CRIMINAL: SPAIN covers the Spanish episodes of the new Netflix crime anthology series Criminal. All episodes are focused on an interrogation at a police station in order to solve a case. Read more about the three Spanish episodes in our Criminal: Spain review here!
Criminal: Spain covers the three episodes of the new Netflix anthology series Criminal that take place in Spain. Yeah, I know, the title pretty much gave that away.
If you’ve already watched a few Spanish Netflix productions, then you should know the quality of them is pretty damn high. Obviously, this means our expectations for these episodes of the new Netflix series was already set to greatness.
Recommended reading: Check out our review of the Spanish Netflix sci-fi thriller Mirage here >
Unfortunately, the episodes weren’t quite able to live up to that. However, the guest stars in each episode were stellar. Particularly the first two! I had more of an issue with the cast of regulars since I didn’t care much about their characters. Overall, the interrogation room and the police station location is identical in all segments. Regardless of which country we’re in.
Also, there are a lot of parallels between the various episodes across segments. Some bigger and some on a smaller scale, but it’s a pretty significant detail that makes this Netflix series a true anthology.
Read more about the three Spanish episodes in our Criminal: Spain review below.
Carmen Machi is Isabel
Episode 1 of Criminal: Spain is about Isabel and features guest star Carmen Machi in the episode title role. If Carmen Machi looks familiar, it could be because you’ve watched the Spanish horror-comedy The Bar. She co-starred in that movie and as Isabel in the first episode of Criminal: Spain, she absolutely steals the show.
In more than one sense, her character is similar to Hayley Atwell’s in the “Stacey” episode of Criminal: United Kingdom. Both Isabel and Stacey are very happy to talk and clearly feel in control. However, they also both have weak spots and (in various ways) have siblings that are part of the crime they’re confronted with.
The Isabel episode is very good and should easily be able to keep your attention.
Inma Cuesta is Carmen
Criminal: Spain episode 2 is about Carmen and she is portrayed by Inma Cuesta with pure brilliance. Once again, there’s a clear similarity to an episode from another segment. Just as David Tennant’s Edgar only said “No comment” for the longest time in Criminal: UK, Carmen keeps saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” for quite some time.
However, once Carmen starts talking, there’s a whole lot to unpack. Also, once again the crime in question has to do with the death of a 14-year old girl. The plot may not be all that new but the performance from Inma Cuesta is breathtaking. She is so intense and raw that I completely surrendered to it.
Out of all the episodes of Criminal Season 1, this might be the most heartbreaking due to Inma Cuesta’s amazing performance.
Eduard Fernández is Carmelo
The final episode of Criminal: Spain is Carmelo and guest stars Eduard Fernández. Just as it was the case with Criminal: United Kingdom, the personal issues of police detectives play a big part of the plot. This is not my favorite angle and as such, the third episode is (once more) my least favorite.
It definitely has elements of something very fascinating, which in great part is due to Eduard Fernández giving a great portrayal of the criminal Carmelo. However, there’s a very invasive problem with the storyline since I do not care for the police detectives in the Spanish segments.
Honestly, I would have prefered if they had kept all the personal stuff out of the plot. Usually, the awesome characters in Spanish movies and TV series are what win me over. Not this time. Instead, I love the guest stars and could do without the cast regulars.
Watch Criminal: Spain on Netflix now!
The three episodes in Criminal: Spain are among my favorites in terms of guest star performances. However, they do not surpass the ones from the UK version even if they are on level with them. In terms of plot, the UK version was much better, which I did not expect.
Afterall, if you’ve been reading reviews here on Heaven of Horror you’ll know we love our Spanish movies and TV series a lot. Along with productions from South Korea, we do have a special fondness for Spanish productions which tend to be raw and brilliant.
Once again, the fascinating part of this Netflix series is seeing both the differences and similaries between countries that are geographically very close. And yet, the culture and laws can tend to be quite different. Only the actual criminals tend not to differ too much.
All three episodes in Criminal: Spain are directed by Spanish director Mariano Barroso. Previosly credits for Mariano Barosso includes the documentary Invisibles (2007) and the award-winning drama Todas las mujeres (2013).
If you tend to enjoy Spanish productions (and Netflix has quite a few of those already), then be sure to check out Criminal: Spain. It should definitely be worth your time if your enjoy crime and thriller series.
Criminal: Spain is out on Netflix from September 20, 2019.
Director: Mariano Barroso
Cast: Carmen Machi, Inma Cuesta, Eduard Fernández, Emma Suárez, Álvaro Cervantes. Jorge Bosch, José Ángel Egido, Nuria Mencía, Daniel Chamorro, María Morales, Javi Coll and Milo Taboada.
Psychological games abound between detectives and suspects in a tense interrogation room, where the search for answers sometimes comes at a moral cost.