If I Hadn’t Met You
They Won’t Meet
I Shouldn’t Have Met Him
I Don’t Go In
It Is and It Isn’t
The Wings Of A Butterfly
Science Or Arts
If you could go back and do things differently in your life, would you? It’s a tantalizing question for sure and one Netflix’s latest Spanish thriller If I Hadn’t Met You sets out to explore. With a story boasting multiple parallel universes and a well written protagonist at its core, If I Hadn’t Met You is a surprisingly enjoyable sci-fi thriller. Although its story does take a while to get going, the various episodes are varied, chock full of interesting ideas and themes that are explored in a variety of different ways.
The story begins with an introduction to our main protagonist Eduard. A seemingly innocent disagreement with his wife Elisa over their car winds up being the catalyst for a tragic accident to follow. Upon hearing his wife and two kids have died in a car accident, Eduard’s life comes crashing down around him. Ready to end it all and join them in whatever lies beyond this world, a mysterious woman known as Dr. Everest stops him, telling him she can help find what he’s looking for.
This acts as the start of a 10 episode journey into alternate universes, utilizing the same core cast in the show but changing subtle differences as Eduard travels to various different moments in his life, trying to save his wife and kids. What begins as a relatively formulaic journey does get more interesting around the midway point as the plot mixes things up and delivers a few well written twists along with an exploration into both Eduard and his wife’s early lives.
Thematically, the show is all about dealing with grief and moving on. Both physically (traveling to different universes) and mentally (Eduard’s various discussions with Dr Everest and seeing his own alternate self in these worlds) this is explored time and time again and really makes up the crux of drama here. Now, having said that, If I Hadn’t Met You does feel a tad overlong and the series is deliberately slow paced to really make the most of building its characters up. At times, the show plays a little too heavy on the melodrama but does manage to maintain its excitement and intrigue throughout the show.
Despite the concepts being a little different, If I Hadn’t Met You reminds me a lot of another Spanish time-bending thriller, The Ministry Of Time. While the series isn’t anywhere near as long as that colossal show, the themes and general concepts do feel pretty similar, especially the way they’re presented within the special effects and lighting of the series.
It’s worth mentioning too that the start of each episode does recap the events of the previous 5 minutes of the last episode. While this isn’t a deal breaker, it is a little distracting if you intend to binge watch this one given it was clearly aired in episodic format. On top of that, the dubbing for this is really quite bad and I strongly recommend watching this one in the native Catalan tongue for maximum emotional impact.
Overall then, If I Hadn’t Met You is an enjoyable but slightly overlong sci-fi thriller. There’s a conscious effort to try and inject the series with some curve-ball twists and the story doesn’t always go in the direction you expect it to across the 10 episodes. With an ending that leaves the door wide open for a second season and a story dripping in themes around grief and moving on, If I Hadn’t Met You is a pretty decent show. While I still think The Ministry Of Time is the definitive time-hopping Spanish thriller to beat, there’s enough here to make for a compelling watch nonetheless.
Verdict - 7/10