Looking for a new show to binge over the break? Or perhaps a short series to catch up on between study dates? One show you might consider is the Peacock original series Leopard Skin, which was released in full on November 17, 2022. Sebastian Gutierrez presents a thrilling story about a botched heist, an intoxicating love affair, and the lasting effects of social isolation on the psyche, all in the span of eight thirty minute episodes.
Each episode focuses on a different character or relationship, though the star of the show is Alba Fontana, portrayed by actress Carla Gugino. Alba is a retired documentarian who experienced multiple tragedies and an intense mental collapse which led to her divorce. She is a close confidant of the maid at her ex-husband’s beach house and a business associate of a money launderer. She also has a complicated relationship with her ex-husband’s new wife (and alleged murderer). Every relationship develops strategically throughout the series, through multiple points of view, flashbacks, and documentary-style character narration.
The plot kicks off when a diamond heist goes wrong and robbers are forced to hide out at Alba’s house, which she shares with her late ex-husband’s widow. It then leads the viewer through a series of twists and turns, revealing new information at a perfect pace to keep the viewer captivated throughout all episodes. As the plot develops, the show explores the complex and intricate relationships between the characters who are held hostage by the robbers.
The story takes place at Alba’s late ex-husband’s beach house, a beautiful and serene setting that is secluded enough from society to drive one madly insane. The gorgeous visuals set the tone for each scene—from the isolation of a wide span of empty beach, to the calming blue of still pool water. The cinematography is purposeful and incredibly well done.
Carla Gugino delivers a skilled, graceful performance as the passionate Alba Fontana. In the show, we can see her take on the role of a bereaved ex-wife who has a complicated and intense relationship with her late ex-husband’s new widow. You may recognize her from her iconic role as Ingrid Cortez in the Spy Kids movies, and according to Buzzfeed, she is “the most iconic MILF in existence”. More recently, she has starred in the Netflix original series The Haunting of Hill House and the crime drama series Jett. In her role on Leopard Skin, Gugino embodies her character and creates a portrait of a multidimensional woman who is desperately trying to find herself.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan, known for his roles as Negan on The Walking Dead, John Winchester on Supernatural, and the highly anticipated upcoming role on season 4 of Eric Kripke’s The Boys, shines in Leopard Skin. Morgan plays LaSalle, a criminal mastermind who manages the heist crew from behind the scenes and absolutely kills it. As always, the portrayal of his character is breathtaking despite his minor role, his performance is undoubtedly a highlight of the series.
The show also features the talents of Ana de la Reguera, Gaite Jansen, Gentry White, Margot Bingham, Amelia Eve, and Nora Arnezeder. All in all, both the main cast and the supporting roles are filled by incredible actors of diverse backgrounds who bring charisma, creativity, and chemistry to the screen.
Sebastian Gutierrez, the creator of Leopard Skin, is a Venezuelan director, screenwriter, and producer. Previously, he wrote the screenplay for the movie Snakes on a Plane, and wrote, directed, and produced the show Jett. One can tell he has great experience in the film industry, as the story he weaves together is compelling, intriguing, and doesn’t let the viewer look away from the screen for a single second.
Leopard Skin has an overall rating of 6.4/10 on IMDb, but the site’s episodic ratings range from 7.3 to a comfortable 9.0 on Rotten Tomatoes, the show has been awarded an 87% audience rating. Overall, this show is well received by audiences due to its psychological games, surprising twists, erotically charged interpersonal relationships, and unique storylines.
If you enjoy Leopard Skin, you may also be interested in shows such as Jett or Sugar.
Jett is another crime thriller from the mind of Sebastian Gutierrez, starring Carla Gugino. It follows the story of a thief who has just been released from prison and is already slipping back into a life of crime.
Sugar is a crime drama directed by Vic Sarin, who has a vast and diverse filmography under his belt. In this series, two social media influencers, portrayed by Katherine McNamara (known for her roles in Shadowhunters and Arrow) and Jasmine Sky Sarin, take a luxury cruise through the Caribbean and South Pacific ocean. On this cruise, they must choose between their online personas and their real life ambitions.
Leopard Skin is a unique crime thriller series that appeals to a wide audience, features an amazing cast, and tells a gripping story. If you’re interested, check this show out on the streaming service Peacock (you may need to use a VPN). So many great shows have come out this year, and hopefully 2023 has plenty more in store for us.