Review: The Vineyard 2021 TV Series
The Gist: When we first meet Soledad Montalvo (Carla Campra), she is a young woman with a bit of a fiery spirit – despite warnings from her brothers about how her grandfather might react, she helps stomp the grapes from their family’s vineyard and tends to meddle where she shouldn’t. A fancy British wine importer named Edward Claydon (Nathaniel Parker) visiting the vineyard soon takes an interest in Sol’s older sister Inés, but after a chance encounter, he shifts his sights to Sol, and the two are soon married.
Meanwhile, a young man named Mauro Larrea (César Mateo) loses his wife and is left to care for his young children alone. He leaves Spain and heads to Mexico, and after struggling for some time – and nearly losing absolutely everything – he strikes gold (well, silver) and makes his fortune. Twenty years later, we meet Soledad (Leonor Watling) and Mauro (Rafael Novoa) at very different phases of their lives; Soledad, now a mother to three daughters, discovers her family’s vineyard is in jeopardy, while Mauro feels he’s been financially ruined when an endeavor goes very wrong. They haven’t met yet, but this seems like the beginning of our two leads coming together.
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Our Take: For much of La Templanza‘s first hour, I was bored or confused. I’m usually one who loves a period romance, but there was so much going on in such disjointed settings that I had a hard time really getting into it. I think the pilot would really benefit from a restructuring, mainly so that we are able to spend more time in each of the worlds before we jump into the next; I really wanted to get to know the Montalvos and their lives before we sailed across the ocean to Mexico to meet Mauro.
I appreciate the way we’re able to see some of the similar beats in Sol and Mauro’s journeys as they both go through pivotal life events, but I think a reorganization would have benefited the character development (and the pace of the pilot altogether) had they done things a little differently. That said, however, by the end, I was very much sold; I want to know how these people are going to come together, want to see the fires lit in their hearts after enduring all the suffering they have.
La Templanza became a lot more enjoyable when I swapped out the awkward English dubbing for its original Spanish and watched with subtitles instead; the emotions and characters felt more defined, and the world easier to immerse oneself in. The pilot may be a bit of a drag, but it does built to something that leaves you wanting more – and frankly, a good cliffhanger can make up for a lot of problems.