Fantastic Fest 2022: GARCIA!

The HBO Max original series “Garcia!” produced by Madrid’s Zeta Studios, made its world premiere at Austin’s Fantastic Fest last month and it was an excellent surprise to view and enjoy the first two episodes on the big screen. The series celebrated its European premiere at Sitges this month. The highly entertaining action series is directed by Eugenio Mira (The Birthday, Grand Piano) and is based on the 2014 graphic novel “¡García!” by Santiago García and Luis Bustos. The series writers are Sara Antuña (“Paco’s Men” TV series – Los hombres de Paco) and Carlos de Pando (“Gran Hotel” TV series).

¡García!, the new TV series set in modern-day Spain, first features a young intern journalist, Antonia (Vecki Velilla). She wants to continue her work at the publication but may not stay if she doesn’t deliver a significant and newsworthy article. She is quite independent and does not listen well to “don’t do this or that” when her elders try to warn her of taking certain actions. She happens to be home to receive an unaddressed package and ends up interested in an item that falls from the envelope. She starts to do some research on her computer and before long, she has the unwanted attention of some type of “men in black” and there are car chases, action scenes and more to convince Antonia she is on the right track to a great news story. While eluding the mystery men, she accidently discovers the 1950s era underground military laboratory from the Franco regime. Pushing buttons at whim, she discovers a naked man emerge from cryogenic hibernation after several decades and claims to be a secret agent. He is totally bewildered by the Spain he wakes up to.

The current Spain has elections for a new president approaching and there are different political factions feuding. When the secret agent Garcia (Francisco Ortiz, “El Cid”) learns of a presidential candidate disappearing and impending riots in the street, he needs Antonia to guide him through the “new” tech world while he uses his physical strength and know how to get them out of harm’s way.  

There is great color in the modern Spain scenes that flashback to beautiful black and white imagery of when Garcia was an active agent. The fictional secret agent’s adventures in contemporary Spain have some very humorous scenes as he is slowly adapting – even to the coffee he is served. Garcia always looks handsome and professional in his ‘50s suits, and Antonia can’t stay away from her “active” research to get the best story to save her career.

It is a plus to the writers to have created a story where the viewer does not have to know all about Spain’s political history to understand what is going on. I am sure viewers who know all the historical background may find deeper meaning and capture more of the humor and satire. I am very anxious to see episodes three to six!

Aside from the two leads, the series cast includes Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, Francisco Reyes, Nico Romero, Helio Pedregal, Mario Pardo, Miki Molina, and Silvia Abascal.

¡García! begins with the first two episodes on HBO Max on October 28th.

Source: Fantastic Fest, HBO Max ###

Leave a comment