I desperately need to talk about Alta Mar & how it ended. Buckle your seatbelt & settle in because I am M-A-D & ready to rant. 😡 If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that I love Spanish television. When Alta Mar made its debut on Netflix, I was thrilled. It had some of my favorite things: the 1940s, a murder mystery, & European Spanish (I’m so close to being 5% fluent). Let’s look at a timeline that leads up to the dumpster fire that is 2020:
• ⚠️ • ⚠️ • ⚠️ • T H E R E W I L L B E S P O I L E R S • ⚠️ • ⚠️ • ⚠️ •
11/15/18 – I find out about a new Bambú + Netflix show called Alta Mar
5/24/19 – I start & finish season 1
9/12/19 – I find out the premiere date of season 2: November 22nd
11/22/19 – I start watching season 2
11/23/19 – I watch season 2, episode 2
11/26/19 – I watch season 2, episode 3
12/12/19 – I watch season 2, episodes 4 & 5
1/1/20 – I watch season 2, episode 6
1/2/20 – I watch the last 2 episodes of season 2
7/16/20 – I find out the premiere date of season 3: August 7th. For some reason it’s being marketed as the Bárbara de Braganza’s final voyage. 🤔
8/10/20 – I start season 3 & watch 3 episodes. Halfway mark!
8/11/20 – I watch season 3, episode 4
8/12/20 – I accidentally see a season 3 finale spoiler & a rumor that the show is ending. Signs of impending doom!
8/13/20 – I almost watch the final two episodes but can’t bring myself to do it. I know what’s coming! 💔
8/14/20 – I rip off the bandaid & watch the final two episodes. I SOB!! 😭
From the beginning the show focused on Carolina Villanueva, her sister Eva, & Bárbara de Braganza officer Nicolás Vázquez. Eva & Nicolás were set up as love interests, but then the story took a turn: he had a French wife named Chantal who was arrested & taken to a concentration camp during World War II; he didn’t know where she was or if she was still alive so they were still legally married. When you don’t know that, it’s easy to root for the onscreen couple with red hot chemistry. Once the bombshell dropped, it was impossible to root for a new woman knowing Nicolás had a wife who was in a concentration camp. Personally I think that storytelling choice was in poor taste, especially the latter part. That was the first sign of trouble.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed. I really really REALLY wanted to root for Eva & Nicolás as a couple, but eventually I settled down & was (sort of) okay knowing his character would still be on the show. Boy oh boy did I have another thing coming! His wife showed up at the end of season 2, but I knew that was coming. What I didn’t know was how his character’s story arc would go in season 3. In a shorter season with only 6 episodes, he had less screen time & died in the series finale. The cherry on top was the cancellation of season 4 & the show ending on such a sad note. I don’t understand! Did COVID-19 throw a wrench in the works? Or were they always planning to kill off a main character? Either way the changes hit me out of nowhere & don’t makes any sense. In fact, none of the storytelling payoff makes sense. Why was the chemistry between Eva & Nicolás important if he was married? Why was his reunion with his wife Chantal important if he was going to die? I know the writers were trying to create drama, but it just didn’t work for me. And then, after only two seasons, Nicolás’ death felt like a cruel trick, a send off without warning & a proper goodbye. The cast & show had so much potential, & now I feel like I gained nothing from watching except a whole lot of disappointment. 😢
Apparently I didn’t learn my lesson because I’m once again putting my trust in Bambú & Netflix. They’re collaborating on a new show called Jaguar, & I’m ready to have my heart broken again . . . well, maybe I could do without the heartbreak. I’m ready to fall in love with a Spanish show & love it from beginning to end. 2021, don’t let me down! 🇪🇸
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– Lauren Michele ❤
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