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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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