Until Who is Erin Carter? I had no idea who Evin Ahmad was. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Swedish show. But after this performance, in one episode, I know I’ve been missing out on some immeasurable talent and will definitely have to check out Snabba Cash, Young Royals, and The Rain. Especially that of the Swedish Kurdish actress Ahmad who is making her English TV debut in this Netflix mini-series.
Who is Erin Carter? obviously tells the story of Erin Carter. She’s a British schoolteacher living in Spain with her daughter and partner. What starts as any other normal day with her family turns into danger when she stops a supermarket robbery with more skill than a “normal” teacher would have. Oh and when the robber recognizes her. Flash forward through the episode she feels like she’s being cornered, a secret nipping at her heels, until her past comes for her and she ends up killing them.
In a TV/movie landscape that is absolutely littered with grumpy dad protecting their child, it’s refreshing to see something like Who is Erin Carter? She is the one with the mysterious past. She is the one with the skills. And she is the one with this anger/need/drive inside her to protect not only her child but also her life and the home that she’s built in Barcelona. Because of Ahmad, all those points are hit perfectly within 1×01 in a way that feels honest, raw, and unapologetically bloody.
Women aren’t afforded opportunities like the one we see in this Netflix mini-series. Ahmad’s character isn’t cookie-cutter. You don’t see her turning into a raging war machine with no compassion and a cold disposition. And you don’t see her breaking apart at the destruction she’s caused. She manages to find a balance where she listens to her child when they are frustrated, keeps a seemingly (for now) relationship with her partner, and then smashes someone up before burying them in the forest with her next-door neighbor.
Sure, being a mother is going to guide Erin’s decisions in this series. But this mini-series feels like it’s willing to explore different facets of what it is to be a woman in the 21st century without leaning into stereotypes. And this is me being entirely too optimistic. After all, it’s only the first episode and God only knows what is going to happen in the next 6 episodes. Then there’s the fact that the show was written by a man and most of the episodes were directed by men according to IMDb.
Until Who is Erin Carter? shits the bed I’m going to stay cautiously hopeful that in a sea of bullshit stories where kickass women like Erin get no nuance or are fit into little boxes, that this show does well. And if it doesn’t. At least I’ve discovered Evin Ahmad and her talent. That’s a win hands down.
Who is Erin Carter? is now available on Netflix.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Who is Erin Carter? being covered here wouldn’t exist.