I MUST Kidnap a Spaniard!

I MUST Kidnap a Spaniard! (the hilarious true tale of my OBSESSION!) SoThenStories.com
So then…I shriek, “NOOOOOOOO!” with such volume and anguish, you’d think a pack of wild zombies had just eaten my entire immediate family AND the last pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

But no, this shriek is due to a devastation so profound, I’m literally frozen in torment.

Let me explain from the BEGINNING:

I’ve already burned through fabulous period TV series like Downton Abbey, The Paradise, Mr. Selfridge, and Call the Midwives. 

NetFlix keeps asking if I’d like to watch Grand Hotel – but I keep resisting because it’s filmed in Spain, so I’d need to read English subtitles!

As a world-class multi-tasker, I’m always doing something else WHILE I’m watching TV, so having to read the screen just won’t work.  Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat.

But then one day, I take a little lunch break and figure, “Well, I’ll just watch the first episode while I eat, then go find something else to watch while I work on spreadsheets, open mail, do computer work, etc.”

So I’m watching the first episode of Grand Hotel about this luxury hotel in Spain owned by a wealthy family in 1906 and their interactions with the hotel staff –

and I’m all “la-la-lala-la” when suddenly BAM!  Major plot twist!

Then BOOM!  Another twist!

Then a murder mystery!


So of course I have to see what happens in the next episode, which is also action-packed and mystery-intensifying with more plots and subplots.

BOOM-SHAKA-LAKA!  Shit is going down, people!

I repeat:


So now I have to see the NEXT episode, and I can’t do anything else because I have to read the damn subtitles – but honestly, I’m RIVETED!

Every chance I get, I zip over to the big screen TV to watch more episodes of Grand Hotel.

My family’s perplexed since they’re not used to seeing me watch TV without doing something else.  And quite frankly, when they suggest using the big screen TV to watch one of their shows, they’re a little taken aback when I scowl and hiss menacingly.

But here’s why:


This is unlike any other period show I’ve ever seen.  In addition to the gorgeous costumes, the class differences between the hotel’s owners and staff, the antiquated customs of the early 1900’s – there are mysteries to solve, schemes to expose, and culprits to discover.

Grand Hotel is one of the most addictive series ever!  There are mysteries upon mysteries at this luxury hotel!  Some last several episodes, some last a whole season – so we have the satisfaction of seeing some mysteries solved, but always have several others brewing.

There are some good people – and some VERY, VERY bad people – and sometimes you don’t know who’s who.  There’s a large cast of characters and there’s always something going on with all of them!

The show’s like a thriller, packed with suspense and action surrounding murder, blackmail, kidnapping, and many more secrets I can’t mention due to the possibility of Spoiler Alerts!


Over the 3 seasons of the show, there are many romances, but the one featuring the two main characters Julio and Alicia is SPECTACULAR.  It’s very suspenseful because there are so many genuine DANGEROUS obstacles in their path.  They’re gorgeous, smart, brave, clever… You’ll literally SWOON every time they’re on screen together.

I am madly in love with Julio –
AND madly in love with Alicia –
AND currently working on a time-travel machine so I can go live with them in 1906 Spain for a thrilling threesome while we solve mysteries together.


Oh the scheming!  There are so many fabulous, over-the-top characters who conspire dastardly deeds and don’t hesitate to throw other people under the bus (or motorcar, as the case may be).  You hate them.  And you love that you hate them.


As you get to know the motivations, history, and obstacles of certain characters, you can’t help but laugh when they find themselves in certain situations.  It’s not broad slapstick humor – or searing wit.  You’re just laughing because you know these characters so well – even the twitch of someone’s eyebrow can set you off.


Holy Hell, you guys.  Lots of drama.  It’s not quite melodrama – but there are some scenes that get pretty close – and you know what?  I LOVE IT!  It’s frothy and fun and awesome!

If you set your timer back to 1906 in Spain when husbands ruled the wives – marriages were sometimes arranged – the poor had to kowtow to the wealthy – judges could be bought – then you’ll enjoy this romp through the troubles and turmoils of everyone connected to Grand Hotel.


I realize this might not be everyone’s cup of poisoned tea, but if you’re interested, it’s available on NetFlix streaming.  There are 3 seasons, which total 66 episodes of about 40 minutes each.

If you start to watch it and don’t like it – DON’T TELL ME.  I’ll be as offended as if you’d called my precious newborn “hideous and stinky.”

But if you like it – DEFINITELY TELL ME.  We’ll gossip about the characters for hours, swoon over Julio and Alicia, and scream “Siiiiiii-mo-netta!” every time we see each other!


Because I’m on episode 58 of the 66 episodes, fully invested in all the characters –

fully enthralled in all the suspenseful mysteries –

fully engaged in the romantic entanglements –


…the English subtitles stop.


As in my beloved and reviled characters are all still speaking rapid-fire Spanish on the screen, but I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE SAYING!

I punch remote control buttons for language and subtitles and everything else, but the subtitles DON’T come back!

I have 8 episodes left to go on a series I’m OBSESSED with – and I have no way to know what’s happening!

The subtitles just disappeared in the middle of an episode!  What if the translation company just STOPPED TRANSLATING the series in episode 58?  Maybe they ran out of money!  What if THERE ARE NO SUBTITLES for the rest of the series?

My heart rate increases.  The room spins.

I’m about to run screaming into the streets, grabbing the first Spanish-speaking person I find, kidnapping them back to my house, and forcing them to translate word-for-word EVERYTHING that’s being said!

I’m screaming “NOOOOOO!” so loudly that my 16-year-old daughter Chloe comes running in, certain that ninja warriors are attacking me.

“What?! What?! What?!” she shouts.

“My…my…Julio!…Alicia!” I stammer, pointing to the TV.  “Siiiiiii-mo-netta!”  I wail.

Chloe calmly clicks into Settings and changes the Accessibility button to Closed Caption.

My subtitles come back!  I hug her enthusiastically!  I jump and dance and cavort about!

All is right with the world.

Honestly, I was ready to fly to Spain and hunt down each actor and actress to find out what happened in the last 8 episodes.  But thankfully, my subtitles return and I watch the rest of the series.


I absolutely adore binge-watching this charming, mystery-laden, romantic, captivating period piece.

And this portion of my life will henceforth be known as, “Hey, remember that time Mom went off the rails for two weeks and did nothing but watch Spanish-language TV?”


— Darcy Perdu

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(Have you seen Grand Hotel? Do you want to join me in my time travel machine back to 1906 Spain?  PLEASE tell me the names of your favorite binge-watching shows because I’m in serious withdrawal over here now that I’ve finished Grand Hotel! HELP!)
Grand Hotel Alicia and Julio

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35 replies on “I MUST Kidnap a Spaniard!

  1. Alex said:

    Oh I so get this although I haven’t seen Grand Hotel – yet. But the binge watching: absolutely. Many a morning I drag myself out of bed with gritty eyes for having stayed up to watch “one more episode”. And one more. And another…

    • Ha! Right? It’s so tempting…just one more…

    • Ooooooh, FishDucky, I think you’re gonna LOVE it!

  2. I most definitely need to check this one out. But first I need to convince Momus to watch a show with subtitles…
    Cassandra recently posted..Tesla-ing My LifeMy Profile

    • I feel Momus’ pain – I resisted subtitles for a long time, but I had to make an exception for this one!

  3. What fun. This does sound like a really good one. My only problem is how many other shows are in my queue at the moment. Not to mention the blogs I want to look at and the books I want to read…..
    Anne Louise Bannon recently posted..The Training Walk: BeginningMy Profile

    • Never enough time…that’s my lament as well!

  4. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I don’t mind reading subtitles… better than having the voices dubbed.
    William Kendall recently posted..The CorridorsMy Profile

  5. momchelle said:

    I’m not so much “binge watch” as I am “binge delete”. Once a month or so, I go through and realize that the only way I’ll have time to watch all of my recorded shows is if I’m in a coma- in which case I’d just get lost in the plot anyway…. so I just delete a bunch of stuff and relish the sense of accomplishment that I now have 37% more space to fill up and delete next month.

    • Yes, that’s so satisying to delete shows from your DVR! It’s like when I binge-trash items from my fridge — suddenly any jar or container that’s even CLOSE to its expiration date gets the heave-ho! I feel so good afterwards!

    • Thanks, Rena, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

  6. Karen said:

    I feel exactly the same way! I became obsessed with this series and loved every minute of it! Only for me it wasn’t just two weeks. I went on to watch Velvet and El Internado on Netflix as well with subtitles and loved them also!

    • Karen, a kindred spirit! WooHoo! I watched Velvet and really enjoyed it. Do you think I’ll like El Internado too? Is that set in a boarding school? Did you like it as much as Grand Hotel and Velvet?

      • Karen said:

        It is set in a boarding school, so it centers around high school age kids and their interactions with their teachers. It’s definitely different from Grand Hotel and Velvet, with not as much of a romantic story line, but the twists and turns in the mysteries that are going on at the school are very entertaining.

  7. Ellie said:

    OMG! I’m currently hooked on “EL TIEMPO ENTRE COSTURAS,” another Spanish melodrama/mini-series which has the English title of “The Time in Between” but the translation SHOULD have been “The Time Between Seams” because it’s about a socio-economically disadvantaged seamstress born out of wedlock who flees with her lover to Morocco, leaving her fiance and mother in Madrid to cope with newly instigated Spanish Civil War, to open a typing school with the money she gains from meeting her wealthy father who gives her the inheritance she is due but instead is left penniless and alone when the lover absconds with her funds so she turns to sewing dresses for other Spanish refugees who live in Tetouan, a small village outside of Tangiers, and eventually befriends the English-appreciating Spanish governor of Morocco who is then asked by Franco to return to Madrid to lead the Spanish State Department but is fired when he tries to convince Franco to side with the Allies rather than the Germans so his English mistress recruits the seamstress to return to Madrid to spy on the Nazis by being the couturier to their wives who congregate at parties and ateliers…..

    You get the point…Sira, our heroine (or Arish when she returns from Morocco), is currently seducing a Portuguese businessman who imports Chinese silks which she uses for dresses and he sells to Nazis to make parachutes…the microfiche! The long lost love interest/English journalist appears! The wealthy father returns! What will happen next???

    Enjoy your Spanish “Upstairs, Downstairs” – I’m with you 100%!

    • Omigod!! Thank you for the hilarious synopsis so far of The Time (Between Seams)! That’s a riot! You MUST watch
      “Grand Hotel” after you finish that series! And I’m totally shocked that you’re watching this because you hardly ever watch TV at all — so maybe subtitled TV is the exception! Bueno, mi amiga, bueno! :)

  8. Ellie said:

    I thought the upshot was going to be…the subtitles were in SPANISH! As if the English translators up and quit but the original subtitles were still there for the hearing-impaired of Spain!

    • Hahaha! Nope, the subtitles just disappeared COMPLETELY. I instantly turned to my left and said, “What’d he say?” But no one was there to ask — hence the shrieking! Thank God Chloe rescued me and clicked the right buttons to restore order to my world!

  9. Emily said:

    I got stuck when Sky Arts broadcast two seasons and then fell silent, so I bought the whole DVD set, turned on the Spanish subtitles, and sat hovering over the pause button with Google Translate on standby. It took me months but god damn it I watched it all. And then like a week after I’d finished Sky Arts was like LALALA HERE’S THE FINAL SEASON at which point I flipped a table.

    • OMIGOD, Emily, I feel your pain! I would’ve gone insane if I was only able to watch the first two seasons! Fortunately I found out about it when all 3 seasons were on Netflix! Now I’m ready to fly to Spain to beg them to reconvene the cast and shoot Seasons 4, 5, and 6!
      “Yes, I’ll just wait while you write the scripts. Yes, yes, I’m fine, I’ll just sit right here by Yon’s dressins room…”

  10. Margot said:

    Or…you could learn Spanish. I know that’s a big feat that you probably don’t have time for, but it might be fun to try. Sounds like you’re drawn to the kind of shows that only the Latino world can create.

    We just finished watching Narcos. I’ve spoken almost fluent Spanish for about 30 years, but the Columbian accent is a little different from what I’m used to, and I’m a little rusty as well. After about 8 episodes I got to where I could look away from the subtitles, finally.

    Or…I can join you on your next Spanish Drama binge in case the subtitles cut out and Chloe isn’t there to fix it. It’ll be fun!

    • Wow, Margot, that’s very impressive! And YES, fly here immediately and watch Spanish TV with me all day in case I need sudden translation. Lately I’ve been watching “Isabel” and Queen Isabella on HULU which is also in Spanish.

      Believe it or not, I took Spanish for 3 years when I was 7-9 years old in Panama Canal Zone.
      All I can remember is:
      Donde esta Pedro?
      Pedro es en su casa.
      (And all I can think is “who the hell is Pedor and why is he in your house!?”) :)

  11. I think I have Sven talked into switching over to Netflix. And whenever that happens, I believe I will surprise him with Gran Hotel. And when he says, “What’s up with the subtitles?” I believe I will say, “Oh, don’t worry. They go away after awhile.”

    • Bwahaha! Yes, he’ll love that! Let’s let him assume the actors will suddenly start speaking English — or that Sven will magically learn to speak Spanish after just a few episodes. Ha!

  12. Nope…I’m not going to be sucked into your evil trap. Not gonna do it. I swore after I binge watched 9 seasons of Supernatural I wouldn’t get sucked into that dark, hazy, scary place again!

    Ok, maybe just one little episode…

    • Ha! Just one little episo–BAM! and she’s IN, folks, deep into the series – there’s no escape!
      And PS, my teen son LOVES Supernatural! He’s seen every episode ever! And I must say, those demon-chasing brothers are mighty fine.

    • Absolutely! Meet me in the east meadow at midnight. Bring rocket fuel, two titanium cyclinders, 8 bustiers and a case of champagne. 1906 Spain: here we come!