If you only speak English, as I do, please do not be scared off by the title Capadocia. This DVD set, released by HBO Latin America Originals and Maya Entertainment, includes English subtitles. For those not used to watching television with subtitles, which would be most people, it gets pretty easy after just a few minutes, and you may not even notice the extra work. Besides, it's worth a bit of trouble for a series as well made as this one. Primera Temporada means season one, which aired in the spring of 2008, but has just been released on DVD last week. A second season aired last fall, but is not yet available.
Translated, the subtitle means "A Place Without Forgiveness," which is an apt description of the Capadocia women's prison in Mexico City, a private jail established by a greedy corporation. Inmates are chosen from a less hospitable facility, and transferred to Capadocia early in the show's run. Of course, not everyone in the series is bad, and several of the main characters work very hard to make Capadocia the safest, least corrupt holding pen of its type. They have their work cut out for them.
The cast is phenomenal. Sticking out is Dolores Heredia (Vantage Point) as Teresa Lagos, the human right activist and professor who is named director of Capadocia. Teresa works with prisoners at the former jail, and sees many inmates who do not deserve to be locked up for one reason or another. This makes her the natural choice when Capadocia opens. Some perps committed a crime in self defense, some are put behind bars because of a lack of fair trial, and a few have reformed after minor transgressions. Teresa knows the justice system is deeply corrupt, greased with bribes and favors, but keeps trying to get women released. She succeeds with a handful, but with others, she will be fighting for a long time. Her courage and determination is nothing short of inspirational. Plus, to make her work day even more hectic, Teresa and the prison psychologist Jose (Alejandro Camacho) have a mutual attraction.
Further complicating Teresa's time is her obnoxious daughter, Andrea (Dolores Parados), who, just before her 18th birthday, begins unknowingly sleeping with Teresa's student and former lover, Daniel (Rodrigo de la Rosa). Daniel is bitter that Teresa dumped him. Parados begins the season very immature, and she allows Andrea to age nicely over the course of the thirteen episodes, actually becoming one of the most interesting women in the show by the finale.