Home > 

Eva Longoria’s ‘Land of Women’: A Familial Journey in the Spanish Vineyards

The plot of AppleTV+’s Land of Women isn’t exactly a novel proposition. A New York socialite, stripped of her wealth, finds herself in the middle of a small town where she learns some life-changing lessons. Swap out the Hallmark-signature Christmas backdrop for the sun-kissed vineyards of Catalonia, and you get Land of Women. While the Eva Longoria-led dramedy does plenty to infuse its script with the richness that the Spanish countryside has to offer, its reliance on its more comic-thriller aspects, coupled with its intentions to leave plenty of conflict resolutions for its subsequent season, leaves much to be desired.

In Land of Women, we meet Gala Scott (played by Eva Longoria), a woman on the brink of achieving everything she has ever dreamt of—a high-end wine store in the heart of New York. However, her dreams come crashing down when she is suddenly accosted by creditors chasing down her husband Fred’s (portrayed by James Purefoy) debts. With Fred on the run, Gala is forced to gather her mother Julia (Carmen Maura) and daughter Kate (Victoria Bazúa), fleeing to Julia’s tiny Spanish hometown of La Muga.

From the moment they arrive, La Muga presents its own set of challenges for the trio. Gala’s entrance is anything but smooth, as she accidentally knocks over vineyard produce before even setting foot in the town. Meanwhile, Julia realizes that after 40 years, the town still holds old grudges against her.

Based on a novel by Sandra Barneda, the six-episode series gains traction in its first half, thanks to a more slice-of-life approach. Gala’s interactions with the women who run the winery, her will-they-won’t-they subplot with Amat (Santiago Cabrera)—the only man who works at the vineyard—and a Mamma Mia-inspired quest to discover her real father give the series its more relaxed moments. On the flip side, as Julia, Carmen Maura introduces more somber tones to the narrative. Her character, grappling with creeping dementia, often finds herself lost in colorful memories of the past, triggered by her return to La Muga. Maura’s performance is compelling, seamlessly balancing the playful and earnest facets of Julia’s character.

The show tries to weave Julia’s past issues into the broader narrative, creating roadblocks for Gala while Kate navigates her own place within this family tapestry.

Join Get ₹99!

. Land of Women thus finds a comforting, if somewhat predictable, rhythm in delivering a tale about rediscovering one’s roots. However, when the series decides to accelerate this self-discovery journey with the comedic relief of bumbling hitmen, it starts to lose coherence.

As the plot jerks us away from the routine of small-town life, we’re plunged back into Gala’s frantic escape from Fred’s pursuers. A pair of hitmen—who seem like they might have studied villainy through repeated viewings of Home Alone—track Gala down to La Muga. The focus shifts to their antics as they fumble in their attempts to capture Gala, providing a distracting subplot.

Land of Women borrows much of its foundational narrative from comforting films about the chaos and charm of small-town life as an antidote to the grind of big cities. The Spanish vineyards give the audience a new, picturesque setting to enjoy the familiar twists and turns. Despite having six episodes at its disposal, the show doesn’t derive substantial depth from its characters. Beyond Julia and Gala, the script does not sufficiently explore the secondary characters, missing opportunities to enrich the tapestry of La Muga further. Additionally, dedicating considerable screen time to the not-so-impactful hitmen squanders moments that could have been better spent highlighting the unique dynamics of the small-town setting.

Ultimately, Land of Women openly sets the stage for a second season, deliberately leaving many narrative threads untied. Whether the series can anchor itself in its simpler, more engaging roots remains to be seen. There is hope that the second season will focus more on the charm and nuance of the characters and setting, rather than the forced comedic-thriller elements that dilute its potential.

The series has certainly laid a promising foundation, with its blend of picturesque Spanish countryside and rich character backstories. It seems poised to evolve further, ideally homing in on what makes small-town stories resonant and universal. Whether Land of Women can accomplish this balance remains a focal point as it aims for continuity and depth in future installments.