Serial killer 30 coins: a lot of power and very little steering wheel

How envious I am of Álex de la Iglesia

Serial killer 30 coins: a lot of power and very little steering wheel

How envious I am of Álex de la Iglesia. The big boy of Spanish cinema is now also the big boy of television. Big, spoiled child. The second season of 30 Coins, recently released on HBO Max, is proof. The De la Iglesia series has survived the company's latest catalog moves, which have brought series like Por H or por B to other platforms. Moving 30 coins would have sent an apocalyptic message: like Patria, this production is exactly what we expect from a brand like HBO (with or without Max) in Spain. Unfortunately, 30 Coins is also exactly what we expect from an Álex de la Iglesia series: big, crazy, confused and with terrible script problems.

I never played into their game. Yes in theory, but never in practice. I like the Church talking about its stories more than its stories themselves. The director and his inseparable screenwriter Jorge Gerrikaetxebarria have hilarious initial occurrences that inevitably derail in their final stretch. That already happens at the end of the first season of 30 coins. The enormous mascletás with which De la Iglesia usually does not close his stories (look, in that way he is similar to Marvel) had their television reflection in that last episode with giant monsters, terrified priests, an anti-Pope and the 30 coins of the title from the series falling slow motion. There De la Iglesia resumes his series, in a grand guignol as scattered as the coins that trigger the plot: with them Judas' betrayal of Jesus Christ was paid for and whoever has them will gain enormous power.

30 coins is very noble: he shows his cards right away, so it is impossible for a spectator to feel cheated. If Álex de la Iglesia does something well, it is presenting his stories. His mix of Spanish customs and genre cinema has always worked and his series for HBO Max is no exception: in the first episode you even believed in the improbable characters of Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Macarena Gómez. Because in a series from the director of The Day of the Beast and The Witches of Zugarramurdi the improbable is real. Precisely those two films, his most successful work and his worst closed blockbuster, are very present in 30 Coins. But we miss the humble audacity of the first... and the very expensive lack of control of the second.

30 Coins has enormous moments purely of characters, because another thing that its creator knows how to do very well is give us unforgettable everyday freaks. The neighbors of The Community are the inhabitants of the cursed town of 30 coins. And wonders like Carmen Machi, Nuria González or Najwa Nimri draw gold from their characters, even when these are more whims of the series than anything else. As another whim, a very refined one, we can define the presence of Paul Giamatti in the second season. Álex asked for a star and they gave it to him. What if he doesn't get angry? De la Iglesia is the child with the best toys in this school. And he breaks them all.