High Seas

The style and the story will appeal to dieselpunks, although the show tries too hard to keep us watching.

Alta mar

From the moment the Villenueva sisters Eva (Ivana Baquero) and Carolina (Alejandra Onieva) decide to smuggle a woman who claims to be in mortal danger (Manuela Vell├ęs) aboard their transatlantic journey to Brazil, Alta mar (High Seas) does not relent on surprises. Every one of its eight episodes, currently streaming on Netflix, brings a new twist or turn, usually toward the end in a bid to make you binge on the Spanish series.

It works. The show is great fun. Set in the aftermath of World War II, both the style and the story will appeal to dieselpunks. The costumes and art deco decor are beautifully done. The dark-family-secret theme starts off well enough.

It gets too dense toward the end of the season. Villains become heroes and become villains again. The grand finale is over-the-top.

It doesn’t help that there are two subplots going on that have little bearing on the main storyline. The show tries too hard to keep us watching and it doesn’t have to. Everything else — the actors, the setting, the sets — is perfect. The writers should slow it down.

The cliffhanger at the end of the season doesn’t bode well. There is a risk of the series becoming incredulous. I hope that won’t be the case.

If you don’t speak Spanish or like to read subtitles, know that the series comes dubbed in English, French, German and Italian as well.

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