Do you like watching shows that are long in length and don’t fall in the category of thrill or science fiction? For me, it depends on the quality of the first few episodes. Hence, I decided to give Alba, a recent Spanish show streaming on Netflix, a chance.
The most recent Spanish series I watched was The Longest Night; before that, I had seen Wrong Side of the Tracks. Both had their pros and cons. Furthermore, dramas from Spain are quite popular in Asian countries.
Let me give you a quick summary of my Alba review to put things in perspective.
Alba Review Summary
Despite being a massively stretched series, Alba keeps you engaged for the most part. The show’s biggest asset is its storyline, which trumps the concept by a fair margin. However, some things go against Alba when seen as a whole.
Alba Series Synopsis
Alba, a woman in her early twenties, wakes up alone on a beach carrying evidence of physical assault and rape. However, she doesn’t remember anything about what happened the previous night. It is only later she learns that her boyfriend’s (Bruno) best buddies drugged and raped her.
Was Bruno also a partner in crime? Will Alba get justice? This Spanish drama streaming on Netflix explores the aftermath of Alba’s rape and assault in detail.
Based on a Turkish show, Alba stars Elena Rivera (Alba), Eric Masip (Bruno), Alvaro Rico (Jacobo), Pol Hermoso (Ruben), Jason Fernandez (Hugo), Miquel Fernandez (Tirso), Bea Segura (Clare), Franky Martin (Tońo), Caterina Mengs (Bego), Adriana Ozores (Mercedes), and Ana Waganer (Marta) in lead roles.
Number of Episodes: 13
Alba Series Duration: 11 hrs. 36 Minutes
What works for Alba?
Alba’s story is its backbone. The show’s original writers have given utmost consideration to every minute detail. They leave no thread untouched and consistently present novel elements to keep you hooked.
Another reason why the storyline of Alba must be appreciated is the utilization of characters. I have been watching a plethora of shows lately, and a common thing in them has been the underutilization of actors, which is not true for Alba.
This Spanish show gives importance to all individuals.
When a show revolves around one character, it must have ample stimulation to let the audience feel close to that individual. People should be part of the sorrows she is going through, the hurdles she is facing, and the challenges she must conquer.
Alba creates situations that indeed put you in close proximity to the lead. As a human, you want the truth to prevail and the culprits to suffer punishment. The base for such feelings is produced using powerful emotional settings, thanks to the startling performances and a taut storyline.
Unless there is a certain environment of seriousness, you cannot feel intense in the middle of your life because of a lengthy web series. It demands an intricate set up to put things into perspective. Alba does well to grab what is at hand and plot it in the right place to bring results.
The show never unnecessarily exposes its cards to set things up for the story.
If you have been reading my reviews, you know that I give importance to intentions. The purpose of a story is as necessary as the story itself. Alba objectively targets patriarchy and the lame mindset of some people.
We are into the third decade of the 21st century, and still, consent is seen as a mere formality in several countries. I always thought Asian countries were more regressive in their approach, but now I realize such a mindset is like a virus that doesn’t see boundaries.
Why is Alba so long? Because it wanted to cover every aspect of an abuse case. The series was not aimed to be short-lived. Furthermore, Alba succeeds in covering all the elements of the story with ease, given the extensive runtime.
Had there been strings left untouched, the length would have felt a mere formality, which is not the case.
Elena Rivera plays the titular role of Alba in this Spanish show on Netflix. Characters with such essence in the plot need to be flawless every second of the runtime. Even a tiny mistake can wreak havoc in the minds of the audiences. Rivera ensures her act remains unblemished from start to finish.
She aces her expressions and body language while maintaining a distinct personality. Knowing herself to be at the center of attraction, Elena withstands the enormous expectations and delivers a contained yet scintillating performance.
I cannot point out one best part of her outing. Whether emotional scenes, intense sequences, or joyful moments, Elena Rivera outperforms herself every time. She gets under the character’s skin and brings out an honest portrayal.
Eric Masip as Bruno plays the second lead to Alba. He’s charming from the outset; hence, I had reservations if he could handle challenging scenes. But Eric hardly ever disappoints in this series originating from Spain.
His authentic appearance holds prominence as Masip blends several shades with his crude personality to become Bruno. Furthermore, the actor impresses while depicting scenes having depth.
Alvaro Rico, as Jacobo, uses his stylish appearance to the best. He allows the character to grow and then mends ways to ensure it has an independent identity. Rico’s grand mien is the trademark of his performance. How he carries Jacobo during good and bad times adds credibility to his act.
Ruben’s edgy character is portrayed by Pol Hermoso. He’s an entertaining actor who can infuse natural humor even in serious situations. There’s no trace of dullness when Pol occupies the screen. The brilliant Spanish performer consummately deciphers the inner conflicts of Ruben and presents them effervescently.
Jason Fernandez as Hugo does an outstanding job in Alba. Particularly, he perfects the anxious moments carrying extreme significance in the show’s context. Jason’s expressions don’t seem fake, made-up, or far-fetched, which is usually the case with multi-layered parts.
Be Segura is sweet and simple, and let’s her actions do the talking. Although her outing isn’t too overt, Segura still manages to steal the limelight. Miquel Fernandez plays a cop in Alba and never disappoints the audience. His performance is a mixture of genuine pauses and camouflaged expressions.
Furthermore, Franky Martin as Tońo surprises you with a detached excursion. As a brother, he fills authenticity in the act, and as a husband, he allows the innocent side to crop up. Martin sometimes amazes you with sparkling tidbits, given his lack of screen time.
Everyone else in Alba has performed well to not let a long-duration show falter halfway down the road.
What Doesn’t Work for Alba?
For a 13-episode long series, length was always going to be the talking point. On average, each of Alba’s episodes last for fifty minutes. Therefore, you must clear around 11-12 hours if you want to binge it in one go.
Moreover, the length might feel discouraging even if you divide your streaming cycle. The most significant setback of overlong shows is the arrival of something more invigorating than them. Though I didn’t give it a break, I preferred watching Resident Evil before Alba.
Slow in the Middle Phases
The Spanish show is mostly tolerable and never feels out-of-shape. However, it does get extremely slow in the middle phases, right before the court proceedings. As a result, you are faced with dreariness and feel somnolent.
Since the theme of Alba surrounds a serious issue, you must come prepared for the long haul.
All it boils down to is TIME! If you can take time from your schedule to watch a series that does not have an entirely novel plot, Alba must be on your watchlist. However, if 13 episodes are way too much, you are free to skip it.
I would suggest watching Alba for the story or at least giving it a try with the first three episodes.
Is Alba a true story?
No, there’s no official disclaimer of Alba being a true story.
Did Bruno go to Jail in Alba?
No, Bruno probably didn’t go to jail, thanks to Hugo’s letter.