TV – Feria: The Darkest Light (Season 1)

My international TV travels haven’t taken me to Spain very often. Feria: The Darkest Light, despite its creepy, occult trappings, made me want to visit in person. Shot in beautiful Andalusia, this tale of supernatural fantasy-horror focuses on the plight of two sisters, Sofia (Carla Campra) and Eva (Ana Tomeno), who live in the small village of Feria. Their lives are turned upside down when their parents Elena (Marta Nieto) and Pablo (Ernest Villegas) are revealed as the ringleaders of a local religious cult responsible for luring twenty-three victims to their deaths in a condemned mine, an apparent mass suicide. But why? Civil Guard detectives Guillen (Isak Férriz) and Sandra (Patricia López Arnaiz) arrive and attempt to get to the bottom of the mystery, but the bizarre gnostic cult associated with the tragedy is much more embedded within Feria than they could have imagined. Even as the community turns on the sisters for their familial connection with the local calamity, the cult secretly begins luring Sofia into the fold, promising a joyful reunion with her missing mother—but more likely pursuing a sinister hidden agenda, one that drives a wedge between the sisters.

Feria: The Darkest Light might be a distant, related cousin of Dark, another European Netflix series which it vaguely resembles—tonally, if not structurally. It weaves a tapestry of ominous supernatural intrigue, made highly watchable by its scenic cinematography and the effective sibling dynamic essayed by Campra and Tomeno. Like Dark, it engineers interest with striking, time-and-space-bending visuals, but here the proceedings are more brightly lit and sexually charged, with a tinge of soap-opera melodrama mixed in with its bizarre ritualism and fraught procedural paces. That said, it’s good but not particularly exceptional; the finale doesn’t really deliver the story to a satisfying place, serving more like a springboard into future episodes than a true ending. But it gets plemty of mileage out of its gorgeous landscapes, appealing cast, and committed, eerie slow-build, and it’s possible a second session could carry the story to more compelling places.

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