The Barrier – Netflix – One Season

The Barrier- or “La Valla” to give it the authentic Spanish title- was certainly worth the 13 hours my household spent with it.

Centred around Spanish society rebuilding itself after “World War 3” the show hints at extreme right wing victory for European politics. Although in the first season viewers never get a glimpse of what the world looks like outside Spain, it does indicate that Spanish forces played a major part in delivering triumph for its allies.

Starting as victory for Fascist forces draws near, we are introduced to the Naval/Mujica families who are clearly very important to efforts of the resistance. Alongside the war- which seems to be fought over control of the important natural resource, water- a deadly virus has began to take hold. The Resistance discover a major breakthrough in curing the disease but with that they present an existential threat to ruling forces.

As the rebellion is stamped out, they begin to evaporate into rural Spain leaving the new government to impose its iron fist on all the major cities and the wealth that comes with them. This includes Madrid (where the rest of the story plays out) which is partitioned into two sectors by a ‘Barrier’- one where the ruling classes live in luxury, wealth and health and the other a plague-torn, working class, poor, service economy.

Lots of realism portrayed via the struggles of those on the wrong side of the divide and a particularly sinister underlying storyline centred around the children of “sector 2” but what prevents this show from being truly great are the bloody annoying lead characters Hugo and Julia who make you want to reach through the screen, give a shake and tell them to get a grip!

Exciting enough that should a second season be commissioned it would be something I would look forward to- particularly if they could spin it off to a different country’s recovery from the war.

Rating: 7.75/10

Viewed: December 2020

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