‘Hierro’ benefits from what we like the most to those of us who, in theory, spend our time watching series instead of spending time with any series. Of what we who are not slaves of the sofa like and choose what, when or how: That they tell us a story with the stroke of the script, not of effect. We all like it when Drogo spits fire … but what we end up arguing, even violently and bitterly, is why he does it. This is, by history.
‘Hierro’ is not a series based so much on the twists – which there are, of course – as on the dynamics of and between the characters. For example, you don’t have to wait for the last episode to find out what happened … or who it was, again, also in its second season. A second season that is even better than the first, giving continuity to its particular Canarian universe that enriches it, relying, I repeat, always on the characters and not the action.
These second season preserves and also reinforces the virtues of the first, while with six episodes instead of the eight of that one, the intensity with which everything unfolds increases. With more intensity, not for that reason in a hasty or forced way: ‘Hierro’ continues to show off that calm and immaculate tempo so characteristic of the “Nordic noir” to which it contributes, without costumbrist or picturesque will, the accent and the radiant luminosity of the Canary Island.
With the challenge ahead of not repeating itself, this new season of ‘Hierro’ also develops two intertwined plot lines condemned to meet sooner rather than later: One, which deals with the collateral effects of its first season; and the other, a family conflict that threatens to explode in an unpleasant and unpleasant way. Both stand out for the same thing: their common sense, measure and logical narrative construction. ‘Hierro’ continues to shine with the polish of what is just and necessary.
No, the island of Hierro has not gone from being that place where (almost) nothing happens to a hell on Earth where corpses or impossible blows now accumulate. Its creators continue to take due time and trouble to develop and shape their game board, using the beautiful and distinctive environment of Hierro as the conducive framework for the actions and behaviors of characters that feel as alive as the own island.
The leap in quality from television to streaming. To see instead of making time. That represents ‘Hierro’, even more so in a second season that is incorruptible and faithful to the signs of identity that have given it that aura all its own. The suspense, twists and turns are always subordinate to the human drama and emotional swings of the characters, again with Candela Pea and Daro Grandinetti shining with their own light, being especially brilliant when they are face to face.
This second season of ‘Hierro’ reinforces it as one of the most essential Spanish series of today. All this, without the need for superfluous narrative or visual flourishes, or to resort to gratuitous excesses or to imposing notes of opportunist news. A model example of how to build a timeless fiction around its three most classic and basic pillars: The script, the setting and the characters. Gender is the catalyst, never pretending that it is either the cause or the ultimate end.
‘Hierro’ grows as the stupendous episodic fiction whose resolution, although important, is not as important as everything that surrounds it. Like those “nordic noir” to which it refers, a fiction with a clear local flavor and wrapped in a wonderful but discreet audiovisual bill at full disposal of its plot and characters. A credible fiction based on the everyday and the smell of the home that keeps us, again, expectant from one episode to another. That again, makes us accomplices from beginning to end.
By Juan Pairet Iglesias