Laura Leon is the queen of slaps. She mastered her skills in telenovelas like El Premio Mayor, Dos Mujeres un Camino and Mujeres Engañadas. If you’ve ever been cheated on, here’s how to rip your man’s face apart.
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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.
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.