Entertainment

These Telenovelas Critically Shaped Our Lives And Continue To Impact Our Views On Reality

In Latino households, telenovelas are, for better or worse, congruent with our culture. The TV is always on and if it’s not on Primer Impact or Walter Mercardo, you can certainly bet that some telenovela is playing.

It’s not that we’re obsessed with dramatic storytelling, but we totally are. However, this kind of programming is sort of like an escape from our own personal drama, and the actors end up becoming a part of the family. So why wouldn’t you watch the new telenovela featuring Ludwika Paleta or Angélica Vale, especially if we have grown up watching them?

That’s what it comes down to really. These actors and these stories somehow became part of our lives during crucial formative years. So while we know they’re fantasy, we’re still hooked on them simply because of the nostalgic factor of where we were when we first watched them, and how they were intertwined with our family.

Here are 19 telenovelas that shaped our way of thinking, our way of dressing, and sometimes our way of loving.

“Carrusel de las Américas” ( 1992)

Instagram/@circo.eletronico

As a kid, this was probably the one telenovela that was okay to watch, and that didn’t show any inappropriate make-out session. These kids were just like us, and they looked like us too. They weren’t all cute blonde skinny kids (although it did feature one) like the ones that were on American television, so it was exciting to be a part of their world.

“Marimar” (1994)

Pinterest

Oh, Thalia! If we could count the ways we loved her, we’d never stop. By the time “Marimar” came on the air, we were very familiar with the singer and actress, but we couldn’t get enough, which is why she had telenovela after telenovela.

“Marimar,” however, was our “Pretty Woman” fantasy without the prostitution part. Here was a poor young innocent girl who was raised by her grandparents, and by happenstance, falls in love with a rich hot guy. Like in all love tales, these two worlds cannot easily blend. The rich don’t just fall in love with the poor, but in this case loved conquered all, giving hope to many of us that grew up dreaming of the perfect life. 

“Yo soy Betty, la fea” (1999)

Instagram/@yosoybetty.lafea

One of the most important elements that every telenovela must have is relatability, because without that, how can we see ourselves in those stories. “Yo soy Betty, la fea” was one of those stories, with many incarnations from various countries, that made us feel like we didn’t have to be the pretty girl to get the guy. Not only that, we didn’t have to be the most attractive person to get far in life. With the right attitude and passion, anything is possible and Betty was proof of that.

“Corazón salvaje” (1993)

Instagram/@telenovelasrd

“Corazón salvaje” is a period pieces that continues to be timeless to this day. The story of a love child born out of wedlock has been one of those very popular telenovela themes. Who doesn’t love a good love triangle between two young countesses? One of the reasons why this telenovelas was such a hit and crucial in our lives because it showed the intense passion and incredible chemistry between actors Edith González and Eduardo Palomo. It was palpable!

“Los ricos también lloran” (1979)

Instagram//@telenovelasrd

Another Edith González classic is “Los ricos también lloran.” In this drama, we, the regular working class Latinos, see how the other side lives. Yes, rich people have problems too. Like “Marimar,” we once again see a young impoverished girl who wins the heart of a wealthy man. Here we see the man as a mean and unloving person. Thankfully, his love for her changes him, which made us hopeful romantics think: our love can certainly change a man.

“Rubí” (2004 )

Instagram/@tvshowsnmusic

“Rubí” is one of those telenovelas that speaks to the devil in all of us. Internally, whether we’d like to admit or not, we are always secretly wanting more, envying those with a better life. That’s what Rubí represented, a devious and stunning woman (played by the amazing Barbara Mori) who would go to any length to get what we she wanted. While it’s great to have that kind of determination, what will cost you? Your dignity? Perhaps, yes. Y que?!

“La usurpadora” (1998)

Instagram/@lausurpadora1998

This novela is all about actors Gabriela Spanic Fernando Colunga, who we basically grew up thinking were part of our every day lives, simply for the fact that they starred in every telenovela. The storyline centers around twin sisters that are separated at birth and who reconnect later in life, but not in a good way. The poor sister has to act as a stand in for her rich sister who wants to leave her husband. Now, if the rest of us could have a double to do our dirty work, maybe we’d all be a little bit happier.

“Quinceañera” (1998)

Pinterest

This is the one telenovela that needs to be redone again and again in order for the new generation to fully understand what it’s like being a teenage girl. Now that quinceañera’s are pretty much a term known around the world, this 1998 show, starring a young Thalia, needs a reboot asap.

The problematic experiences that a teenage girl endures stays with her forever, and for best friends Maricruz and Beatriz it is no different. They experience date rape, drugs, gangs, the whole enchilada, and while it was hard to watch some scenes, it’s crucial to remember that this things are a part of real life.

“Cuna de lobos” (1986)

Instagram/noveleandopodcast

This novela, we should say, would have been nothing without the role of Catalina Creel (played by María Rubio) and that freakin’ eye patch that matched every single thing she ever wore. Catalina’s role as the evil mother could be seen as the original Donald Trump: a person who will do anything (even murder) to protect the wealth of her son. This story taught us the true definition of a mama’s boy. 

“Dos mujeres, un camino” (1993)

Instagram/@infonovelas

Do not call this another love triangle. Erik Estrada in “Dos mujeres un camino” is anything but. We were finally confronted with what happens when a Puerto Rican is perfectly placed in a Mexican setting. It’s insane and hilarious. That’s why we loved this telenovela. Where else would you see a cougar and a young muse fight over a truck driver that doesn’t speak Spanish very well? We need to rewatch this one again.

“Amor en silencio” (1987)

Instagram/@telenovelasrd

This story could be one of the most complicated telenovelas of all time, which is why it’s one of the most beloved. The storyline revolves around Marisela and Fernando who, naturally, should not be together for a variety of reasons but it technically comes down to his mother. Either way, these two get together and shit goes down at the wedding, and that’s only the beginning.

Parents should be informed that you should never ever tell a child what they should or shouldn’t do because they’ll end up doing the opposite, especially if they end up being your secret relative. So ew but also, been there. It made sinful loving no so bad (but still eww).

“María Mercedes” (1992)

Instagram/@tvynovelas_usa

Once again we see poor little Thalia, we mean Maria Mercedes, get swept of her feet by a rich older man, which in her case is a very good thing because she had to take care of her siblings. Of course, the wealthy man can always save the day, right?! Like we said before, for better or worse, these archaic storylines somehow seeped into our mentality that all you need is a rich man and all your problems go away.

“Muchachitas” (1991)

Instagram/@revistaeresfans

Whatever your social status was in life, “Muchachitas,” starring a young Kate del Castillo, fit the bill for you and all your friends, which is why we loved it. Whether you were the rich popular girl, the super poor and pathetic girl, or somewhere in between, you could see yourself in one of those girls, the only thing we lacked was their knack for drama.

“La dueña” (1995)

YouTube

Before being a badass boss bitch was a thing, Regina Villarreal, played by Angélica Rivera, made that attitude famous in “La dueña.” Sure, Regina was pure evil who thought her money could buy anyone, even her lover, but Regina taught us that with a commanding and persistent spirit you could pretty much whatever you wanted in life.

“De pura sangre” (1985)

Instagram/@telenovelasrd

In life you have to ask yourself: do you marry for love or money? For Florencia, played by Christian Bach, the question isn’t an easy one to answer. What do you do when your cheating husband can’t procreate and your marriage and inheritance depend on it? Well, the only thing left is to fall in love with the mysterious dark stranger. Yup, that’ll fix everything. Always follow your gut and your heart.

“Rebelde” (2004–2006)

Instagram/@rbdrencuentro

High school can be one of the most hardest years of anyone’s life, but for the students of Elite Way School, it’s so extra. While the students at this prestigious boarding school spoke to us on so many levels, what really made “Rebelde” legendary was their talent and artistry.

How many other high school students go off to make millions as a pop group around the world? Just one, so the crew of “Rebelde” will be with us for life.

“El Premio Mayor” (1995)

Instagram/@telenovelasrd

Way before Diego Luna was head of the cartel in Netflix’s “Narcos Mexico,” he was just a chubby little guy looking to stand out, which was basically all of us in real life. In “El Premio Mayor” there were a lot of flashy characters after they main protagonist Huicho, played Carlos Bonavides, wins the lottery and is perplexed on how to handle his new found fortune, especially when there’s gold diggers around every corner. There’s one lady that is completely different from the rest, and that’s the great Laura Leon who plays Rebecca, his true love.

One key thing that made this telenovela a hit, the title song sang, of course, by Leon.

“Topasio” (1984)

YouTube

This 1984 telenovela from Venezuela told the story of young Topacio. She is blind, poor, and very beautiful. She meets Jorge Luis who comes from a wealthy family. Here’s the catch, they were born on the same night and switched at birth. So, in reality, she is born into wealth and he’s just slim pickings, but the hearts wants what the hearts. Just goes to show, you never know who you’re going to fall in love with so always do a background check before you walk down the aisle.


READ: 21 Things That Would Happen If Stranger Things Was A Telenovela

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

This Is The Ultimate Telenovela Watch List To Help You Get Through The Holidays

Entertainment

This Is The Ultimate Telenovela Watch List To Help You Get Through The Holidays

Ok, it’s not as if any of us need an excuse to sit down and binge watch our favorite telenovelas. I mean we probably all already have a long list of favorites growing up watching them with our moms, abuelas, and tías.

Melodramas are part of our DNA, and we thrive watching the often times overly passionate scenes on TV with our favorite celebrities. One of the best things about telenovelas is that they have clear villain roles and come with a clear beginning and end. The short stories help us escape into an alternate reality where everything is a life-and-death decision. 

And thanks to a surging pandemic, we’re spending more time than ever at home in front of our screens, looking for more content to watch. So why not work on this epic list of telenovela content to help get you through the holidays.

La Reina del Sur

La Reina del Sur was (and still is) an absolute game changer that’s exactly how it will go down in history. The series that starred Kate del Castillo is about Teresa Mendoza, a woman who gets dumped into the dark world of narcos unknowingly. She soon finds herself being persecuted by the Mexican cartel and escapes to Spain only to revolutionize the drug-trafficking world in Europe. There was no intention to make a sequel, but Telemundo caved after fans requested it for years and in 2019 released another chapter of the saga. Both seasons are available on Netflix now.

La Patrona

Aracely Arámbula is one of our Latin telenovela queens. And one of her greatest telenovelas is La Patrona, in which she portrays Gabriela, a single mother who works as a miner.

Of course, being the only woman who works in the mines brings out the bullies who make her life a living hell. However, things escalate further when she crosses Antonia Guerra. Things take another turn when she finds out that Gabriela Suárez is her grandchild’s mother, and she goes to terrible lengths to get rid her.

It’s a strong classic telenovela story that features two strong women who are determined to complete their goals.

Betty, En NY

Yo Soy Betty, La Fea was a phenomenon that captivated our hearts when it first aired at the turn of the century. The Fernando Gaitán original gave us a lesson about loving oneself and not judging others by their physical appearance.

Telemundo remade the Colombian hit in 2019 and cast Elyfer Torres as the titular character of Betty en NY. The network updated the series to modern times, but the heart of the story remains. One unique aspect of the particular transformation that Betty receives is that they kept her hair curly throughout, making a statement that curly hair is also beautiful.

Rebelde

If you’re obsessed with Elite (along with the rest of the world), then you can think of Rebelde as a way less intense early 2000s version of it. It’s a remake of the Argentinian series Rebelde Way, and it’s set in an *ahem* elite boarding school.

The show follows the relationships of a group of wealthy and scholarship students who, in true Breakfast Club fashion, join together despite their differences and start a pop band. Oh, and another fun thing: They all dress like they’re about to star in a Britney Spears music video. It’s truly amazing.

Pasión de Gavilanes

If you are looking for something steamy to watch, look no further than Pasión de Gavilanes. The Colombian classic pairs three hot men with three gorgeous women, and there are lots (lots) of passionate scenes between all the couples involved. Telemundo remade this telenovela again as Tierra de Reyes with a whole new cast and abs galore.

La Que No Podía Amar

Another Televisa production, La Que No Podía Amar, completely changed the telenovela rules. Our protagonista, Ana Paula, is not your typical heroine as she is not one to take orders from anybody. Our galán is also not the usual lead man as he mistreats everyone around him due to an accident that left him unable to walk. Despite their clashing, they somehow bring out the best in each other and create a magical love.

¿Donde Está Elisa?

A telenovela meets true crime thriller? Sounds too good to be true, but it’s basically the premise of this Telemundo classic, ¿Dónde Está Elisa? 

As the family is engulfed in knowing Elisa’s whereabouts, deep, dark secrets start to unravel. How did Elisa disappear? Who is behind her disappearance? Is she dead or alive? The characters will ask themselves these questions, but the culprit of all this drama might just be at home.

La Usurpadora

This list would have a big gaping hole if we didn’t include the telenovela to end all telenovelas. La Usurpadora stars Gabriela Spanic as twin sisters Paulina and Paola, who trade places when the latter abandons her family and escapes with her love.

Paulina is the noble sister who ends up taking care of the Bracho family and finally making them feel like a family unit again. This sweet and bonkers story is one you have to watch if you call yourself a telenovela fan. Televisa adapted the story in 2019 with Sandra Echeverría as the twins. However, this time, it is set in the political world. This miniseries is available on Amazon Prime Video.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

All Of Your Favorites Telenovelas Are Coming Back With NBC Universo’s ‘Retro Jueves’

Entertainment

All Of Your Favorites Telenovelas Are Coming Back With NBC Universo’s ‘Retro Jueves’

So many us are already glued to our screen right now, binge watching far too much television, if you ask me. But – and it’s a very valid but – a throwback series consisting of our favorite and iconic Latino television shows would be a very valid excuse to continue racking up that screen time.

And guess what? NBC’s Universo is delivering exactly that with the launch of their new prime time lineup called ‘Retro Jueves.’ Consider it a chance to rewatch some of your favorite TV shows and realize just how fast time passes.

‘Retro Jueves’ will be full of iconic Latino TV shows – bringing us some much-needed content during this quarantine.

With the slogan “Remembering is Living” – so true! – Universo is launching “Retro Thursdays”, a new programming block that will be broadcast every Thursday in prime time from April 30 (that’s tonight!) at 7 p.m. ET.

The new programming block will bring back some of the most iconic U.S. Spanish-language TV programs from the early 2000s and let us remember the good ol’ days as we get a chance to look back at the beginnings of some of our favorite TV celebs.

Consider this a golden opportunity to revisit some of these classic shows that so many of us grew up watching as kids. Or, if you’re in quarantine with your mamá or tías – get them in front of that TV with you for a trip down memory lane.

Some of the classics I’ll be watching include, Caso Cerrado.

Few shows are as iconic and over-the-top genius as Caso Cerrado. The super dramatic court TV program is hosted by the beloved Dr. Ana María Polo and includes some seriously scene-stealing guests.

Though the show has come under fire for allegedly creating fake court cases – I don’t care. It’s great entertainment.

Caso Cerrado will kick off the programming with some of it’s very first episodes at 7pm ET.

Then it’s on to Protagonistas de Novela 2.

Protagonistas de Novela 2 follows at 9 p.m./8 p.m. central. This 2003 reality show guaranteed the winner a spot in a future telenovela, and this particular season became crucial for current stars like William Levy and Ximena Duque. Relive the drama and excitement that divided a nation: were you team Erick Elías or Alfredo de Quesada? Maybe your opinion will change if you rewatch it, or maybe it’ll remain unchanged.

Then things get hot at steamy with episodes from the super intense show, Decisiones.

At 10 p.m./9 p.m. central, we’ll dive into the true stories of people thrust into amorous adventures and pushed to their breaking points. Decisiones brings steamy melodramas about passion and sex in the modern world of 2005, featuring unique standalone stories in each episode.

Then it’s way back to Dr. Ana María Polo’s OG days with her original court program – Sala de Parejas.

This was the very court program that quickly had Dr. Ana María Polo stealing the hearts of viewers. The show centers on marital problems – which made for some seriously great TV. The success of Sala de Parejas enabled Dr. Ana María Polo to take the idea further and launch Caso Cerrado, where she was able to show other disputes not related to relationships.

With such a promising lineup of classic, iconic TV shows – I now have my Thursday night plans and I’m beyond excited.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com