Saturday, March 29, 2014

Weekend Discussion: Are Novelas Getting More Violent?

We've referenced this before, but with the recent incidents in Lo Que La Vida Me Robo, Mentir Para Vivir, and even the attempted rape in De Que Te Quiero Te Quiero we can't help but wonder whether novelas in general are going down a slippery slope that can't be tilted back.

In a previous discussion on this issue we seem to have come to the consensus that the rise of the narco stories came from the networks' desire to get more male viewers.  I don't know whether that's been working for them, but edgier has been the order of the day in all television and we need to ask ourselves whether there should be a limit.  In the US there is an irrational fear of sexual content in ad-supported television which until relatively recently hasn't affected the Spanish-language networks very much.  We're complaining here -- and justifiably -- when we become aware of hot love scenes being censored because they are censoring mostly scenes that show couples who actually love each other and actors who have the right chemistry to do scenes like that.  Why are television networks so afraid of the conservative moral watchdogs who -- if they were truly what they say they are -- aren't even watching these programs and theoretically shouldn't care about them?  These people don't control all the money in this country although they are trying hard.  We should not allow them to get a foothold into our private lives.

Why instead are they not censoring violence?  Violence is the real obscenity in modern society and the constant exposure to it takes away much of its shock value.  The occasional violent scene with bruises, bloodshed, etc., can be powerful; too many such and people will begin to shrug it off.  Is this some unconscious Darwinian element nobody has identified?

Villains are also becoming more perverse as we continue down this path. Porque el Amor Manda gave us a female villain who emotionally abused her own child (as in 5 years old in the opening of the story), Amor Bravio had a male villain who raped his own niece, even planning it so that it happened just as she became mayor de edad, and a sexual blackmailer forcing the heroine into her Tosca moment (as an opera fan I sometimes wish she would have taken the same action).   LQLVMR and PSMA are currently giving us villains of such extreme sociopathy they're making our flesh crawl.  Not an episode goes by on this blog that someone doesn't comment on that.

At the moment in a series like LQLVMR violence is the price tag we're paying for the otherwise good writing and the chemistry of the two leads.  I'm not ready to walk away from such a situation, but if Televisa reads this blog, this is to let them know that there is only so much violence we should be able to tolerate in the name of ratings.

Sound off, amigos.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Discussion: Controlling Mothers, Part II

Maternal Monsters, Part II

There are way more of these than perhaps any other female villain because they can play so many cards in the game of control. Guilt, money, religion; even sex isn't exempt from their repertoire in their attempts to control their teen or adult children. I was hoping to compile another Dirty Dozen, but some of these are so spectacularly evil it just couldn't wait. Please provide any more details if you can.
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Friday, December 06, 2013

Weekend Discussion: When Good Novelas Go Bad

We've seen it happen more than once and it seems to happen more often in recent times than in the past. A novela begins on a great note and suddenly the characters behave inconsistently or the story makes no sense. We're seeing this now with Corazón Indomable, and with the last quarter of Porque el Amor Manda when we went from a comedy to a …. circus of evil. Real head-scratchers and we keep speculating why this happens.

Telemundo's Aurora started out well, as a science fiction version of Sleeping Beauty, but ended up bogging down in novela clichés it may have first tried to avoid. Televisa's Mariana de la Noche started out well even with the clichés but moved into total unreality in the second half. At least that one compensated by having a great leading man (Jorge Salinas) and an equally great male villain (César Évora).

What other novelas have you seen that did this?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

PEAM #181.2- 11/20/13: We All Should Obey When Love Commands. The End!


Dear Caray readers, I thank you for your patience and trust allowing me to experience something new for me. I am glad I did it, but I am also sad, since this excellent experience happened with this awful Telenovela. Thanks again and see you in the comments. 
This is my last participation for the time being, and since this has not been discussed, I would like to add a couple points from yesterday (I know, it's hard to say goodbye). 

Also on Sunday...

Aunque la jaula sea de oro, no deja de ser prisión

It doesn't matter if dad is in jail or free. On Father's Day, you just have to go see him. Today, we witness Mostro hugging his kids and Patricia taking Fernandito to see Papá Rogelio. Patricia, who could be doing theater off Broadway right now but she missed the chance when she decided not to follow Elías, still rehearses in the hopes that one day she can succeed as a ventriloquist, throwing her voice so Rogelio thinks that the baby is starting to speak and that he is not missing those big moments in every father's life.

Later on, to Rogelio's surprise, Fernando brings Mr. Fernando senior, their father, but Rogelio is still very hurt to forgive... Mr Fernando, who moonshines sprinkling sugar on churros and playing maracas, didn't come to ask for anything, just to see how his sons were doing and to met his namesake and grandson. Rogelio changes his mind and thinks of all the times when he abused and hurt his brother and since now his life is changing, he is not going to perpetuate all this hate. They hug and cry.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

PEAM, Tuesday 11/19/13 (#181): El Gran Final, pt 1 - Falling and Rising

Hold onto your hats for a finale so funny, you won't know when to START laughing, much less when to stop!

Chucho tells Demonica: you've alienated everyone who cared about you because you destroyed everyone in your path. Do the right thing for once and let me save Valentina. I'll even let you escape. You've been a good mother. I know you love Valentina. Let's save her together. OUR child. Don't you have any compassion?

"And who has compassion for ME?" Vero retorts. She holds the gun to her own head and fires, but it's too late - he's already knocking the gun out of her hand. How gallant.

Satan calls. "The kid tried to escape! She won't drink her water!" Vero beneficently tells Satan to put Vale on the phone to talk to Chucho. Vale stomps on one of Satan's giant feet with both of her tiny feet. While Chucho tells Vale to pray, Vero nails him in the shoulder with a big syringe. She tells Satan to get the kid under control. "You know what to do." She taunts Chucho while he slowly loses consciousness.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

PEAM #180 - El Ultimo Lunes, 11/18/13, We Need All the Angels and Guides We Can Get…

For the last Monday, I give you photos from Oaxaca: The Day of the Dead Parade by Students and my favorite Saturday Market with the Puppy Xolo, Bobo and also my own Willa.

Los Angeles Siempre Ayuden uno al otro

Los Escuincles (Xoloitzcuintle) Xolos were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs (and also Toltecs, Maya and some other groups) because they believed the dogs were needed by their masters’ souls to help them safely through the underworld. They were also useful companion animals. According to Aztec mythology, the god Xolotl made the Xoloitzcuintli from a sliver of the Bone of Life from which all mankind was made. Xolotl gave this gift to Man with the instruction to guard it with his life and in exchange it would guide Man through the dangers of Mictlan, the world of Death, toward the Evening Star in the Heavens.   Wouldn't you like to have 5 month old Bobo here show you across the great water when you pass to the next world.  -text from Wikipedia

And last but never least, one more recent shot of my personal angel and guide, Willa! These images help me to look to the passing on of this telenovela and on across the great water to the other side where there is light and art and …..

This is my farewell recap many thanks to all the faithful for hanging in…. Hasta la proxima...

Jesús and Delia worry about the disappearance of Valentina and what hideous outcome is Veronica really capable of.

At Avon Alma and Pati discuss the conjugal visit and the upcoming wedding. Last, today is the day that Jesús they are going to arrest Veronica.

Veronica and Valentina in a park look at clouds, Valentina sees an Angel like her amiga Alma.  Veronica is not pleased.

Jesús talks to cops and his Alma worrying about the disappearance of Valentina.

They cannot find Veronica's car yet and Delia tells him not to worry. She consults with the abogada of Jesús and shows him his love's bracelet, which he knows well at first glance, it is indeed Cynthia's.

The monster Veronica stuffs candies into Valentina with a certain manic force.  Poor little Valentina tries to placate her Mamacita as always.

Jesús talks again with Delia who is so sure that a MOTHER won't hurt her daughter. But Jesús recites all the murder and mayhem committed by Veronica and asks her if she really thinks the demonic Veronica is such a good mother that she won't hurt her own daughter when she already sold her baby son, has killed a couple of innocent bystanders and so on and so why not...
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

PEAM #179- 11/15/13: The Perils of Valentina Commences!

Hola PEAM Peeps. I will try to make this recap, very short and sweet without missing a thing, maybe ;

Catfight! Catfight! In the park, in front of a ton of witnesses, Pato knocks the crap out of Killeronica and she does the same to Pato. It's a draw, cause the cops come and break it up. Pato warns Killeronica to stay away from her family. Killeronica tells her she'll be at the boda of Alma and Chucho, count on her, bwhaaaa!

Julio and Aida finally do the deed! It's only about time. Then there is the whole thing of was it good for you, as it was for me? They are too cute!

Short scene of Kiko playing the keyboard for Vale, he's her idol. FF>>>>

Chatita comes to Susanna's place for the Bachelorette partay. It's all done up in heart balloons, where are the red buckets I wanna know?
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

PEAM #178-11/14/13- An Episode of Bridezilla

Good evening all. 

We begin with Alma visiting her former cellmate, Tecolota.

Ricardo and Jesus are talking in the office and in walks Vicki.  Why??  A "kitten fight" ensues between Marisela and Vicki.  Insults are thrown but Vicki is there is to arrange music for Jesus’ wedding.  Vicki has contacts.

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PEAM #177- 11/13/13: The End Is Near, Repent Veronica! Look to Jesus, Jesus Loves You (Sorry, We Don't Mean Garcia)!

Recap By Pablo

This is the recap of a very stupid episode (I am so glad this ordeal is almost over)

Fo-fo-for you, Je-je-Jesús, the sky is the li- is the li- is the limit!

It's weird that this stutterer friend of Jesús, whom he considers almost his brother, was not seen (or heard of) in any of the 175 previous episodes. I guess he had to be a stutterer because that's funny (to who is not), specially when they always start their phrases with what we think would be a bad word, but when they finally say it, it turns out it was not!! It was not funny 20 years ago and is still not funny. Popó, popó, por favor haz caca, haz caca, camino al andar!

It wouldn't hurt to try, if you could handle the truth...

Patricia is talking to Delia in the hope that she allows Rogelio a special permit to attend her best friend's big wedding. Sorry Charlie, 
1) Delia is out of town and
2) Personal matters are not to interfere with prison regulations

Heartbroken, Patricia starts walking aimlessly. Her brain orders her legs to move, but her heart has stopped responding... meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, in Avon's media room she is being awaited... without her, there could be NO WEDDING!!
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

PEAM, Tuesday 11/12/13 (#176): Hugs, Kisses, Clues, and Dead Ends

After work, Ferni and Xochi visit Fernando's dad at the old folks' home. Dad is aquiver with tentative excitement and Parkinson's. He's been keeping up with his sons' lives through the newspapers; he read about Fernando's wedding and Rogelio's imprisonment. Maybe someone should tell him about these recaps.

Dad is remorseful and contrite about being such a lousy father; he doesn't blame Fernando for not having visited sooner. Fernando explains that Rogelio actually told him that their father was dead. Dad doesn't blame Rog for that, either. Fernando tells him not to dwell on the past - there's still the future, and five new grandchildren on the way!

Dad says it was worth the wait to finally see Fernando again. Fernando forgives him, and they hug.

It's Friday the 7th of June, by the way. Valentina is aghast that her father and Alma have to wait nearly a year and a half to get married in the cathedral of their choice. (It's where Alma's parents got married. Look how well that marriage turned out!) Then the phone rings. Guess who it is? Guess!
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Monday, November 11, 2013

PEAM #175, Nov. 11 - Penultimate Monday - A Night Without Veronica Is A Night To Party, Party, Party

With heartfelt thanks to our military men and women who give so much to their country, I hope we all observed and honored this Veterans Day (named Veterans Day in 1954) was established in 1919 and re-dedicated in 1938 as Armistice Day, November 11, celebrated and dedicated to the cause of world PEACE. Anyway, happy holiday to our heroes!!

But enough for now we need to see Yuri approaching the doomed Rogelio at the prison that has become so like a fraternity meet up until Yuri steps into the cafeteria to scare the recovering wheel chair bound curly top.  Both looked like there are great barbers in the prison.

Jesus is rushing to set up interference in the prison but Yuri's flunkies roll Rogelio to his date with Picadillo.  Yuri waves a plastic spoon letter opener or juarever while he threatens but the wheel chair is left empty while Rogelio stabs Yuri with his weapon, suddenly when Jesus can get no action from the police because they haven't heard any death screams, the death screams come from a bloodied Yuri.  Rather than being astounded in fear, the adoring Yuri crowd celebrates the fall of the giant and Jack rides off in triumph for the moment.

Chatita's diagnosis of sore throat is confirmed by the real doctor who assures her and Alma that baby Luisa is perfectly well.
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Saturday, November 09, 2013

Porque el Amor Manda #174: More Monkeyshines

[Done from memory, without notes...because WHY SHOULD I WORK HARDER THAN THE WRITERS?]

Roger gets all prettied up for the jailhouse wedding. We know he's a good guy now coz they finally found him some shoes that don't clash with his suit. Paty has more fabric in her left sleeve than the whole rest of her dress, casual. They kind of fast-forward through the ceremony, which in typical Mexican fashion has five times more document-signing than kissing, but juarevs -- everyone's all smiles. No lasso of love, but I guess it's not the venue. Domi catches the bouquet, and she and Cantu do the happy dance.

Afterward the beaming couple repair to the rose-petal strewn prison infirmary conjugal suite, where Paty strips down to a particularly fetching Federico's of Monterrey number that has Rog's eyes popping. She bounces around on the bed, urging him to come and get it, rise and shine, throw away those crutches and walk, baby -- and he does! It's sort of a cross between Joanna Spyri's Heidi and a Viagra commercial, and yes, that's as creepy as it sounds. I don't think the monkeys should be allowed to collaborate. They have such different visions.
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Friday, November 08, 2013

Weekend Discussion: Karmageddon Discussion; La Tempestad and PEAM

I have basically ignored these two series for the most part because I'm not into comedies and because William Levy does nothing for me.  However, since both of these are ending very shortly, the Karmageddons of their villains should be a hot topic that deserves its own discussion.

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Thursday, November 07, 2013

PEAM #173- 11/7/13- The Garcia- Montemayor Family Can Never Have a Happy Family Function

Good evening to all, it’s me Luisita once again.

My brother’s dad is back in jail and some idiot named Darwin is bothering him about that monster, Uri.  This idiot said that he knows that Rogelio has money hidden and he could use it for them.

I’m at work with my mami and my papi.  They will be home about 9.  Paty asks what time they are going to be home.  She is acting very suspicious.

At mi abuela- Chatita’s house she is waiting for Cricket Face.  My soon to be abuelo, Panfilo.  He cleans up well.
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PEAM #172-11/6/13: Gossip Girl Avon: Ultimas Semanas!!!

Recap By Pablo

Delia doesn't care about luuuurve!

This is the second time Delia set Rogelio and Patricia apart. The first time only Jesús noticed a silent cry on her face but now the whole IMSS hospital are witnesses of her pain and suffering. ''We need Ane and Dr Osorio in the reception area, Dr. Osorio please bring Ane Sthesia to the reception area''. Sorry Pato, you can keep swimming, but this pichón is going back to his cage... now with less marbles and no legs!!

Hi, I am Susana, I am a woman just like you, only older

Avon soy yo! And if you think I look good, you'll look way better! Guaranteed or your money back! Jéssica is living proof that Avon products enhance your appearance, unless you cry, then you will look like a raccoon.

This ''girls'' are such Pranksters

Pánfilo is probably crying with his one good eye after seeing Susana on the catwalk. This episode presented by the shapes ''sphere'' and ''cylinder''. ''Sphere'', ''cylinder''...
His loss. In the crowd, Ricardo shamelessly looks like nothing happened, after all the damage he did... bad monkey!
Diego Armando Manriquez, the male version of Tracy Rodríguez, who is now chasing Alma, in an effort to extend this TN until its breaking point, falls victim of the gossip girls, who in revenge, cut him some slack, literally, leaving him almost naked. Who would have thought these girls would have such a sense of humor? If they could only work half as hard as they have fun!!
Jesús is not the first male secretary, he shouldn't be so redundant, unless this has a hidden sexist meaning. Or, a self affirmation. I was a secretari-o, yes, I didn't make a mistake, it has an ''o'', ''o''. Juárever! Vivan las secretarias! Enough already!
Group hug! We miss the old grumpy man, because Jesús, when he scolds the Gossip Girls after the prank to that obnoxious Argentinian, sound fake. Alma comes to his rescue and all giggle and laugh! Secretly, they wish this nightmare was over! Aren't we all?

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

PEAM, Tuesday 11/5/13 (#171): Hitchcock. Kubrick. Truffaut. Kurosawa. Garcia?

- Valentina posts a new photo of "my family" to Bookface. Pretty much everyone in Monterrey is in it except for Vero. (And Daddy Elias. How soon they forget.) Vero sees the photo and has a cow and vows revenge on everyone. Said revenge will be exacted at the double-baptism on Sunday. She will crush ALL of the birds with one stone. (insert bird puns here) She promises to pay Jacinto oodles of money if he'll just do this one last job for her, and then he can disappear. I hope he realizes that she'll probably try to whack him because she hates paying for things.

- Vero says "[he/she/you] will pay" about a thousand times.

- Diego Armando is totally useless as a director. Chucho ends up directing the whole commercial himself and also assists with the editing. Meanwhile, Diego asks Alma to run away with him so they can laze around nekkid at the beach. Alma turns him down. He tells himself that Alma will pay.

- Diego Armando has offended each and every one of the secretarias. They are determined to make him pay. (Does anyone notice a trend here?)
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PEAM #170- 11/4/13: I Feel Jealous Even Of The Dress You're Wearing...........

Recap by Pablo

This episode sponsored by EL POLLO LOCO (Martha's secret recipe) Cheap and healthy!

Buaaahhhh! Mi pichón operado del cerebro!!
Jesús in the hospital 
Alma in the hospital 
Chatita in the hospital 
Patricia in the hospital 
Pánfilo in the hospital 
Martha in the hospital 
Marcia in the Sanitarium 
Verónica in the hospital 
Bárbara in the hospital 
Máximo in the hospital 
Don Sebas in the hospital 
Sansón skipped the hospital, he just died (poor boy, he couldn't take it anymore)
Hernán skipped the hospital, he died at home waiting for a wife that never came to help him... yes! she killed him! Sort of.

Osorio: Oh my God, I have been so busy writing a stupid underage romance subplot for my son, that I was forgetting Rogelio, send him to the hospital ASAP! And don't forget than in the 11 episodes left, we still have to squeeze in Valentina, Minerva and Domitila, all to the Hospital, ok? 
Octavio: working on it! Do you want me to make the coffee maker explode? I could send half of Avon's staff at the same time!

Ury mistook Rogelio for a mop, mopped the jail floors with his hair and now poor Rog is suffering, with the two sides of his brain split apart. Joining them will take time and effort. Of course Patricia is ''desvastada'' while Alma and Fer try to hold her. Have you seen a grown up man cry? Cantú is also very sad. Losing a boss like Rogelio is unbearable...

The news has reached Gossip Radio Hall at Avon, and Jesús is telling only one person, to make sure the whole building knows in a few minutes. Well... to speed things up since he is a superhero, he also tells Xóchitl... And since we are in the ''cebollazos'' time, they praise each other's ability in the parenthood area, pretending it is not a big deal, but highlighting that becoming a parent is the most wonderful thing in the world. He knows because the first time he was robbed of that experience, but this time he is making up for it. Imagine feeling that FIVE TIMES!! Yes, Xóch will have FIVE BABIES!! Her sonogram was in CinemaScope!! Here they are, three girls and two boys. Their names will be Cempalzúchitl, Chinampina, Iztaccihuátl, Temalpopoca y Guadalupe.

Verónica in storms unexpectedly wanting to see her daughter

She calls Minerva a traitor, pushes her to the side and walks in confronting Chatita, who is not so sure today is one of her visitation days, but says no anyway. 
-Bruja Escaldufa, go home! You will not see Valentina today!
- She is mine and I see her when I please! I have the receipt! Wait, oh no, that is for Fernandito. Anyway, what is this fleabag doing here? And this poor girl from a lower class? I have clearly forbidden that MY daughter be near her! Why isn't anybody doing what I demand in a house that is not mine? Please explain, you have five minutes!! I have some killings to do!! I mean, my shoes are killing me!
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Saturday, November 02, 2013

PEAM #169-11/1/13: AARP LoveFest, Rog Is Picadillo and Pato Loses It!!!!!!

Hola Peam Peeps! Here is the short version of the recap. Rog is in la carcel and it ain't pretty, Alma returns to work, Panfi and Sebas plot, Pato loses it. That's it, that's all. Want more? Pull up a chair, grab your hot chocolate, whipped cream optional, and read on!

I Fought The Law And The Law Won!
We find Rog in la carcel and meets some dude called Darwin. He knows all about Rog from Yuri, the Russian. He has a message for Rog, he'll be picadillo! Here comes the Guard, his name is Champigon, Champi for short and wishes nightmares for Rog. Rog looks scared!

Safe Harbor:
Pato has decided to stay with Alma and Chucho. It would be safer for her and little Ferny she is such a good Mama to him. Chucho reminds her she is part of the family. Awwww. Luisita gets to know little Ferny.

AARP Love Fest:
Panfi tells Sebas he is going to ask Chatita to marry him. Sebas thinks this is such a great idea, he'll ask Susana. They will come up with a plan so the girls don't find out. Chatita thinks they are planning something and then forgets why she came into the room.
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

PEAM # 168- 10/31/13- Luisita's Story

Happy Halloween all!!  Feliz Noche de Brujas!!

My name is Luisa and my mom is Alma who has just been released from jail.  My dad is Jesus who loves my mom so.  Chatita my grandma, kind of sort of and Don Sebastian is my grandfather, my mom’s father.  They meet my mom at the jail where she was just released for killing my half sister, Valentina’s therapist.  Valentina’s mom is crazy and framed my mom, but my papi my hero, solved the case and now my mami is free.  Rogelio, my mom’s ex and her friend Paty are there too to greet my mom.  What an emotional scene.  I can’t wait until she gets home.
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PEAM #167- 10/30/13: Attention! Flashbacks Now Include Oiled Chest Rubbing! Guess Whose?

Recap By Pablo

Octavio and the lemming team sure have a sick idea of what fun is.

Someone has a red neck
Verónica is licking her lips because her plan came out perfect.

-Not so perfect- says Roger while grabbing her arm and pulling her -you're doing a lot of harm-
-Stop it! Between you and Jesús are going to tear my arms off!!
-Ok, ok, keep your arms, I am going to choke you!, here, take this!
-Mmmhhgggg, mmmghhhffff!!

Domitila shows up walking like she doesn't want to pop balloons on the floor, just in time to stop another murder, and Roger lets Verónica go...
-Damn! Now I owe my life to the help!

I am not a serial killer, so I don't understand why most of them have to post all the pictures of the people they want to kill, on a wall and cross them out with huge red ''exes''. Couldn't they just make a list in their minds and not have this physical proof that incriminates them once anybody sees it? I mean, what is the purpose? Keeping track? Isn't there an app for that? Why not make a list and keep it in the shirt pocket? Juárever, Verónica has a cork board on the wall with all the pictures and she goes and hits it with a knife every time she is upset, which is most of the time. That board has more holes than a strainer...

But knowing that Roger has found out about that wall has sealed Cynthia's fate, because she was the one who told Roger and knowing how gossipy everybody here is, Roger probably already told Jesús and now I am sure all Avon knows it... do you know what this means? First she has to go to Cynthia's Facebook page and download her picture for the wall, and then... After Cynthia, Roger is next!

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