TV Review: Rating The 'Hache' Season 1 Premiere On Netflix

Hache Malpica Javier Rey Helena Adriana Ugarte Netflix
“Hache” is a new period piece crime thriller with a neo-noir twist. Set in Barcelona circa the 1960s, the Netflix original opens with the hectic scene of a woman running from an angry man. She eventually makes her way into a nightclub. What follows is a nasty scene of her getting accosted, and things do not improve for her from there in the Season 1 premiere.

Be wary of those who offer desperate souls shelter from a storm. They may survive one round of thunder to end up in the grip of another. Helena (Adriana Ugarte) is running adrift when “Hache” Season 1 begins. She ultimately gets ensnared in the web of the sinister gangster Malpica (Javier Rey), who brands those who belong to him.

Helena is up against it, but her plight alone is not enough to make her wholly sympathetic. Mainly because she has a young daughter, she speaks to in a horribly harsh manner that is downright cruel. Why this behavior was included is hard to follow. It is as if “Hache” wants viewers to not to be entirely sold on Helena as a likable anti-heroine. Mission accomplished.

Created by Verรณnica Fernรกndez, “Hache” has a lot going for it in terms of its lead actress. As she has proven in her previous work, Ariana Ugarte is a fantastic actress, and her performance as Helena is no exception. Ugarte is a compelling anchor for the show.

The super talented Eduardo Noriega co-stars as a detective. He does not get too much to do in the Season 1 premiere, but his presence hints at a promising future.

As for the present, Netflix has been the home to many Spanish-language series that have left this viewer spellbound and instantly hooked. “Money Heist,” “High Seas,” and “Unauthorized Living” have been among those to do so.

“Hache” does not quite pack the emotional punch any of those series do when they begin. There is a lack of urgency, and without any notably likable lead characters jumping off the screen in its Season 1 premiere, the hook does not quite get set.

On a presentation level, “Hache” heavily relies on a blurry lens to conjure a throwback feel. An aspect that costuming, music, and set design should accomplish in their own right. The soon-to-be-returningcostume drama, “High Seas,” manages without it. All the fog stands to do is frustrate the ability to see clearly. It does not create a particular vibe or atmosphere.

Ariana Ugarte's performance makes me want to give “Hache” another shot after watching the Season 1 premiere. However, there is so much content to choose from on Netflix, it may be a while before doing so. There are too many options to spend time on shows that do not instinctively pull you in.

Likable characters are a must. Unlike Helena, there is still a chance to make a break for it before getting in too deep. If “Hache” manages to stay on my mind, it could mean getting reeled back in.

Season 1 Premiere: 6/10

“Hache” Season 1 is currently streaming on Netflix.

[Featured Image by Netflix/Weekend Studio]