It's possible to watch some shows that spend their first few episodes seizing out. With genre shows like supernatural thrillers, we usually don't see that happening, because there's a definitive narrative that needs to be told, but a new Netflix series from Spain does it in a decent way.
STREAM IT OR SKIP IT, THE GIRL IN THE MIRROR
Opening Shot: A fog-shrouded mountaintop. We see a hooded figure standing on a cliff.
The Gist: As we tumble down that cliff, we see the wreck of a bus at the bottom of the ravine, with a bloodied kid lying there, awake with her eyes open.
Alma (Mireia Roset) is still grieving the death of her friend Lara, and Deva (Claudia Roset) invites Alma to attend the last night party, but Alma storms off when Deva brings up Lara during a game of spin the bottle. That night, Alma and her hopefully-more-than-friends friend Tom (Alex Villazan) search for Deva, and others in the group find some alcohol-fueled companionship.
Deva gets on at the very last second of the morning when the driver notices a flashing light in the distance. The bus then crashes, sending it off the road and down the cliff.
Alma wakes up at the scene but is barely conscious. After many surgeries, she wakes up in a hospital room without knowing who she is and with no memory of the accident. Telma (Laura Ubach), who is sharing the room with her, has a seizure and is taken to the ICU. Her vision is impaired, necessitating her wearing a patch on her right eye. Tom, who lost a leg, visits her room to let her know that most of the students did not make
Alma's doctor thinks her memories of the accident are coming back to her, but Alma knows it's something different. While in the hospital, she's also approached by a girl named Nico (Milena Smit) who claims to be the girl, but her father assures her that she's not in her class.
What Shows Will It Remind You Of? The Girl In The Mirror (original title:Alma) has the haunting feeling of shows likeParanormal and The Haunting Of Hill House.
Our Take: It's difficult to pin down whether The Girl In The Mirror is a supernatural thriller or a teenage coming-of-age drama. The first episode we've seen is a bit of a struggle to get through the first half, because Alma and Deva talked about their long-dead friend Lara.
The show switches to supernatural mode when the bus crosses the ravine, with disturbing scenes of people being crushed, impaled, and, in one case, decapitated. It becomes slightly more interesting then it was before the accident.
Alma will slowly but surely recover her memories and then set off to try to figure out what exactly happened, which gives us goosebumps. The only reason we can think of for its inclusion is that the details we didn't see will be part of what Alma pieces together. We already see a scene near the end where Deva comes out of the woods to tell Alma and Tom that what she had in a ritual book is coming true.
Nevertheless, it seems like Alma was left in the dark as she prepared to put everything together. The fact that she was also included in the mix isn't that appealing to us, because it feels more like the author and his writers are hiding details from us rather than allowing the narrative to stand on its own.
In the first episode, there's no sexual activity except teenage groping.
Alma waits to undergo surgery for a hemorrhage in her head, and she sees a clearer vision of the spirit that is visiting her. And the spirits face is very familiar.
In this first episode, no one stands out.
The most Pilot-y Line: Tom tells Alma in such a matter-of-fact manner that it feels like a throwaway detail. Maybe it is. It was still annoying to hear.
SKIP IT.The Girl In The Mirror is a predictable series about teen relationships rather than a series about supernatural forces. Either way, the supposedly scary moments during the first episode are mostly too subtle to provoke any sort of reaction.