‘Who Is Erin Carter?’ You’ll have to sit through a lot to find out

‘Who Is Erin Carter?’ You’ll have to sit through a lot to find out

“Who Is Erin Carter?” isn’t the answer to a “Jeopardy!” question about Netflix shows, but it has charted consistently in the streamer’s Top 10 since dropping Aug. 24.

So what’s all the fuss about? That’s a good question, since the seven-episode British crime drama is a mishmash of cartoonish violence and cardboard-cutout characters and takes forever to get to the point.

In-between, though, it’s pretty darn entertaining in that cheesy sort of way.

“Who Is Erin Carter?” stars Evin Ahmad as the titular protagonist who, when the series opens, flees England on a boat with her daughter, Harper. Her destination: Barcelona.

Why? You’ll eventually find out but, in the meantime, the action flash-forwards to around five years later.

Erin is hugging her daughter, Harper, in Barcelona. Harper is wearing a school backpack and glasses; Erin is looking directly at the camera.
Erin and her daughter, Harper, in Barcelona five years after arriving there from England.
Sam Taylor/Netflix

Erin is now settled in Spain and married to Jordi (Sean Teale), a nurse. Together they’re raising Harper (Indica Watson), a highly intelligent kid who wears glasses (and sunglasses) because of an eye condition that’s never quite fully explained or explored (so why introduce it?).

Erin works as a substitute teacher at Harper’s school and is hoping for a promotion; Harper draws disturbing images of mask-wearing, deer-like creatures in her notebook and also hallucinates about them. #Disturbing.

Their lives take a shocking turn when, while in a local supermarket, Erin and Harper stumble upon a robbery in progress.

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One of the bad guys approaches Harper, who’s cowering underneath a counter, and, just like that, Erin springs into action, kicks his arse in a hail of punches and kicks and kills the mask-wearing criminal … who recognizes her in his dying moments while his partner-in-crime flees the bloody scene — begging the show’s titular question: Who Is Erin Carter?

An outdoors shot. Jordi and Emilio are sitting at a table talking to each other; Erin is standing up with her arms crossed and is looking at them. They all have glasses of wine.
Erin, Jordi and their next-door-neighbor, Emilio, who’s a cop and also Jordi’s best friend. He figures heavily into the plotline of “Who’s Erin Carter?”
Sam Taylor/Netflix

You will eventually find out, but that’s only after a lot of expository throat-clearing as the story arc rambles on in many different directions (including Erin’s relationship with a nasty, highfalutin neighbor, played by Charlotte Vega, and the substitute-teacher sub-plot — both distracting).

The action kicks into high gear when Erin’s next-door-neighbor Emilio (Pep Ambròs), who’s a cop and Jordi’s best friend, drags her into a high-profile drug case he’s investigating — which, in turn, triggers a series of unfortunate events that pulls together the threads of Erin’s big secret as her past catches up to her in a locomotive-type rush.

Susannah Fielding and Douglas Henshall round out the cast as Erin’s peppy/annoying co-worker and (yet another) neighbor who looms large in unforeseen ways.

Jordi and Erin are sitting on a bench. Erin is wearing a dress that's covered in blood. Jordi is wearing his nurse's scrubs and is looking skyward with an exasperated look. His arms are crossed on his knees.
Erin’s husband, Jordi, eventually grows disenchanted with his wife’s lies about her bloody predicaments.
Sam Taylor/Netflix

Strangely, it’s all compelling enough, and while “Who Is Erin Carter?” drags in spots, the action picks up in Episode 4, when Erin’s backstory is fleshed out substantially and the preceding randomness makes a bit more sense.

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What doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, as far realism, are the rounds of beatings (and worse) that Erin withstands that would (and do) kill other people. I mean, I get it, she’s the protagonist, but one scene, in particular, will have you yelling at the screen (like I did) at the ridiculousness of it all.

But, hey, it’s a TV show, right? These things happen.

I wouldn’t put “Who Killed Erin Carter?” at the top of any “must-see” list, but if you’re looking for a bit of escapist entertainment, it should fit the bill. You’ll need to suspend some disbelief.

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