Land of Women: Is the Apple TV+ Show Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Apple TV+

In Apple TV+’s ‘Land of Women,’ three women flee to a remote town in Spain after they get embroiled in a financial mix-up that puts them in the firing line of dangerous people. Created by Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Paula Fernández, and Teresa Fernández-Valdés, the show follows Gala, a New York socialite whose life is upturned when her husband is entangled in a series of bad financial dealings, which forces her to flee the country. Bringing her teenage daughter and her mother along, the three travel to an old town in Spain where they have ties in their past while simultaneously ensuring they escape the hitmen searching for them.

The dramedy show revolves around three generations of women, their connection, and the family secrets that bind them together. Fifty years after Gala’s mother flees the town, the family of women returns back to it amidst the picturesque locale where wine is a major commodity. Although initially, they are desperate to escape what awaits them, their hiatus leads to unforeseen self-discovery, growth, and a sense of commonhood that leads to stronger friendships. With its narrative set in an ancestral town in Spain and encompassing the lives of several generations of women, the roots of the ‘Land of Women’ are brought to question through its basis in reality.

Land of Women is Inspired by a Bestselling Novel

‘Land of Women’ is a fictional tale inspired by a book called ‘La Tierra las Mujeres’ by Sandra Barneda, an award-winning journalist and author. The show has been adapted into a screenplay by writers Ramón Campos, Gema R. Neira, Paula Fernández, Teresa Fernández-Valdés, Marina Velázquez, and Curro Serrano. The narrative follows Gala after her husband vanishes amidst a series of financial debts striking her family. Desperate to escape the thugs seeking her out, the woman has to flee with her teenage daughter and her mother, who is living in a retirement home. Unfortunately, when they arrive at their local town in Spain, they aren’t welcomed with open arms as they had imagined.

Gossip and rumors threaten to give away the location of the women to the men hunting for them. The narrative hinges on the relationship between them and the bonds that tie them across several generations. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Eva Longoria, who plays Gala, said, “She has to bring along her mother and her rebellious daughter to go with her, and they go to Spain to be in hiding. They end up going to the town the mother grew up in, and it’s a town she left because she had so many secrets. So it’s this multi-generational show about these three women who really don’t know each other, even though it’s grandma, mother and daughter, it’s like they’re strangers to each other and this adventure leads them back to each other.”

While the show relies on interpersonal relationships and the charming locale in which everything unravels, a sense of levity is also injected into the drama. To keep it true to its familial roots, the intimate conversations between mother, daughter, and grandmother are laced with humor that further accentuates the personality of each individual character while also pitting them against themselves. They are stuck in a difficult predicament but have to make do by relying on each other through their respective bonds. The family gets stronger as a result, and their funny side is a big part of that. As Longoria states herself, “It’s a dramedy. It’s actually really funny.”

The Show Explores Familial Themes in the Spanish Countryside

While the show found its basis in the novel by Sandra Barneda, Eva Longoria sparked the discussion by talking to writer Ramón Campos, who serves as a co-creator of ‘Land of Women.’ She said, “I adapted one of his [Ramón Campos] other shows, Grand Hotel. It was a Spanish show from Spain, and I adapted it for English with Demián Bichir. I produced and directed it, and I just fell in love with his writing. I told him, ‘Ramón, write me something in Spain. I want to go shoot in the wine country in Spain. I’ve never shot in Spain!’ And literally not even less than a year later, he came back with a script, an idea, a book. I was like, ‘Oh, we’re doing this. You wrote this. Okay!’ So I felt like I had to go do it.”

The show’s central premise lies around the circle of women who have to find their ancestral, as well as modern identities, in the heart of a quaint town that was once their abode. The interplay of colorful conversations between the three generations of women, their descent into their Spanish roots, and mingling with the local townspeople attribute a sense of normalcy amidst a chaotic desperation of being chased by dangerous people. In a strange way, that is what family does: make extraordinary things seem ordinary and mundane. It is in the exploration of those familial bonds that ‘Land of Women’ grounds its characters and story.

Read more: Land of Women: Where is the Apple TV+ Show Filmed?