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Recommended: Now & Then on Apple TV+

Soapy and scandalous, this bilingual thriller series makes excellent comfort viewing.
  • The possibly murderous protagonists of Now & Then (Photo: Apple TV+)
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    Now & Then Season 1 | Apple TV+
    Mystery Thriller (8 Episodes) | TV-MA

    What's Now & Then About?

    Characters speak in English and Spanish interchangeably (with subtitles available for either and both) in this thriller about a group of friends bonded by the death of their college classmate 20 years earlier. The group is reunited after receiving a text message threatening to expose their involvement in the death, which quickly leads to new crimes and cover-ups, along with a few steamy affairs.

    Who's involved?

    • Academy Award nominee Marina de Tavira (Roma) is Ana. Back in college, she was in love with Alejandro (the classmate who died), but now she's married to Pedro, another friend from their group. But is their marriage just a longstanding cover for their darkest secrets?
    • José María Yazpik (Narcos) is Pedro. He's running for political office in Miami, where the show is set. Even though he's campaigning on an anti-corruption platform, he'll do anything to protect his candidacy from being tarnished by what happened in his college years.
    • Manolo Cordona (Narcos) is Marcos. Back when Alejandro died, his wealthy father helped keep Marcos and his friends out of trouble, but that has kept Marcos under his dad's thumb. Even though he's a successful plastic surgeon with a beautiful fiancee, he feels trapped.
    • Maribel Verdú (Y tu mamá también) is Sofia. She and Marcos used to be an item, and now that the ominous text message has thrust them back together, their attraction is rekindling. But will her sketchy ties to underground crime lords wreck her life before she potentially helps Marcos wreck his engagement?
    • Soledad Villamil (El secreto de sus ojos) is Daniela. Back in school, she wanted to be a documentary filmmaker, so she always had her camcorder nearby. All that visual evidence may come back to haunt everyone.
    • Rosie Perez is Flora. She's a detective, and Alejandro's death was her first case. When his friends start making trouble in the present, she's immediately suspicious.
    • Zeljko Ivanek is Sullivan. He's retired now, but he was Flora's partner on the Alejandro case. Can he be trusted, either in the past or the present?

    Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?

    It's easy to imagine a series that finds incredible specificity in the lives of these multilingual characters living in Miami. This is not that series.

    Instead, Now & Then is filled with familiar mystery drama tropes, from the drip-feed plot twists all the way down to the scene of two detectives conspicuously observing a funeral service from 100 yards away. The characters are mostly archetypes, and they mostly exist to keep us gasping at their devious antics. The fact that they freely switch between English and Spanish plays mostly like a superficial detail.

    But that's not a bad thing. Viewers who like to snack on this type of television will find plenty of tasty treats here, especially as the present-day crimes get even more twisted than the ones in the past. Plus, the steamy sex scenes have a palpable passion, and Perez gives her weary detective a flinty spark that makes her fun to watch.

    Pairs well with

    • How to Get Away With Murder (Netflix), an increasingly bonkers crime drama that's held together by Viola Davis's Emmy-winning performance.
    • The Afterparty, Apple TV+'s other recent series about death and class reunions, only this one is a dark comedy about former high school students.
    • Pretty Little Liars(HBO Max), which is also about a group of friends who are linked by a crime, only this one is about teenagers.

  • Now & Then (Season 1)
    Three episodes premiere May 20 on Apple TV+. Subsequent episodes drop Fridays through June 24.
    Created by: Ramón Campos, Teresa Fernández-Valdés, and Gema R. Neira.
    Starring: Marina de Tavira, Rosie Perez, Zeljko Ivanek, Jose Maria Yazpik, Manolo Cardona, Maribel Verdu, and Soledad Villamil.
    Directed by: Gideon Raff and Carlos Sedes.

    TOPICS: Now & Then, Apple TV+, Carlos Sedes, Gema R. Neira, Gideon Raff, Jose Maria Yazpik, Manolo Cardona, Maribel Verdu, Marina de Tavira, Ramón Campos, Rosie Perez, Soledad Villamil, Teresa Fernández-Valdés, Zeljko Ivanek