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••• The International Writers Magazine - 24 Years on-line - Review

Review of Wrong Side of the Tracks (Netflix drama)
• Leroy B. Vaughn
Gritty Spanish Crime Drama (2 seasons)

Wrong Side of the Tracks

Wrong Side of the Tracks created by David Bermejo may be one of the best crime drama series I have seen on Netflix. Without giving away too much of the plot, I will tell you that the series is about a rundown barrio in Madrid, Spain called Entrevias and three senior citizen ex-soldiers that want to keep criminals and drug dealers out of their hometown.

The lead character is a grizzled ex-army captain who owns a small hardware store and hangs out with two of his men from the Bosnian war, in a café owned by Pepe another veteran. The captain is named Tirso and the other vet is Sanchas.  

Sanschas suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the war and is a drug user. The captain and Pepe keep him in line. Tirso appears to have post-traumatic stress disorder also and has a hard time controlling his temper.

His war buddies love him and still call him Captain. The streets of Entrevais are full of teenage punks that have nothing better to do than to annoy the aging population of the barrio. As if things are not bad enough for Tirso, his adopted teenage Vietnamese granddaughter is sent to live with him by her parents that are in the process of getting a divorce.

Things get bad after she is sexually assaulted by drug dealers and later gets hooked on oxycodone. Crime is out of control and the cops in Entrevais do not do much if anything about it. One of the senior cops named Ezequiel is working both sides of the law with the barrios number one drug dealer.

Tirso’s granddaughter is hooked up with a Columbian punk with a hot looking mother. Ezequiel likes Gladys the mom, but she has other plans about a mate and wants to get her and her son out of poverty.

The action is non-stop with beat downs and plenty of suspense. If it wasn’t for the motor scooters, foreign cars and Spanish style buildings, this series could have been filmed in any major city in the United States, especially Los Angeles.

One reviewer compared this series to Gran Torino starring Clint Eastwood. That’s close but I would replace Tirso with Danny Trejo and use East Los Angeles as the setting. Trejo and his war buddies could use his taco stand for their hangout, instead of Pepe’s café. The punks look similar and there are plenty of full-figured women in Los Angeles to play the part of Gladys, the Columbian mom.

This series is a nice change from the usual Liam Neeson or pick your favorite sixty or seventy year old actor in a movie about aging commandos living in the southwest desert or swamps of Florida.  

The captain and his men are just regular senior citizens living in their barrio, but they can still kick ass and take names if need be.

© Leroy B. Vaughn - Jan 2023

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