‘Criminal’, an exciting game for police thriller lovers

Criminal’ is a Netflix gift for all of us who love police thrillers with amazing interrogations. Genre in its purest form that hides behind it a very fun game. ‘Criminal’ are four series in one. Netflix has wanted the same concept to be developed in four different European countries: Spain, United Kingdom, Germany and France. The action of all of them takes place in a visually identical police station. In each chapter an alleged criminal will be interrogated by local police to discover the truth. Four series with the same decoration but with radically different cases and characters.

The concept of ‘Criminal’ is brilliant, it allows us to see the different ways of addressing gender depending on the country. For example, the three Spanish cases are formally very classic, they seem to be the work of Arthur Conand Doyle himself. However, the British mark their own to dive into the most smelly psychological sewers of criminals from the first minute. The best thing is that gender, addressed in one way or another, always works. This series is script and interpretation in its purest form. He has no time for any ornament.

If ‘Criminal’ works, it’s because it has good, well-built stories, the characters are interesting and the actors defend them very well. As there are differences between them, I will briefly talk about each one separately, scoring them so that you know which ones I liked the most, and obviously without doing spoilers. I present them from highest to lowest score


The British handle this genre so well that it seems they invented it. It is true that they are not the best interrogations that a British series has given us (it is not ‘Line of Duty’, far from it), but they are the best of those given by ‘Criminal’. Just watch the first episode, with a wonderful David Tennant, to know that this is not a game and that the drama here is not only felt, but chewed. The first and the third chapter are brutal.


It has been a surprise, how well constructed the cases are and how they play with the viewer’s perception, but above all for the good choice of the theme of each case. It deals with everyday aspects such as machismo, terrorism or homophobia. The first episode investigates a survivor of the massacre in the room Bataclan, a woman who lost her boyfriend in the attack but who seems to hide something. I repeat myself, but the first and the third chapter are brutal.


The least dramatic bet, but no less effective. In Spain we like to spend a little on tiptoe in the drama, not to stain our hands excessively, but also end up telling a rocambolesque case. A little more stone cardboard, yes, but effective. It’s like being in the theater. Carmen Machi is wonderful, as always. Inma Cuesta breaks records to show us her most torn side. The case of Eduard Fernández is the one that has left me the coldest of the three.


German cases have been the least powerful of all. Partly because it is the one that neglects the stories of the police themselves, who end up being a great distinction between each of them. And partly because the cases are the simplest, not because the narration is simple but because it doesn’t get the surprising blow that the rest do so well. Despite this, it is well approved, if you see the other three do not leave this one, that way you close the circle as it deserves.

‘Back To Life’, the last British dramedia that you have to see yes or yes

There are so many series that we want to see that we end up forgetting many of them, because it is materially impossible to find enough time to sit down and watch them all. The vast majority are productions that are making the big screen begin to be the little sister of the audiovisual world. We are saturated with series, with exceptional quality, yes, but it is increasingly difficult to find characters that fall in love, of those who end up becoming an appendix of yourself, getting you to cry and laugh at your side without even realizing it. ‘Back To Life’ is one of those few series that goes straight to the heart. A superbly balanced dramedia starring a woman who tries to rebuild a broken life in the past.

After spending 18 years in jail, Miri faces the challenge of reintegrating into society. In his thirties, without work or friends, he can only do one thing: return to his parents’ house in a small town in England where the crime he committed is still very much alive in the minds of his neighbors. The series are jugs of raw reality seasoned with good doses of black humor. I love the ability of the British to find the less dark side even in the toughest moments. Because as much as life gives us the trip we must get up, look up and move on. A moral that is difficult to sell when you do not sweeten the cruelty of the world.

After ‘Back To Life’ are the producers of ‘Fleabag’, another great series that anyone who has not seen it should also. Both share this duality between drama and optimism, with a humor with its own personality and captivating characters. Daisy Haggard (‘Episodes’) is magnificent giving life to Miri, what nuances she brings to the character. The truth is that character construction is one of the great successes of the series, always moving between two waters, as in life. Because let’s be honest, we’ve all broken a plate sometime. Life is full of grays, not blacks and whites.

Back To Life’ has taken the place of ‘Fleabag’ on the BBC and, despite the challenge it posed, it has become a huge audience success. It is a series with a lot of British flavor. Of those jewels that usually give us in small jars: six chapters of 25 minutes. Very few episodes for many emotions and reflections. How difficult it is to make stories so everyday but so special at the same time. By the way, Daisy Haggard is also a co-writer as well as a protagonist. I recommend that you see it because it does not disappoint. It looks like a sitting.

‘Beforeigners’, ventures and misadventures of temporary refugees

At this point in the seriefile boom we have seen many series about people returning after death or disappearance. Titles such as the French ‘Les Revenants’, the American ‘The 4400’ or the Australian ‘The Glitch’ have gotten into these temporary waters that often cost it to go out without falling into inconsistencies. We know that playing with time is not easy, but it is more difficult to surprise with these plots. The last to be able to surprise with such a story have been the Nordics.

Beforeigners’ starts with the inexplicable appearance in the Oslo fjord of people from the past. But not only from a recent past, no, there are individuals from prehistory, and Vikings, with their skins, swords and tattoos included. This will create a new social framework with great cultural, religious and technological differences. They are emigrants of the past and the mission of the Government is that all live in harmony respecting the customs and beliefs of others.

From first visually it costs a little, to see a Viking from head to toe next to a policeman of the 21st century. But these dares are what make ‘Beforeigners’ different and, above all, entertaining. It is not a series to break the head, nor for dense dramatisms. It is a series to disconnect and entertain with light stories that hide very original ideas that work better or worse, are different, risky and very enjoyable.

The transverse plot of the series is the investigation of a mysterious murder in Oslo. The case will fall to Detective Lars Haaland and Detective Alfhildr Enginnsdottir, the first agent of Viking origin who enters the Norwegian police force. She will strive to integrate into the police force, hiding her past as a Viking squire. The research, without being anything from the other world, handles Norwegian mythology very well and constantly plays with the characters and cultural clashes.

Beforeigners’ is more enjoyed by the whole than by the specific case. More important is what they remember from their past and what they want to do with the world of the 21st century. A series that despite the triviality of its plot reflects on an issue as important and current as refugees. In the end, those appearing in ‘Beforeigners’ are temporary refugees, they don’t come from another country but from another era. They face endless threats of personal identity and social acceptance.

Despite the prominence of the two policemen, it ends up being a very choral series, in which the script is increasingly branching out more and more introducing new characters that, despite appearing secondary, will end up being decisive. The season closes giving many answers but leaving the door open for a new installment, which if it receives the approval could be even better than the first (the plot that remains in the air promises a lot).

‘EastSiders’, an author series about the imperfect love of two men

The first two episodes of ‘EastSiders’ were released on YouTube in December 2012. A web series with few resources ready to tell an LGBT story that would never have had a place on an open television. The two episodes were viral, which allowed them to get the money for a full first season through crowdfunding. From there everything has gone up, with three seasons already recorded, a fourth (final season) about to see the light, and already part of the Netflix international catalog. A more than deserved success for a series with magnificent scripts, an author photograph and a great ability to get into the psychology of his characters.

EastSiders’ tells the love story of Cal and Thom, two complex and imperfect men looking for their own way in a chaotic world full of pre-established rules. Because in love, as in the rest of life, not everything has to be white or black. There should be nothing preconceived as “normal.” Life is what we want it to be, what works for each of us. Cal and Thom’s relationship follows its own rules and reinvents itself at every step. They are not perfect or want to be, all they want is to be happy, nothing more.

If there is something that characterizes ‘EastSiders’, it’s not the typical gay story. He does not wander about stereotypes, but rather engages in a relationship with problems that do not understand sexual orientation. A series with homosexual and heterosexual characters with which he addresses the same problems. The plots flee from the extravagant, from the stereotypes, from the clichés, from the eccentric. They are everyday stories with captivating narrative strength and coherence, full of background reflections that do not impose, that only invite you to open your mind and have each create your life as you please.

I am amazed at the evolution of ‘EastSiders’. The first season is a web series format, it shows that resources are limited, but it has a script and a surprising narrative and visual invoice. The second season has more budget, reinvents itself, expands the theme even more, without losing any strength in its scripts. And the third is the maximum reflection that Kit Williamson (creator of the series) is capable of anything. An author, intimate, thoughtful and agile delivery that squeezes its characters to the fullest by reinventing the way of narrating.

EastSiders’ is a series that has found itself, taking full care of the development of its characters and trying to open its reflections as much as they could. A fiction that has managed to combine drama and comedy addressing all kinds of topics. Worth. It is not another LGTB-themed series. The fourth season, still to be released, will be the final closing of the series. In this post the creator tells how the creative process was and how the series has come so far.