Netflix & Binge…Spanish Version

A few months ago I blogged about my Netflix obsession. Well, since we have all been in quarantine for a few weeks now (praying it will come to an end soon) I feel that I have watched everything that interests me on TV and Netflix. I have now become slightly obsessed with the Spanish series and movies from Spain and there are many good ones to choose from. For those of you that do not speak Spanish, no worries, you can use subtitles or even dub them, that’s how good these shows are. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did:

Casa de Papel (Money Heist)

casa de papel

Ranked as one of the Top 10 watched Netflix series, this show is AMAZING! Season 4 was just released this past Friday. La Casa De Papel takes an overused plot and spins a unique story from its common thread. A genius, named Professor, contracts eight people with nothing to lose and enfolds them into a plan to occupy the Royal Mint of Spain, kidnap a couple dozen citizens, and print hundreds of millions of euros. To keep everyone’s identities a secret, the newly contracted bank robbers are named after cities and told to keep all personal information to themselves. However, how interesting would the story be if everyone followed the rules? One misstep after another leaves eight robbers with good intentions, and an airtight plan, left to adapt to all that could go wrong… and does. A story about a bank robbery gone wrong sounds familiar, right? Yet, this story is anything but trite or routine. That’s because it’s hard to tell an ordinary story that’s embedded in humanity and love.

Vivir Sin Permiso (Unathorized Living)

vivir

This has been my second favorite Spanish series so far. Absolutely loved the story line and of course the beautiful sceneries of Galicia, Spain. The plot follows the story of Nemo Bandeira, a drug lord with a clean businessman facade, who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Although he tries to keep the news away from his family it becomes difficult while he tries to assess who his successor might be. Season 1 of the show revolves around Bandeira’s challenges within his family and his business network. Season 2 will see how his second-in-command tries to steal the business empire from its rightful heir, resulting in betrayal, violence and mayhem in Bandeira’s life.

Contratiempo (The Invisible Guest)

invisible guest

I love Jose Coronado (from Vivir sin Permiso above), he is an amazing actor, so of course when I saw he was in this movie, I was intrigued. The international young entrepreneur Adrian Doria seems to have it all in life; wealth, recognition, fame, and above all, a family and a caring wife on his side. But his perfect life is about to crumble like a pack of cards when he is found locked in a hotel room next to a dead body, and as a result, he now stands accused of murder. Under those circumstances and with less than three hours to come up with an impregnable defense as a last-minute eyewitness threatens to turn his case around, Adrian will seek help from the esteemed witness preparation expert, Virginia Goodman, while the clock is ticking. Eventually, as the night drags on, diverse interpretations of the incident will emerge, nevertheless, even though there can be more than one side to a story, in fact, only one can be absolutely real.

Mar de Plastico

mar de plastico

Another great series. Mar de Plástico derives its name from the greenhouse areas in the fictional town of Campoamargo in Almería, whose aerial view resembles a floating sea of plastic (google Almeria on a satellite map). The peaceful cohabitation of fruits and vegetables in the greenhouses is shattered by a woman’s screams and struggle one oppressively stifling evening in the middle of a blackout. The following day, crops and workers alike are soaked in a bloody shower. The blood comes from the brutally murdered woman from the previous night. The woman turns out to be Ainhoa Sánchez, daughter of town mayor. The influence of the political status of the mother of the victim pales in comparison to the inhumane act the victim suffered before and after she died, and the latter is the pivotal reason why the case is sensational. Ainhoa was killed like an animal, she was chained, hanged upside down, her blood was drained while she was alive, and her limbs and head were chopped off and buried in different locations all over Campoamargo. If that is not savage enough, I do not know what is.

7  Años

7 anos

This drama is centered around four friends and business partners who in one evening are forced to find a way to save their company and themselves. The impossible decision they face is agreeing on who will be the one to sacrifice their freedom to save the others from personal and financial demise.

Fugitiva

fugitiva

I have liked Paz Vega ever since I watched Spanglish many years ago. With a thriller format, Fugitiva is a story that revolves around Magda, played by Paz Vega. Magda is an attractive woman who, at a crucial moment in her life, sees her world explode into pieces and is forced to take a drastic decision. In this story, located between Mexico and Spain, Paz Vega is accompanied by Mexican actor Julio Bracho, which plays her husband; and by Roberto Álamo, who plays José K, a private investigator who will closely follow the steps of the fugitive. The creator of the series and screenwriter, Joaquín Oristrell, describes Fugitiva as “the story of 90 hours in the life of a family subjected to an extreme situation in which everyone is responsible, with characters facing constant obstacles and very emotional situations. powerful”.

El Aviso

el aviso

Jon is a young man with a gift for mathematics and an obsession for numerical logic. He is a genius, but lost out on a promising scientific career because of his schizophrenia and had to settle for a job in a copy shop. One night, Jon and his friend David go to buy drinks at a gas station. David enters while Jon waits in the car. Just then, a robbery goes down and a bullet leaves David in a coma. Jon stops taking his medication and, overcome with guilt, he becomes consumed with finding some meaning in the killing of his friend. He investigates past attacks until he comes across the mathematical pattern they follow. Based on this, he deduces that, in nine years, the next victim will be little Nico, unless he manages to get a warning to the boy….

Have you watched any of these series or movies? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Palm Trees in the Snow

Many of us find ourselves indoors right now working remotely and/or with children home from school. What better time to pickup a good book. Here is another one of my book recommendations that I think you will definitely enjoy (also available as a movie on Netflix). I watched the film a few years ago and then recently discussed the book with my book club last month. It’s truly a beautiful love story.

Capture

Palm Trees in the Snow by Luz Gabás  (synopsis)

When Clarence of Rabaltué discovers a series of old letters from her father’s past, she begins to doubt everything she thought she knew about her once-noble family. Her father and his brother worked in the colony of Fernando Po, but these letters tell a different story than the tales of life in Africa that made it to the dinner table. Clarence has no idea what really went on during their time at the cocoa plantations—or why no one in her family has ever returned to the island in all the years since. But the letters suggest that a great love story is buried beneath the years of silence.

Setting out from her home in Spain’s snowy mountains, Clarence makes the same journey across the sea that her uncle and father traveled before her. There, she unlocks the painful secrets her family has hidden in the rich African soil. But what she discovers may also be the key to awakening her own listless heart.

Pickup a copy or download it to your e-reader and enjoy a great read or movie if you decide to watch it on Netflix. Either way you will truly enjoy this story.

Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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Netflix & Binge…

So when I first heard of Netflix a few years back I couldn’t understand what the craze was all about?  After all, I religiously continue to watch Grey’s Anatomy, House Hunters, Blackish, Modern Family and many other network shows, including programs available through HBO, Cinemax and Showtime (The Affair was amazing).

So why would I need Netflix in my life?

Well, flash forward a few years and I can now completely understand.  I am OBSESSED.  So many great series and original movies to watch, and the best part is the binging (is there any other way)?  It’s also great to watch older series that were once on network TV such as Gilmore Girls, Jane the Virgin and The Good Place, which I had never gotten around to watching.  Even my husband has been hooked on a few series. In addition to the fan favorites such as The Crown, Outlander, Ozark and Cable Girls (all highly recommended), here are some of my off the beaten path favorites:

Schitt’s Creek – 5 Seasons

schitt's creek

By far one of the funniest series I have ever watched.  Can’t even choose a favorite character because I love them all.  A wealthy couple, video store magnate Johnny and his soap opera star wife Moira, suddenly find themselves completely broke. With only one remaining asset, a small town called Schitt’s Creek, which the Roses bought years earlier as a joke, this once-wealthy couple must give up life as they know it. With their two spoiled children in tow (who you will fall in love with) and their pampered lives behind them, the Rose family is forced to face their newfound poverty head-on and come together as a family to survive.

If I Hadn’t Met You – 1 Season

If I hadn't Met You

This is a great series I accidentally stumbled upon and the story line captivated me. It is a Spanish (Catalan) series so you will need subtitles.  If you could go back and do things differently in your life, would you?  I think we all have a moment in time when we ask ourselves that question. The plot revolves around Eduard who loses wife Elisa and their kids in an accident. Later, a mysterious woman known as Dr. Everest teaches Eduard how to travel to alternate universes, which leads him to try to find a world in which his family can be saved. It does start off a bit slow, but keep watching the ending is fantastic.  I even got our teenage daughter hooked on it as well, and she loved it.

Bloodline – 3 Seasons
 
Bloodline

This series has an excellent cast, and I personally love Kyle Chandler. Bloodline is a dramatic thriller that explores the demons lurking beneath the surface of a contemporary American family. The Rayburns are hard-working pillars of their Florida Keys community, but their past contains dark secrets that they hope remain buried. Paranoia and mistrust build as lies pile up, alliances are shattered, and an unthinkable crime takes place. The tight-knit family’s formerly harmonious relationship deteriorates, and good people are forced to consider doing very bad things.

Dead to Me – 1 Season

Dead to Me
This is a great series starring two of my favorite actresses.  Jen’s (Christina Applegate) husband recently died in a hit-and-run, and the sardonic widow is determined to solve the crime. Optimistic free spirit Judy (Linda Cardellini) has recently suffered a tragic loss of her own. The ladies meet at a support group and despite their polar-opposite personalities, become unlikely friends. As the women bond over bottles of wine and a shared affinity for “The Facts of Life,” Judy tries to shield Jen from a shocking secret that could destroy her life as she knows it. The dark comedy explores the weirdly funny sides of grief, loss and forgiveness.

Living With Yourself – 1 Season

Living with Yourself
Paul Rudd is one of my favorite actors, so right away I was intrigued, not only by him but by the plot as well.  Miles Elliot lives an ordinary and routine life with a wife and a job. His job is not going well and he and his wife are struggling to conceive. A co-worker, Dan, tells Miles he can improve his life by going to a spa called Top Happy Spa. Despite not knowing what the spa involves, Miles decides to take a risk and spends all of his family’s savings on a visit. Hours later, Miles wakes up buried in a forest, digs his way out and tries to return home. At home, he finds another version of him. Confused, the two Miles decide to return to the spa, which was the site of his last memory before the grave. There he discovers that he has been cloned.

Santa Clarita Diet – 3 Seasons

Santa Clarita Diet
This one is so quirky and definitely worth seeing, just for laughs.  Our daughter started watching it before I did and she kept telling me I would love it.  I have always really enjoyed Drew Barrymore as an actress, but to me it felt as if Timothy Olyphant (plays Joel her husband) stole the show. His character is exceptionally funny.  The story centers around Sheila and Joel, who are living a quiet life, raising their teenage daughter in Santa Clarita, California. Their world unexpectedly changes when Sheila goes through a dramatic transformation that sends her down a road of death and destruction — but leaves her looking and feeling better than ever.

Velvet – 4 Seasons

Velvet
Another Spanish series so again, subtitles, but I promise it will not disappoint.  In 1958 Spain, Galerias Velvet is the place to be seen and shop and it hides one of the most wonderful love stories ever told. The love story of Ana and Alberto. She is a humble dressmaker. He is a young man destined to inherit the majestic empire of fashion that his father manages until now. Amongst fabrics and haute couture dresses that recall a dream life, both of them are willing to break the rules of that time and live their love despite of what others might try to impose them. However, destiny holds for them too many things that will put their true love to the test; so many that will even turn it into something forbidden.

Which Netflix series are you hooked on?  I’d love to hear…

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