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Apple TV+’s New Crime Thriller Seems Like ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’—But It’s So Much Better

*Warning: Spoilers ahead*

Anyone who knows me can attest to my love of Spanish dramas. After watching Netflix’s Elite and Who Killed Sara? in one sitting each (yes, I’ll admit it), I’m always on the lookout for my next binge-watch. So, when I heard of the new Apple TV+ thriller series, Now & Then, I knew I had to check it out.

The 8-episode series focuses on six college friends who were hoping to have a weekend of fun after their graduation. However, one fatal accident results in the death of their friend. Together, they make a pact to never speak of the accident again. Now, 20 years later, a mysterious blackmailer sends them all an ominous text message—threatening to expose what happened that night.

I know what you’re thinking: This sounds exactly like the slasher film, I Know What You Did Last Summer. But, unlike a masked killer targeting teenagers with a hook, Now & Then plays on a number of real-life themes that makes it sooo much better than the ‘90s horror classic.

Keep scrolling to read my honest review of Now & Then.

The year is 2000. The place is Miami, Florida. Through a series of camcorder recordings, we’re given a brief introduction to our group of friends: Alejandro (Jorge Lopez), Pedro (José María Yazpik), Ana (Marina de Tavira), Marcos (Manolo Cardona), Daniela (Soledad Villamil) and Sofia (Maribel Verdú).

In the middle of the night, they decide to drive to a vacant beach to celebrate their last night as college seniors. The night is filled with laughs, partying and an endless amount of alcohol. At one point, they all gather around a wood-burning fire and share where they see themselves in 20 years.

During this scene, I couldn’t help but notice there was a childlike innocence to them. They’re preparing for the next chapter in their lives, with bright futures ahead of them. One person dreams of working in the White House and even becoming the next president of the United States. Another dreams of becoming a human rights activist and making a positive change in the world. But knowing what’s coming next makes it even more devastating to watch.

Apple TV+

Some of the friends decide to take a dip—and that’s when the tragedy hits. The friends quickly notice Alejandro floating face-down in the water. They manage to drag him to shore, but he is unresponsive. As the gang is driving to the hospital, their car collides with another on the road. We soon learn that the driver is dead and Alejandro is not breathing. So what do they do? They all leave the crime scene, making it appear as if it were an accident. And just like that, their innocence is taken away from them.

Through a series of flashbacks, we get to see each person deal with the horrors of that night in the present day. Aside from the mysterious blackmailer and the crew being sent on a wild goose chase, certain scenarios in the show call attention to real-life issues: such as the power of greed, exploitation, social class and most importantly, the uncertainty of life.

We’re soon introduced to Sergeant Flora Neruda (played by Rosie Perez). After the accident, she is put in charge of the investigation. At times, I found myself rooting for her to crack the case and piece everything together. (Yes, I want them to get caught).

Apple TV+

There were so many moments I loved (i.e. seeing the events play out from that night and Neruda trying to piece the case together) but one missed the mark—the ending.

The identity of the blackmailer is revealed before the end of the premiere episode. At first, I was very disappointed because really?! Did they just pull a Bridgerton? (You know, when they revealed Lady Whistledown’s identity in season one.)

It appears that way at first. But, the identity of the blackmailer definitely raises some eyebrows and proves there’s more to the story than what we already know. Oh, and the episode ends with Sergeant Neruda watching the tape from *that night* in her living room. So, let’s just say, it’s not looking good for the crew.

Purewow Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Stars

Even though the show plays on traditional horror tropes, Now & Then delves into deeper issues present in our society, which makes it even more terrifying. This series is definitely worth checking out if you love Spanish dramas with an enticing thrill. It pays homage to the horror movies/shows we all know and love, while also putting its own creative spin on the storytelling.

The first three episodes will be available to view on Apple TV+ on May 20. The remaining episodes will premiere every Friday, until the season finale arrives on June 24.

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