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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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 )

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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)

CREDIT: 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

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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’

Telemundo

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.

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Versace Just Dropped A Whole Telenovela For Their Holiday Campaign And The Drama Puts Rubí To Shame

Fierce

Versace Just Dropped A Whole Telenovela For Their Holiday Campaign And The Drama Puts Rubí To Shame

versace / Instagram

And no, we’re not talking about ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace’, that’s a different Versace-themed glamorous murder-mystery. This time, the Italian fashion house, known for its drama and campy decadence, produced a whole bite-sized Telenovela featuring its holiday 2019 collection. Think Veronica Castro in the 80s; big perms, bold statement jewelry, betrayal, murder and tax evasion. Not even Telemundo could’ve thought of a more twisted and fabulous story. 

Versace’s Holiday Saga is a tumultuous and OTT Telenovela.

The concept was first ideated in collaboration with the American artist Sarah Baker and the UK art and fashion journal; Baroness Magazine. The six-part micro-telenovela includes all the traditional elements of Latino soap-operas that we’re all too familiar with; such as a filthy-rich family who owns an over the top mansion, a greedy antagonist (usually a sexy female), the wronged husband, the ingenue and the sketchy accountant. 

The protagonist, Angelina, is a rich business woman who is suspected of having committed a crime.

versace.com

Constructed as a series of letters written by the protagonist to Donatella herself, the story follows Angelina (played by Baker), the CEO of Narcissist Records who has been accused of stealing the smash hit “Spritz Me With Your Love” (lol), from an uncredited writer. 

In telenovelas, people return from the dead, blackmail each other and plot the protagonist’s demise, and Versace’s version isn’t short of all that drama.

versace.com

The writer of the song is in fact Angelina’s boy toy, “Angelo,” who —in true Telenovela style— appears to have mysteriously died after falling off a cliff. Angelina, suspects that her archenemy The Baroness—Angelo’s wife— played by top model Helena Christensen, is to blame. 

If it all sounds twisted, over the top dramatic and just all around extra; wait until you see the visuals. 

versace.com

The 6 mini-episodes not only feature fabulously dressed models clad in all Versace outfits, but also a huge assortment of random Versace-emblazoned items. There’s Versace silverware, a Versace pool float, a Versace volleyball, a Versace ash tray, Versace martini glasses, and the list goes on. 

By this point, if you grew up watching Telenovelas, you should know that nothing is as expected.

versace.com

Telenovela plotlines are a twisted business. If you’ve watched classics like ‘La Usurpadora’, ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’, ‘Rubi’, or ‘Maria Mercedes’, you’d know better than to assume that things will follow their natural course. In Versace’s story; Angelo is of course, not dead. The accountant is plotting to frame Angelina and marry her daughter —the ingenue— to keep Narcissist Records for himself. Angelina had an affair with her frienemy ‘The Baroness’s’ husband Angelo, and The Baroness is actually… drumroll please… an undercover spy. 

You can watch the six-part series on Versace’s holiday campaign website.

versace.com

Versace unleashed the first full episode as well as a director’s cut on their Youtube channel. The Italian house’s complete 6-episode soap opera, is available to view for free in the form of a ‘Versace Holiday Saga’ on the brand’s website.  

There will also be a print edition of the story.

instagram @baroness_magazine

The actual print edition of the art and fashion magazine ‘Baroness’ will feature the story alongside an accompanying editorial shoot —which seems to be even steamier than the video clips. 

Donatella’s take on the classic soap-opera has all of our Telenovela-loving hearts, obsessed.

Twitter @veronicadela4t

Versace knows the importance of spectacle and drama. Donatella embraces over-the-top luxury and this tongue-in-cheek take on the campy Telenovela, is evocative of the 80s and 90s classics, us Latinx millennials, grew up watching. Angela and The Baroness might as well be characters in ‘Maria Mercedes’ or ‘Los Ricos Tambien Lloran’ and we can’t stop watching. It’s ridiculous and we’re sure you’ll love it, too. 

As ridiculous as the narrative might seem, The Versace Saga gives us every single thing we need out of a Telenovela: sex, scandal, intrigue, decadence and sisterhood.

versace.com

After the unravelling of the scandalous lives of the female protagonists, the campaign teaches us an important lesson in empowered sisterhood. Dismantling the misconception of ruthless powerful women in popular culture as spiteful, Angela and The Baroness actually patch things up and work together to unmask the real villains; Jacob and Angelo.

In this project, Baker and Donatella aim to subvert the judgement of ‘passional’ soap-star females fueled by theatricality. Instead they celebrate sisterhood by wrapping up the story with a collaborative female effort to overthrow the pangs of blackmail and deceit.

The holiday campaign features Versace Cruise 2020, and a wide selection of the brand’s famous medusa, emblazoned on household items. The collection is now shoppable on versace.com

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