Wednesday, December 2, 2015



Ms. Hen does not watch that many TV shows, but when she does, she usually watches one show at a time. She enjoyed THE GRAND HOTEL so much that she wanted to watch something similar. She found THE TIME IN BETWEEN, also on Netflix with subtitles, another Spanish period piece, and she was immediately hooked.

THE TIME IN BETWEEN is based on a novel which was an international bestseller by Spanish author Maria Duenas. It is a work of fiction; however, real characters are involved in the story. It is a show about a young woman, Sira, an illegitimate daughter of a seamstress who teaches her daughter her trade. Sira meets a young man who is an aspiring clerk, and soon they are engaged, until Sira falls for a typewriter salesman, Ramiro, and gets whisked away to Morocco. She leaves behind her mother with the Spanish Civil War brewing.

Ramiro steals the money that Sira was given by her father, who knew that war was coming when she finally got to meet him. Sira, shocked, leaves the hotel, and gets on a bus. She has a miscarriage and ends up arrested for leaving the hotel without paying the bill. She ends up in Tetouan, in a pension for Spanish people. She struggles to help the owner taking care of the place in order to earn her room and board, until the owner discovers Sira is a talented seamstress.

They steal some guns they find underneath one of the guest's floorboards, and sell them. The tension when Sira is wrapped up in the guns on the way to the dealers stings through the screen. Ms. Hen was scared that Sira wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure. Ms. Hen didn’t know if she could handle such pressure. But Sira is able to handle a lot more than she seems.

The show is only one season long, and it is plotted like a film. The turning point in the show comes exactly at the middle, when Rosalinda Fox asks Sira to help her spy for the English against the Germans in Madrid. Rosalinda is a real-life person who was an English spy, and the lover of Juan-Luis Beigbeder, also a character on the show. Beigbeder was Franco’s foreign minister after the Civil War.

Ms. Hen loved this show because it made her anxious, and she never knew what would happen next. She enjoys watching TV shows that get her riled up. Ms. Hen has never wanted to live the life of a spy, and she doesn’t know if she would have the nerve, but watching this show, it gives her the chance to live vicariously through the characters.

There is a pivotal scene in the show when Sira is in Lisbon, and she sneaks away from the driver who is escorting her, and also watching her, when she hides in a small truck full of chickens in order to go to Rosalinda’s house to ask for her help. Ms. Hen liked that Sira hid with some chickens, because Ms. Hen thinks that is good luck.

Sira travels from Madrid to Tetouan, back to Madrid to Lisbon.  She hides messages in Morse Code sewn into stitches in shirts to give to the English about the German women who are her customers at her shop. Ms. Hen didn’t know this TV show was a novel when she first started watching it, and she wishes she had read the book first, but she is glad she watched the show. She is happy that there are people that are as brave as Sira, even though she is a fictional character. Ms. Hen gives this show five feathers up.

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