30 Coins is a Spanish supernatural horror fantasy TV drama that draws heavily from the Catholic religion and mythology. The series is created and directed by noted Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia. The 8-part 30 Coins Season 1 of is an ambitious mystery thriller utilising several conspiracy theories relating to the Catholic church, much in the vein of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series.
Our analysis of 30 Coins Season 1 contains spoilers.
Ostensibly, the hero (i.e. main character / protagonist) of the series is Father Vergara (Eduard Fernandez), an exorcist and ex-convict residing in the small Spanish town of Pedraza, attempting to move on from a troubled past.
However, strange paranormal incidents begin to take place in the town involving primarily the mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), his wife Merche (Macarena Gomez) and the town vet Elena (Megan Montaner).
It is soon revealed that the main reason for these unusual supernatural activities is a coin, basically a Catholic relic that grants power to its possessor, one of 30 that was the price of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus Christ, as recounted in the gospels. Vergara is deeply involved in the plot concerning the coin, although he chooses to keep this a secret in the first couple of episodes.
Now, there are two narratives that drive 30 Coins Season 1 forward and they do not always line up logically. There are of course, the strange phenomenons which may or may not relate directly to the coin and there is the great conspiracy surrounding the dark forces trying to gain possession of the coin.
The other problem with 30 Coins Season 1 is the sheer number of plot inconsistencies that litter the narrative from start to finish. It’s never quite clear what power is granted to the possessor of the 30 coins. In any case, the villains are already depicted with astounding powers, so why do they need all 30 coins?
In addition, the villains’ plans seem to involved both supernatural and very human execution. If as demonstrated, their supernatural powers are overwhelming for example, the creation of horrific monsters, why do they need human agents to carry out their dark deeds? The plot makes no sense whatsoever.
That said, we did enjoy the characterisations and the intricacies of the character interactions despite the flawed plot. The character of Merche we found engaging as she was given an interesting arc that will make her an integral player in Season 2.
In the final analysis, 30 Coins Season 1 is a convoluted mess but worth watching for the over-the-top religious references and some engaging character studies. We did like the manner in which Season 1 was wrapped up though, rather apt we believe and a great set up for Season 2.
… still there’s more …