'Land of Women' series review: Eva Longoria-directed family drama needs some introspection

'Land of Women' series review: Eva Longoria-directed family drama needs some introspection

A scene from 'The Land of Women'

A scene from 'The Land of Women'

The Story of AppleTV+ Land of Women This is not a new proposition. A New York socialite, deprived of her wealth, finds herself in the middle of a small town, where she learns some life-changing lessons. Replace the Hallmark-signature Christmas backdrop with the sun-bathed vineyards of Catalonia, and you get Land of Women. Although this Eva Longoria-directed dramedy tries its best to incorporate the richness of the Spanish countryside into its script, it falls short due to its reliance on comedy-thriller aspects, and its intention to leave enough room for conflict resolution for the upcoming season.

Gala Scott (Eva Longoria) is about to have everything she dreamed of – a high-end wine store in New York, but she has to give it all up when her husband Fred's creditors harass her. After Fred (James Purefoy) flees, Gala takes her mother Julia (Carmen Maura) and her daughter Kate (Victoria Bazua) with her and flees to Julia's small Spanish hometown of La Muga.

The three have a number of troubles in La Muga. Gala makes a bad first impression by accidentally destroying the vineyard's crop, but before even entering town Julia realizes that even after 40 years the townspeople still look down on her.

Land of Women (Spanish, English)

Creators: Ramon Campos, Gema R. Neira

Mould: Eva Longoria, Santiago Cabrera, Victoria Bazua, Carmen Maura, and others

Episodes: 6

Run-time: 45-50 minutes

StoryWhen her husband disappears due to financial troubles, a New York socialite finds herself stranded in the middle of a small wine-producing town in Spain with her mother and daughter.

Based on Sandra Barneda's novel, the six-episode series offers a slice of life vibe in its first half. Gala's interactions with the women who run the winery, her will-they-won't-they subplot with Amat (Santiago Cabrera) – the only man working at the vineyard – and a Mama Mia-inspired quest to track down her real father gives the show its more spontaneous moments. As Julia, on the other hand, Carmen Maura brings a more serious tone. With her dementia, Julia often transports herself back in time, and the memory lane in La Muga is more colorful. Maura plays the fun-loving family matriarch with ease, and handles both cheeky and serious parts, with a completely charming screen presence.

Julia's past issues are currently causing obstacles for Gala, and Kate is finding her place in the clan, Land of Women The story of a man returning to his roots has a comfortable, if predictable, rhythm to it. But, when it chooses to push this journey of self-realisation at a fast pace with the help of some foolhardy hitmen, the script goes awry.

A scene from 'The Land of Women'

A scene from 'The Land of Women'

Taking us away from the routine of the small town, surrounded by the confusion of the people of New York, we are back to the story of Gala's escape, who is trying to get back the money she borrowed from Fred. Two hitmen – who clearly look like they have learned villainy from watching home alone – The pursuers descend upon La Muga, following Gala's trail. The second half of the show focuses on their antics, as Gala finds new ways to evade them.

Land of Women Its basic narrative borrows a lot from cozy movies about moving away from the big city and settling into the unique chaos of small towns. With the backdrop of Spanish vineyards, we get a slightly new angle to enjoy the expected ups and downs. However, despite the show having six episodes at its disposal, there isn't much material to get from these characters. Apart from Julia and maybe Gala, the script ignores the journeys of those around them. Also, a segment dedicated to some less-than-impressive hitmen takes away time that could have been spent coloring the outline of La Muga.

Land of Women The show is clearly gearing up for a second season, with a lot of loose ends to tie up. Hopefully it will be able to return to its roots, as a show that is made better with simplicity.

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