TV Review: 'High Seas' Season 1 Premiere Is Strong Netflix Voyage

High Seas Alta Mar Fernando Fรกbregas Eloy Azorรญn Carolina Villanueva Alejandra Onieva Eva Villanueva Ivana Baquero Nicolรกs Vรกzquez Jon Kortajarena Netflix
Costume drama? Check. Mystery? Check. Single-set location with gorgeous production values? Check. If these things are on your watchlist wishlist, “High Seas” (originally titled “Alta mar”) is the next Netflix series for you. One episode in and yours truly is hooked, thanks to a strong cast of characters and an intricate web of intrigue.

“High Seas” begins with two sisters about to head out on a life-changing adventure in the 1940s. The series opens as Carolina (Alejandra Onieva, left) and Eva (Ivana Baquero, right) are making their way to a transatlantic ship that is set to take them from Spain to a new life in Brazil.

Awaiting them is an extensive cast of characters. Many of whom share a pre-existing connection to the leads. Much like “The Chalet,” a wedding is about to coincide with deadly events. Carolina is engaged to be married to the owner of the vessel. It is not all roses, though.

Unfortunately for Carolina, she and her sister come aboard with a secret. Before she and Eva get on the luxury liner, the car they are riding to the port in hits a distraught woman. The woman insists that she accompany them onto the boat because a man is trying to kill her.

Eva is quick to oblige, while Carolina is more reticent. Nevertheless, the sisters board the ship with the desperate stowaway. What happens next is a sleekly introduced mystery that features an essential ingredient. It is all character-driven. As promised in the intro of “High Seas,” the festivities soon take a dark turn that results in murder.

Who will survive, and who is the killer? Viewers will have to tune in to find out. The Season 1 premiere is incredibly well-directed and paced. There is no shortage of captivating visuals either. With so many players, it is impressive that “High Seas” manages to make thorough introductions to all of them.

The costume design and overall aesthetic are stunning, and the ensemble does a great job of bringing an enigmatic bearing to their characters. Everyone intrigues out of the gate with Ivana Baquero’s Eva providing an essential anchor to the proceedings. She is a likable heroine with ample curiosity that never annoys.

As Season 1 develops, it seems a safe bet to say that there will be more in store for the ensemble to show off as a whole. The premiere sets up the plot well without showing its hand too much. Right away, it is engaging to theorize about the show's mystery and what it may be leading to, and who the culprit could be.

That said, this viewer is in no rush for answers. “High Seas” has a frothy drama at its core that is piping hot. There is no need to blow through it too quickly.

Season 1 Premiere Rating: 8.5/10

The first season of “High Seas” (originally titled “Alta Mar”) is currently available to stream on Netflix.

[Feature Image by Netflix]