‘Land of Women’ Series Review: A Bold Getaway in Spain

Land of Women is the new dramedy from Apple TV+, drawing inspiration from the Sandra Barneda novel La Tierra de la Mujeres. It’s a multigenerational story led by Eva Longoria as Gala, whose life has completely come undone in the clink of a wine glass. Apple TV+ has another well-balanced comedy on its hands, providing many laughs alongside inspiring relationships and conversations. It’s not as easygoing as, say Ted Lasso or Acapulco. Still, fans of Longoria will be pleased to see her embodying a role similar to the Desperate Housewives one that catapulted her to fame.

Land of Women is not a singular story

Although the initial impression may have one assuming that it’s all about Gala (Longoria), it’s a wonderfully triplicate story that includes her daughter Kate (Victoria Bazúa) and mother Julia (Carmen Maura). After thugs arrive demanding money owed by Gala’s husband Fred (James Purefoy), she pulls her mother out of a retirement home, and her daughter from boarding school and disguises their escape as a ‘girls trip’ to Spain. Specifically, the tiny wine-making hometown her mother scandalously fled many years ago. Two thugs, Kevin and Hank (Amaury Nolasco and Jim Kitson) are chasing them which forces Gala’s hand to run away, remaining hot on their heels while Fred is nowhere to be found.

Carmen Maura, Victoria Bazúa and Eva Longoria in "Land of Women," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Carmen Maura, Victoria Bazúa and Eva Longoria in Land of Women. Image courtesy of Apple TV+.

Julia left Spain for a good reason and Kate is upset to leave behind her girlfriend Maggie (Layna Sheppard) in the middle of the school year. The inconvenience is compounded by Gala’s inability to tell the truth and keep her story straight to her loved ones. The discovery of the real reason for their supposed getaway is revealed eventually and sets Kate and Julia on high alert. Throughout it all, Fred remains MIA and impossible to contact so the responsibilities (and threats) are shoveled over to Gala. So while the focus may appear to be on Gala, there’s a deep dive into both Kate and Julia’s life.

The cast and setting is a highlight for this mini-series

The northeastern region of Spain where the majority of the show takes place is beautiful and partially remote. The locals who greet (not so kindly) the three women are as rigid as they are hilarious. The first encounter is with Amat (Santiago Cabrera who was also in Star Trek: Picard as Captain Rios!) in the most inopportune manner, as he is now the owner of the former Xatart residence (Julia’s familial home).

As the show’s title suggests, the region has a unique flair, the local cooperative winery is owned and operated by women. The town’s economy relies on wine production and luckily for them, Gala is a highly experienced vintner as she had a wine shop venture before fleeing New York City. It seems like a match made in Spaniard heaven but it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The locals have a justified grudge against Gala as she destroyed their most recent harvest and her American arrogance doesn’t help to endear herself with them either.

Santiago Cabrera in "Land of Women,"
Santiago Cabrera in Land of Women. Image courtesy of Apple TV+.

Meanwhile, Julia contends with the approaches from the local men, who were former lovers of hers, unsure of which one could be the father to Gala. Kate initially struggles with the sudden relocation as she misses Maggie. However, she slowly comes around to another local girl who stands up for her at the local bar when the village doctor breaks physician-patient confidentiality. These new and old-found relationships drive Julia and Kate throughout the series and they’re equal parts hilarious and heartfelt.

These events are, of course, happening in an idyllic small village with rows of grapes as far as the eye can see. The houses are quaint but cozy, and the people who reside within them are humble and hardworking, just a touch too gossipy because of the small population. It’s quite the contrast to New York City whenever flashbacks occur and shows the lavish lifestyle, enjoyed by Gala and Fred, in Manhattan. It’s a nice back-and-forth to see the huge condo atop a tall building for a few moments and then flip back to the old vineyard.

Romance meets circumstance

It would be a tragedy not to put a little spin on Gala and Amat, adding a little flame while they sort out their respective business. Of course, there’s the pressing issue of Gala being married and Amat’s own….entanglements, a word used to keep the interaction polite. Julia was never prepared to return and having her memories flood back to her also slightly agitates a forgotten romance that likely led to Gala’s birth. Then you have Kate whose frustration through her inability to communicate with Maggie, allows the local girl to find a place in her heart.

As the series nears the end, there are developments for all three women that leave the statuses open-ended, giving a chance to explore if there is more to this story. Even the hanging threads hold some level of satisfaction, almost giving the audience what they want but knowing exactly how to leave them wanting so much more. The excitement of it all still rings high while the risk factor increases, if anything, the danger to their lives only amplifies these relationships.

Final/Overall thoughts on Land of Women

The only disappointing part of this show is how brief it is, six episodes were fantastic and just left me wanting another season immediately. It’s also a testament to how concise and focused the story, plot, and characters are all assembled simply and beautifully. It’s also great to see Longoria speak Spanish, lead a show, and remind us why she’s a television star. The final episode also holds some shocking cliffhangers that will hopefully warrant another few episodes to resolve. There is still quite a lot of ground to tread and results to see and this series is definitely one to watch.

Land of Women premieres with two episodes on Apple TV+ starting June 26th.

New episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays. Learn more about the miniseries, including how to watch, at the Apple TV+ website for the title.

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