Show Review: Falsa identidad (2018) [pt. 2]

Oh my gosh, okay, fewer shows have destroyed my heart as much as Falsa identidad. Luis Ernesto Franco has quickly become one of my favourite actors, too – DUDE CAN ACT. Seriously, I have not loved a couple as much Diego and Isabel in a while.

If anyone wants a romantic crime thriller, for sure watch this show!! Has anyone else seen it? If not, you absolutely must. The show’s available on Netflix!

I’m starting Señora Acero now, which stars Luis Ernesto Franco and ¿Quién mató a Sara? star Carolina Miranda. I loved her in that, so seeing them together is awesome! I can’t wait to see how their scenes unfold. It’s so good so far! (I started in season three because the cast swapped out, but it’s not confusing starting here, if anyone’s curious!)

Shows For Hopeless Romantics (multilingual recs)

For those who, like me, adore a good romance plot line and want more of it, I’ve compiled a list of some of my favourite shows that are filled to bursting with wonderful romance, emotions and FEELS. A few have longer reviews attached, and I’ve added where I’ve found them, what language they’re in, and the country they’re set in.

Suspicious Partner is honestly so adorable. It follows a woman who keeps landing herself in trouble entirely unintentionally. It gets even worse when she’s wrongly accused of murder! Her paths cross (and cross again) with the prosecutor, and soon the pair join up to solve the mystery of the death she was accused of. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

The Road to Love follows Cecilia, born and raised in a trucking family and desperate to make a name for herself in a crowd that doesn’t want her to. From episode one, her best friend Fabián, aka Peluche, declares his love for her and proves himself to be the best friend (and maybe more~) everyone wants. [On Netflix | Spanish | Colombia]

Sense8 is definitely a romantic show. Yes, it has a strong sci-fi/action plot line (the fight/chase scenes are AMAZING) but romantic and platonic love drive the show completely and the characters’ love lives take front and centre. [On Netflix | English, Spanish, Korean, German, Icelandic, Swahili, Hindi | USA, Mexico, SK, Germany, Iceland, UK, India, Kenya]

Summertime is such an underrated gem! Set in an Italian beach community, the story follows Summer, the daughter of a musical family who’s become rather jaded due to her father’s long absences to perform, and the romance that develops between her and Ale, a racer who doesn’t want to race anymore after a bad fall. [On Netflix | Italian | Italy]

Where Your Eyes Linger is a short web series that follows the romance that develops between a bodyguard and his friend, who he’s been tasked with protecting. (Longer review here.) [Online web series | Korean | South Korea]

Virgin River is set in a small, idyllic town where a young widowed doctor relocates to heal and start fresh. She bonds with the locals and finds love with a bar owner. There’s something very sweet and wholesome about this show. If you like Gilmore Girls, Ginny and Georgia, Hart of Dixie or Sweet Magnolias, this one is up your alley! [On Netflix | English | USA]

Romance is a Bonus Book is the perfect show for book lovers. The story follows a young woman with no money and no experience, trying desperately to get hired. She’s living in her best friend’s house without his knowledge so that he doesn’t find out she’s homeless. She soon scores a job at his company and romance blossoms as their lives collide. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

One of my favourite costume dramas, Kurt Seyit ve Şura is truly in a league of its own. The story follows a young Russian noblewoman’s romance with a Turkish officer just as war breaks out. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Turkish, Russian, Arabic | Turkey]

Another small town romance (although much different from Virgin River), When the Camilla Blooms blends murder into its romance (like Suspicious Partner) and follows the romance and struggles of a young cop and the single mother he falls for while trying to solve a murder. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

A Discovery of Witches follows a young researcher/professor arrives in Oxford to study in the old libraries only to accidentally find a book that every vampire, daemon and witch are also seeking. She instantly becomes a target for just about everyone – but not if fellow academic (and vampire) Matthew has anything to say about it. (Longer review here.) [On Sky, Amazon | English, French | UK, USA, France]

Crash Landing on You cannot be over-recommended. A woman from South Korea accidentally hang-glides into NK and lands near a solider. Along with his dearest friends, he keeps her alive and tries to plot a way to send her back to South Korea before they’re all found out. This is truly one of the most fantastic romances I’ve seen and it’s the show that introduced me to Korean dramas. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

Bonfire of Destiny, like Kurt Seyit ve Şura, is based on true events. This one is based on a real fire that happened in a French bazaar in 1897. The show follows three women who are in the bazaar and what becomes of them and the men in their lives after the fire. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | French | France]

If you like bodyguard romances like I do (second on the list, woooo), I probably don’t need to say more, but The K2 is truly a fantastic action/romance series. The chemistry between the two leads tugs at your heart in every scene, the soundtrack is fantastic, and the action scenes have some of the best fighting choreography. SO GOOD. [On Netflix | Korean | South Korea]

Okay, so this is a television film not quite a show, but I’m counting it. I adore Richard Madden and Holliday Grainger, so having them both in a show is true perfection. I haven’t yet read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, but I truly adored this adaptation. [On Netflix, BBC One | English | UK]

Cable Girls is everything you want in 1920s romance and intrigue. The storyline follows four woman in Spain working at a telephone company, who find themselves entangled in politics and thievery after a young woman calling herself Lidia shows up with a plan in mind. Little do her new friends know that Lidia has a lot of secrets, many of which include the company’s boss, Francisco. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | Spanish | Spain]

Surely a classic already, Poldark is a great show and totally worth your time. I love Demelza so bloody much and even though Ross wrecks my head at times, they’re perfect and their love is beautiful. Ross also has pretty good politics for the era, so hats off to him! (Longer review here.) [On Netflix, BBC | English | UK]

And last but certainly not least, Timeless. Yes, it’s a show that’s centred on time-travel and conspiracy, but what fuels the show is the love the characters had for those they lost and the love that develops between various couples through its two seasons. There is also a huge emphasis on found family and the importance of friendships. The finale also made it clear that love was the driving factor of the show, and I freaking adored every second. Fear not, lads, it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. (Longer review here.) [On Netflix | English | USA]

Show Review: Falsa identidad (2018)

I’m definitely on a Spanish-language show roll this week. [I also recommend Las chicas del cable and ¿Quién mató a Sara? And at some point I’ll write up a review for Vivir sin permiso.] I stumbled across this whopper of a romance-thriller show at random and fell in love after the first episode.

*SPOILER WARNING EPS 1-7*

The series follows Diego, the wayward brother of rising politician Eliseo. Diego is caught on film stealing petrol and Eliseo reluctantly issues a warrant for his arrest. At the same time, Diego is caught on film with the wife of his fiancée’s father, who also happens to be in charge a cartel. (He gets caught, like, a lot in the first ten minutes, goodness. Not a sneaky sneakerson) Gavino, the head of the cartel, makes it his personal vendetta to hunt Diego down. Now on the run for his life, Diego turns to Eliseo, who is still trying to clean up his mess with the petrol and warrant. Everything rapidly changes when Eliseo’s maid’s dear friend Isabel shows up at Eliseo’s house with her two children, fleeing from her abusive husband, Corona. Eliseo quickly devises a plan to get Diego, Isabel and Ricas, her son out the country, with the aim of her daughter joining them in the US once things settle down. (Eliseo can only get three passports.) Unfortunately, it doesn’t go swimmingly. At. All.

This is very much an on-the-run romance, with side plots developing amongst the characters chasing Diego and Isabel and it’s kept me on the edge of my seat every episode!

Something I noticed throughout the episodes is the running commentary on toxic masculinity and misogyny. Fair warning, this show has a lot of rough elements and dark themes. The main guy, Diego, is contrasted by the abusive Corona and his just-as-terrible father Mateo. (THEY ARE BOTH ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE AND THE WORST AND UGH). But Diego is kind, sensitive. He encourages Ricas to face his fears and tells him that real men show emotion. He talks Ricas through everything step by step and supports Isabel at every turn. And you can see how his conversations with Ricas impact Isabel, who is still expecting the worst after being married to Corona for so long. This dynamic is contrasted by the situation Circe, Gavino’s only daughter, is facing. The misogyny of those around her has left Circe largely on her own, with only her close friend and advisor at her side. Then there’s Lourdes, who has been lied to and abused by Mateo. Her storyline breaks my heart and I hope it improves. I have a feeling that she’s going to cross paths with the other characters eventually, though.

I find Circe an interesting character. When Diego cheats on her and she’s ordered by her father to handle it, she can’t and instead turns on her father. (He, like Corona and Mateo, is also THE WORST.) She determines that she’s going to make her own decisions and quickly becomes a power player in the series. Her hawking is super cool, too. Lady’s got style. I want her to rise up and be rid of José for good. He’s her father’s right hand and so awful, ugh. (THE WORST, etc.)

The relationship between Diego and Eliseo is also great. I love close brother dynamics and theirs is wonderful. Very Prison Break, with Eliseo the calm headed, well connected one, and Diego the wild, kind-hearted one. Both are so well meaning and adore each other. The family dynamics that begin almost instantly with Diego, Isabel and Ricas are great, too.

I’m curious to see where the show goes, but there’s 169 episodes, so it’s going to take a while to find out! Has anyone else watched this show? I’d love to know your thoughts!

Show Review: Las chicas del cable (2017)

I started watching Las chicas del cable after finishing ¿Quién mató a Sara? (which you should all watch, FYI. Season two is a banger!) I wasn’t initially sure what the plot was going to be, but I wasn’t expecting it to draw me in so quickly and now I’m four episodes in and loving it!

*MILD-ISH SPOILERZ FOR EPISODES 1-4*

The plot follows four women in 1920s Spain at a telecommunications company. So basically early telephones, where you tell the operator who you want to speak to. The girls are tasked with being the operators, essentially. When Lidia, aka Alba, arrives at the company with the aim to rob the place in order to settle her debts, she doesn’t intend to find her childhood best friend and beau, Francisco, now a married wealthy man and her new boss. Francisco immediately figures out who Lidia is and determines to help her. THEIR CHEMISTRY IS ON FIRE, YO.

At the same time, Lidia’s new friends Marga, Carlota and Ángeles are all struggling with their own personal problems. Marga is young and timid, and cannot for the life of her pluck up the confidence to face Pablo, a colleague she has a crush on. Carlota is trying to flee her overbearing father who hates the fact that she works and keeps trying to get her fired. And Ángeles is in a terrible marriage with a cheating jerk who is trying to get her to leave her job because he doesn’t want to cease his affair. SO MUCH UGH AT HER HUSBAND.

The women quickly bond, pursing their new found freedoms, helping each other with their troubles, and in some cases exploring their sexualities.

It’s a really well written show, the costumes are fantastic. The music seems quite modern, what with the show taking place in 1928, but it’s not bad music (some good bops, to be honest), it just sometimes feels a little anachronistic in some places. Although I could be totally wrong. I’m excited to see how the political angle of the show develops as well, as there’s hints throughout the first episodes that that’s where it’s going.

My favourite characters so far are Lidia, Francisco, Pablo, Carlota and Marga, but honestly all the characters are well written and portrayed. I feel so bad for Ángeles and I hope she gets some happiness soon. Poor thing. The chemistry between Lidia and Francisco is amazing and they’re my favourite couple so far along with Pablo and Carlota. Not totally sure about Carlos as a character yet, although he’s nice enough.

I thoroughly recommend this show for anyone who enjoys costume dramas and romance-driven narratives (as you can tell, this is my absolute jam).

Show Review: Superstore (2015)

I love a lot of sitcoms: Friends, Schitt’s Creek, Raising Hope, Happy Endings, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, etc, so I’m always on the lookout for more good ones. One that I discovered in lockdown is Superstore. AND IT’S SO GOOD. There’s something truly special about this show, honestly. The plot follows a group of employees at an American superstore and the struggles they face trying to make ends meet and keep good humour in the face of tremendous odds. The plot lines focus on issues like immigration, minimum wage, health care, maternity leave, cost of college, and even the pandemic in the final season (which needs to be added to Netflix because I WANT TO SEE IT). But even when the topics are serious, the show takes a really wholesome, kind, honest stance on everything.

Like, I’m not sure there’s a nicer, kinder, sweeter character on television than Jonah Simms. Behold:

(gifs not mine; source.)

All of the characters are honestly great, though. Amy is so wonderful and inspiring and I JUST LOVE HER. Jonah and Amy’s relationship is straight up GOALS. Their first kiss is absolutely epic, too. Dina and Garrett are also a hilarious couple and their scenes are everything. Glenn, the manager at the start, is freaking hilarious and charming and so, so kind. Cheyenne and Bo always make me giggle. Mateo is so snarky and hilarious, too. It’s a show of simply likeable characters and you want good things for all of them.

Has anyone else watched this show? If you haven’t, you must!

Show Review: Castlevania (2017)

‘Killing you was the point. Living through it was just a luxury.’

This show was never on my radar until the other night when someone used it to describe a book. I looked it up and found out that Richard Armitage, one of my favourite actors, is the lead voice actor. SOLD. For those who don’t know, Armitage is known for his voice work and narrates loads of books. So far I’ve listened to his audiobooks of The Velveteen Rabbit, Their Lost Daughters (need to finish this one), and Sylvester; and I’ve got The Chimes waiting for me. He’s also done David Copperfield, plus more besides. So you know he’s a great narrator!

But I totally ended up falling for the show. It’s a great addition to vampire television. (And I have seen a lot of vampire television shows!) The storyline is imaginative and original, and the artwork is mind-bogglingly good. The look is like a blend of anime and vintage 90s styles. It really reminds me of the 90s animated movies that I grew up with, actually. Kind of makes me nostalgic, yanno? But the storyline is also really great. The show follows Trevor Belmont, the last of his family, fighting against Dracula in ancient Wallachia. Trevor is such a great character. He’s weary and sarcastic and not in the mood for anybody’s shit. His dry humour is such a fantastic addition to the show. He kind of reminds me of Raylan Givens in Justified! (An amazing show, too.)

If you like vampire shows, witty characters and animation, this one is for you! It’s a great historical fantasy action series that reminds me of the 90s in a great way!

Show Review: The Resident (2018)

The Resident is the perfect show for romance lovers, although it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart! The drama and gritty depictions can be super intense!

The show follows a core series of doctors and nurses at the fictional Chastain Hospital. The show spends as much time on the behind-the-scenes drama as it does on the medical cases that follow each episode, but what I really like is how the cast isn’t so big that the stories are spread across a dozen people. There’s only a handful of central characters, however, the guest stars are frequently around for several episodes, so when a patient comes in, you get to see their storyline develop alongside the doctors and nurses, rather than just having new patients/cases every episode. Most medical shows I’ve watched only have the guest stars around for two episodes at most, so the fact that The Resident has the patients’ storylines get as much development as the doctors’ romances is a really great change in storytelling.

The show also spends a lot of time focusing on the ethical side of medicine and the cost of medical care in the US. Many of the plotlines revolve around this, actually, with the doctors in the show often butting heads with a system they feel isn’t fair to the patients.

There’s a few main characters, but so far (I’m two seasons in) there’s really only one super front and central couple, Nic and Conrad. I feel like they are the heart and soul of the show and I’ve been rooting for them since episode one. I don’t just mean they have engrossing storylines, I don’t just mean they have amazing build up and development, I mean: they are supportive of each other from minute one and I really appreciate that.

They start the show as exes who still have feelings for each other. Conrad is the kind of male lead we don’t get a lot of in television. He’s not a womaniser, he’s not a jerk to Nic, he’s not looking around for other love interests, there isn’t a love triangle. It’s actually so refreshing. He loves her and has personal issues that kept them from being more, but he works episode by episode to get her back. THIS IS THE KIND OF RELATIONSHIP WE NEED ON TELEVISION, DARN IT.

For those who like romance and medical dramas, this one is definitely worth checking out. I’m excited to see seasons three and four!

Show Review: Santa Clarita Diet (2017)

I’m so bummed that this show didn’t get a fourth season. It really deserves one. Few pairings have made me laugh as much as Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore. Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo are such a good complement duo, too. For a show about a zombie, this show is so darn cheerful and sunny.

For anyone who hasn’t encountered this glorious horror-comedy, it’s a half-hour show that follows a California family after the mother becomes a zombie. \o/

Zombies in this universe are different than in The Walking Dead, 28 Days Later or Shaun of the Dead. Zombies in this still have their awareness and personality, they’re just alive and rotting away if they don’t eat. (It gets really, really gross, fair warning.) I’d say the zombies in this are most like the zombies in iZombie. But the comedy is probably more Shaun of the Dead, if we’re comparing zombie works.

Joel, the dad, is probably my favourite character. He’s desperate to be a good husband to his undead wife and his comedy is so perfectly timed by Timothy Olyphant. He had me laughing at pretty much every scene. Sheila, the wife, is wonderful. Drew Barrymore is an absolute gem and I love her so much. She’s been one of my favourite actresses since Ever After (BEST CINDERLLA, DON’T @ ME.) Abby and Eric, the younger characters, who are trying to figure out zombies and high school at the same time, are fantastic characters.

Honestly, for a show about zombies, this one is wholesome and lovely. The family aspect is so wonderful and they’re all easy to root for. The humour and jokes are top notch, and I especially love it for not being mean comedy. I like comedy that underscores being kind and supporting each other. Like Bob’s Burgers! Another excellent show, I might add.

Anyways, watch this one. Despite the fact that it was cancelled, it’s well worth a go and the three seasons we got are great!

Show Review: ¿Quién mató a Sara? (2021)

¿Quién mató a Sara? takes chaotic family mysteries to a whole new level. The show follows Álex after he’s wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his sister, Sara. Eighteen years later, Álex is let out and determined to get revenge for Sara’s death, his imprisonment and what his mother endured all the while.

The story flashes back and forth between before Sara’s death, when the characters are all teenagers, and the present, where Álex is going after Rodolfo and Chema, his former friends. Rodolfo was dating Sara when she died and Álex is convinced that he and his father are responsible. Elisa, Rodolfo and Chema’s little sister who was too young to remember Sara, befriends Álex out of curiosity and suspicion – she’s not fooled by all the half-answers her brothers and father are giving her.

SPOILER WARNING

Álex and Elisa were definitely what made me fall in love with this show. I wasn’t sure at first, but as soon as this pair met up, it tied everything together perfectly. And you know what’s so refreshing?? Everyone gets to the point in this storyline! Everyone’s straight forward about where they stand by episode two (except the dad, who’s the WORST, and the mother, for that matter). So, really, the core four are pretty honest, which I appreciated. Álex keeps Elisa apprised of his plans, or at least tells her when he can’t tell her things. They’re a solid couple and they work together so well and it was just refreshing that their storyline didn’t have the drama it otherwise could have.

Chema and his boyfriend Lorenzo had a good overall storyline, although I’m a bit worried about them for season two. I want everything to work out! Lorenzo is such a supportive partner, I love him.

The dad was the absolute worst, I’m sure we can all agree on that. Argh! THE WORST.

This is definitely a binge-worthy show filled with drama, mystery, romance, angst and more. I totally suggest checking it out!

Show Review: Barbaren (2020)

For all the fans of Centurion (2010), King Arthur (2004), The Last Kingdom (2015) and Vikings (2013), Barbaren (‘Barbarians’) is the show for you. Set in 9th century Roman-occupied Germania, the tribes and villages are struggling to stay alive under the repressive, brutal rule of the Romans. To keep the peace, one chief trades his sons to the Romans – years later, ‘Ari’, now Arminius, is a respected Roman soldier who has little in common with his childhood best friends, Folkwin and Thusnelda.

The show is based on the real life figures of Arminius and Thusnelda. Arminius was a German-born, Roman-raised, eventual Germanic Cherusci chief after the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest. It’s not an area of military history I’m very familiar with, but apparently it’s one of the most decisive military victories in history and considered a huge failure for the Roman Empire.

The show begins with a Roman delegation arriving in a Cherusci village and demanding more tribute than the village could possibly produce or survive without. In retaliation, one of the Roman soldiers beats Thusnelda’s brother, permanently injuring him and leaving him brain damaged. Folkwin and Thusnelda swear revenge immediately and decide they’re going to steal the Romans’ eagle standard. You know, the gold-tipped eagle spear that Roman troops brought everywhere. Thusnelda and Folkwin are successful, but their victory is short lived when the Romans return to their village to enact their revenge. Very quickly, lines are drawn between the sides and Folkwin and Thusnelda’s friendship with Ari is put to the ultimate test.

This show is every bit as bloody, violent, painful, sad and tense as Vikings and The Last Kingdom. That said, this show really does bring something new to the table. It’s entirely in German and Latin. Thusnelda is front and centre, and I’m really loving her characterisation so far. She’s a wonderful lady/fighter/sister/advocate and so far my favourite of the main three. Her love for her brother and Folkwin and Ari is just amazing to watch. Ari is very sympathetic, and it’s clear he struggles with his allegiances, just like Uhtred in The Last Kingdom. He gets a bit frustrating at points, but you can see where he’s coming from. Folkwin is fantastic and full of fire, and sometimes I’m just like no, Folkwin, don’t do the thing! And then he does the thing. Oh, Folkwin.

I haven’t finished season one yet, but the show’s already been renewed for season two and I can’t wait to see how it will end.