Eva Longoria recently stopped by The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon to play a little Family Feud and to talk novelas. Longoria was there to promote her new TV comedy, Telenovela, which also features Latino actors Laz Alonso and Jencarlos Canela. During the interview, Longoria broke down the three go-to moves every telenovela star has in their pocket: the gasp, the stare and the slap. Can Jimmy keep up? Watch and see for yourself.
Looking for a show to fill the “Jane the Virgin”-shaped hole in your heart? Well, we may have some good news! Eva Longoria and Zoe Saldana teamed up on a new series called “The Gordita Chronicles” for HBO Max.
According to Deadline, “The Gordita Chronicles” will a follow a “willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican” named Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli. Cucu “struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American dream.”
Zoe Saldana has long been a producer on “The Gordita Chronicles”, while Eva Longoria was recently tapped to direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series.
But these two powerful Latinas aren’t the only ones with their hands on this project. Dominican-American producer and writer, Claudia Forestieri is the brains behind this series.
Forestieri is a former Telemundo reporter who changed tracks and began a career in TV-writing. She has previously written for Latino-centric shows like “Selena: The Series” and “Good Trouble”. Forestieri is a self-described “bilingual & biracial TV writer of Dominican-Italian descent who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami.”
Eva Longoria took to Instagram to express her elation over being involved in such a trailblazing project.
“The Gordita Chronicles” is the perfect-storm of Hollywood Latino talent that have been working to have a project like this greenlit for a long time.
“I’m BEYOND excited & honored to announce my part within this brilliant team of women coming together to create ‘The Gordita Chronicles’,” she wrote. “I’ll be directing the pilot, while working alongside the amazing and talented @claudiforest, @brigliebs, @zoesaldana, and so many more!!”
She ended the statement with a comment and the sad state of Latino representation in Hollywood. “The lack of representation and diversity in Hollywood continues to be a major focus, rightfully so, and I’m so honored to be a part of the change!”
To make things more exciting, they have already found their lead. After an intensive search, producers cast an up-and-coming Afro-Latina child actress named Olivia Goncalves.
Per Deadline: “The Gordita Chronicles centers Carlota ‘Cucu’ Castelli (Goncalves), a willful 12-year-old Dominican immigrant with a heart of gold. Cucu leaves her home and her parochial school in Santo Domingo to live in Miami and pursue the American Dream during the hedonistic 1980s after her father, a marketing executive with a large airline, gets transferred there.”
The show will focus on Cucu as she “meets head-on the challenges of being an immigrant in a strange new world with humor, bravado and some really bad choices.”
If the synopsis is any indication of the show’s promise, please count us in! This sounds like a heartwarming, unique story that Hollywood doesn’t spotlight often enough. We can’t wait to watch!
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.
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.
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.
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.