Herald favorites: the five best Argentine series to stream online 

by Agustin Mango
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From Messi and the world champions of Qatar 2022 to the most shocking political assassination in recent local history, here are five very bingeable Argentine series you can find on major streaming platforms.  

1. Carmel: Who Killed María Marta? (2020)

Available on: Netflix (Spanish with English subtitles)
Length: Four episodes

One of the most notorious crimes in recent Argentine history, the mysterious 2002 murder of María Marta García Belsunce and its subsequent trial dominated headlines for years. The ingredients for an Agatha Christie-like whodunit were all there: an innocent woman from a well-off family, a shock autopsy that found five bullet wounds in her head, a suspicious-acting family, a gated community that was supposed to be safer than suburban Buenos Aires amid rising crime rates in a devastated economy. This docuseries brings all the real-life protagonists back and goes thoroughly over the crime itself, the trial, and the media frenzy that went with them. If the case catches your imagination, you can also watchHBO Max’s fictionalized version, María Marta – The Country Club Crime.

A still from “Carmel: Who Killed María Marta?

2. Iosi, the Repentant Spy (2022)

Available on: Amazon Prime (Spanish with English subtitles)

Length: Season one: eight episodes, season two: awaiting release

Adapted from the book by Miriam Lewin and Horacio Lutzky, this fictional series is based on the fascinating, real-life story of an Argentine intelligence officer who was assigned to infiltrate the Jewish community in the late 1980s. Sent to investigate the so-called “Andinia Plan” –an old, antisemitic conspiracy theory popular among the Argentine security forces after the dictatorship– he ended up discovering a much larger, more complex truth. The story of this torn-apart anti-hero expanded through 20 years of Argentine history, ultimately intertwining with major political developments including government involvement in illegal weapons trafficking and the terrorist attacks on the Israeli Embassy (1992) and the AMIA (1994) in Buenos Aires.

3. Sean eternos: Campeones de América (2022)

Available on: Netflix (Spanish-only)

Length: Three episodes
Before winning the most gripping World Cup final of all time, Argentina’s national team fought through the 2021 Copa America to win their first major tournament in more than 20 years. Losing two finals in a row against Chile in 2016 and 2017 prompted Lionel Messi’s resignation – which fortunately proved to be temporary – from the national team. Featuring unprecedented access and very personal interviews with the players, their families, and the coaching staff, Sean eternos is a unique view into the intimate internal dynamics of the squad that made history for Argentine football. With a storyline that follows the Copa America through to the final against Brazil, the show also surprised viewers by illustrating Messi’s relatively unknown leadership skills as the beloved and respected captain of the muchachos (lads) who made us dream again. Complement this with Amazon Prime’s Selección Argentina – Road to Qatar, another up-close portrait of the national team that picks up on the Copa America and follows the players and the coaching staff through the Finalissima against Italy and the path to the 2023 World Cup.

4. Okupas (2000)

Available on: Netflix (Spanish with English subtitles)

Length: 11 episodes

Think of Friends, and now take away New York, the handsome people, the nice apartments and the jobs, and you’ll get this gritty urban story about four young squatters navigating the devastated landscape of Argentina’s economic crisis of 2000, right before the full-blown socioeconomic meltdown of the following year. Directed by Bruno Stagnaro, the show became a cult phenomenon with its ultra-realist aesthetics and stories of friendship and loyalty in the no-future atmosphere young Argentines experienced through the late nineties. On the 20th anniversary of the show, Netflix bought the rights and added a new soundtrack specially commissioned to Santiago Motorizado, lead singer of one of Argentina’s finest rock bands, El Mató a un Policía Motorizado.  

A still from Okupas

5. Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President, and the Spy (2019)

Available on: Netflix (Spanish w/English subtitles)

Length: Six episodes

On the night of January 8, 2015, Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead in his Buenos Aires apartment, only a few hours before he was supposed to present in Congress his case against then-president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Nisman had publicly accused her of covering up the terrorist attack that blew up the AMIA, a Jewish social center in Buenos Aires, back in 1996. Was it suicide or assassination? Rigorously directed by British documentarist Justin Webster, Nisman: The Prosecutor, the President, and the Spy is probably the closest thing to an unbiased observation Argentine and global audiences will ever get to see on this politically charged case that shocked the nation on a summer Sunday night.

A Spain-Germany co-production, the show features interviews with all the main figures, from the case prosecutor to current president Alberto Fernandez and the former head of Counterintelligence Jaime Stiuso, the film’s most obscure and fascinating character –and potential supervillain in this story. Spoiler alert: you won’t find out what actually happened to Nisman, but you’ll get a glimpse of what four decades of a criminal spy network and sinister political maneuvers can do to a divided country.

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