which is way better than being the butt of a 15-second joke. But wait, why did Teresa Mendoza, the show’s protagonist relocate to Malta? Oh riiiiiiiiiight, she lost control of her US/Mexico drug cartel and Malta is obviously the perfect place to build a European narcotics empire. Thanks Netflix.
Still, the production quality isn’t bad; check out a Malta scene for yourself!
This is the most comprehensive catalogue of Maltese meanness you’re ever likely to come across. The series follows a group of counter-terrorism agents, and this particular scene sees the characters first treat Malta with the same casual dismissal that The Red Sea Diving Resort does, and then have the gall to take the piss out of our cash-for-passports scheme.
Discussing their suspects’ country of origin, one operative asks whether or not the suspects are Turkish, which prompts the reply, “According to what I heard, they rode in on Maltese passports.”
The third agent laughed off the suggestion, in a true moment of ‘who cares about Malta?’
“Suicide bombers from Malta? Yeah, I’m waving the bullshit flag on that one”.
While, it’s a good sign that they don’t associate the Maltese with terrorism, we’re sure a small part of everyone watching thought, “Fuck you, we can be whatever we want to be”.
Then, they finalised their discussion with some casual speculation about the price of a Maltese passport. While our citizenship scheme isn’t one of the Europe’s most financially daunting, their evaluation of around €100,000 is frankly insulting.
4. Deadwind (AKA Karppi)
To Finnish off this list, we’ll fly up and take a look at Netflix’s Nordic series, Deadwind. The series follows a homicide detective who returns to the force after her husband dies in an accident.
Around 25 minutes into the third episode, a couple of old friends are catching up, and here’s the exact conversation that goes down:
“How come you’re here? Didn’t you move to Malta?”
“You ever been to Malta?”
“There are only pensioners and tax exiles.”
Believe it or not, despite that damning description, the next line can briefly be interpreted as a positive sentiment towards the island. Briefly. As in, until the line after that.
“Sounds like paradise.”
“It’s not. That’s why I came back.”
BONUS: World War II In HD Colour
At last, a positive (and true!) portrayal of Malta takes flight on Netflix.
The show combines original and colourised footage to paint a picture of Malta unlike any we’ve ever seen. Seeing our beloved landscape being attacked is honestly heartbreaking, but showcases the Maltese determination and spirit that never wavered during those hard years. There’s a reason why they could never bring us down.
There’s quite a few great shots of Malta throughout, but we’re really showcased in the sixth episode, entitled The Mediterranean and North Africa.
Still, that doesn’t mean we’re forgetting literally every other Netflix shoutout on this list.