Red Queen

Red Queen

A well-produced Spanish crime drama that is unfortunately too derivative of Sherlock-type mysteries


TV Show

Mexico, Spain
Action & Adventure, Mystery
Àlex Brendemühl, Andrea Trepat, Celia Freijeiro


The buddy-cop humor saves it, but other than that, Red Queen is a tossable Sherlock replica.

What it's about

When members of Spain’s elite families are ruthlessly killed and kidnapped, a top-secret police organization known as the Red Queen enlists the help of its former agent and pairs her with a detective to solve the case.

The take

Red Queen is well-shot, well-produced, and extremely well-cast, so it’s hard to pinpoint why it feels mediocre at first. But once you get past the sheen of its budget and the warm glow cast by its two likable leads, the titular red queen Antonia (Vicky Luengo) and her sidekick Jon (Hovik Keuchkerian), it becomes apparent how hollow the foundations are. Antonia is hailed as a singular genius who, much like Sherlock and his many copycats, needs only to scan a room to know the depths of a person. She also enters a version of Sherlock’s “mind palace,” an accurate and artful reenactment of the crime. But the answers she arrives at, though correct, feel simplistic and pedestrian. They’re hardly cerebral, nor do they require special knowledge: it all just sounds like something a good detective should know. Jon is a more realistic rendering of a cop, but it is strange how he is defined only by his weight and sexuality. At least in the first few episodes, these traits are merely used as the punchline to their jokes. The trimmings are not too impressive either; the secret organization they’re part of, the serial killer’s motives, and Antonia’s traumatic past are intriguing, but all too familiar in this saturated genre.

What stands out

Antonia and Jon have a pleasant rapport, a buddy-cop chemistry that could easily stand multiple episodes. If the show were to rebrand itself as a simple police procedural, no superpower-solving skills and top-secret international organizations, then I’d gladly follow Antonia and Jon everywhere.


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