A Decision -| Review Score – 3/5
Intimacy is a sizzling Spanish drama that has a lot to say but way too many episodes padding out the run-time. Despite some good acting and important messaging, this 8 episode drama could very easily have been condensed down to a 5-part thriller and been all the stronger for it.
In essence, the story interweaves four different women’s stories together, and then peppers in a litany of melodrama, confrontations and societal messaging for good measure. The real crux of the drama though comes from a sex tape being leaked to the media. The woman in question happens to be Malen, who’s currently the deputy mayor of Bilbao. As the media circus begins to parade this video around, Malen finds her life uprooted and she struggles to maintain a semblance of normality.
That much is especial true for her ex-partner Alfredo and their daughter Leire. Despite giving the impression of them being a couple, the pair have been separated in private and just stay together to keep up appearances. Of course, because of this big scandal, it puts both of them in a difficult situation. That’s before mentioning Leire, who’s caught in the middle of this and finds herself spiraling, especially toward the latter half of this season when she gets mixed up with a pretty sketchy character (no spoilers here!)
Alongside these two women (Malen and Leire) are several other subplots that are interesting but ultimately play second fiddle to Malen’s political escapades. Alicia works as an investigator and serves as the bridge between Malen’s case and another involving a woman called Bego, who wants justice after her sister Ane commit suicide.
After a rather straightforward opening episode, from episode 2 onward the series throws in a whole litany of flashbacks, fleshing out more of Malen’s affair with Cesar and Ane’s woes at work. It’s here where the show’s themes and messaging really double down, as sexism and open prejudices are made abundantly clear across both storylines.
There are some pretty fascinating visual motifs to back up this writing too, and whether it be the framing of windows (two characters talking through a window and a frame separating them both) or something as simple as a camera panning under a table and showing all males in trousers and a solitary female in a skirt, the show doubles down on its idea of systemic sexism and how these scandals can make woman look worse than their male counterparts.
The acting is decent across the board too, with fans of La Casa De Papel likely to recognize Itziar Ituño in the lead role of this one. She brings a god deal of gravitas to Malen, although the other actresses are good too – especially Bego when the script calls for her to be emotional.
Intimacy is a difficult show to binge through though, given the pace this one adopts. This is one of those political dramas that’s quite happy to walk along at a leisurely pace rather than briskly skipping through plot points. Unlike something like Anatomy of a Scandal or A Very British Scandal, this one is far more interested in diving into the psyche of its characters and taking its sweet time to get to the crux of the issue.
The problem with this comes from the ending. Now, I won’t spoil anything here but those sticking it out and waiting to find out what’s happened with the tape will find themselves a little disappointed. The conclusion to this is a bit rushed, especially with Malen’s storyline, and although there is a satisfying resolution to everything, it does feel like more care could have been made around this.
Still, that’s a minor point in what’s otherwise a pretty good series. Its certainly not going to win any awards, but sharp writing, an important theme and a decent acting across the board makes for a good watch. It’s certainly better than Anatomy of a Scandal, but it’s a little too meandering and straightforward for it to stand out next to more scintillating thrillers in the genre.
Verdict - 7/10