Friday, January 03, 2014

Weekend Discussion: Fix This Novela!

Holà, Caraymates!  

We've seen quite a few series that had something going on to make the ratings department happy but... a serious flaw or two that earned derision from critics or unsatisfied viewers. Some of these got really bad – like Corazón Indomable. Others just needed a tweak or two, like Doña Barbara,

If you could fix a flawed novela, how would you do it? What general things would you do to fix the series to get it on track? We will assume that any and all continuity errors would be corrected but what general changes would you make?

I'll start with one some of you really hated, Fuego en la Sangre. It had excellent production values, photography, music, actors, and a good basic story premise, but the writing didn't come up to the rest. What I would have done with it:
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Friday, August 03, 2012

Weekend Discussion: Telenovela Villains; Peer(less) Evil

Dirty Dozen #3:   Femmes Fatales

Now we get to a particularly lethal species of female viper, the femmes fatales, the women who think they're the gods' gift to the men from whom they demand gifts. Not always clad in plunging necklines, stiletto heels, and red lipstick, they demand everything and get it... until Karmageddon gets them.  Always involved in one-upwomanship competitions with the female characters in their peer groups – and sometimes beyond that – for the attention of any or all of the males, they will use seduction as the primary weapon and deception as a close second. Frequently as sadistic as seductive, they are motivated either by pride, revenge, or greed. Whether toxic relative or false friend, the femme fatale is a typical narcissist and often a vile sociopath. Most are succubi and emotional vampires in other ways and – fortunately – few ever live to become the toxic mothers of future protagonists.

Who is the most evil of them all?
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

El Mundo de Telemundo, week of 3/12/12: Discuss Amongst Yourselves!

The new novela, Corazon valiente, started strong this week with a fast-moving story and some excellent work by the Telemundo troupe of actors. Doña Barbara's daytime run is done and now they have replaced it with Más sabe el diablo. I missed that one the first time around and am trying to keep up with it. (But those two-hour time slots are killers.) Here's your page, my friends. Let's hear what you have to say about your favorites.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

El Mundo de Telemundo, week of 2/27/12: Discuss Amongst Yourselves!

It's all yours, guys!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Doña Bárbara rebroadcast

It appears that Telemundo will rebroadcast the novela based on the classic Venezuelan novel, Doña Bárbara, beginning today in two hour episodes starting at noon eastern time. It is listed on the TV schedules for that time. Sometimes Telemundo mysteriously doesn't show what is on the schedule but I thought I would give folks who might be interested a heads up.

In my humble opinion, this is one of the best written novelas I have ever seen. Set in the Venezuelan llanos (but filmed in neighboring Colombia), it is filled with excellent performances by Edith González, Christián Meier, Génesis Rodríguez and many, many others. Virtually none of the novela conventions we discussed earlier are found here. You think they are going that way and then it surprises you with something completely different. And, we recapped it here. You can find the link in the sidebar.

Here is a link to one of the last posts I did on DB with pictures of most of the male characters - Eye Candy of the Arauca.

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Doña Barbara, - Eye candy of the Arauca

Here's my selection of the hunky guys. Any that I missed?

The star: Christian Meier as Santos Luzardo

Antonio - Arap Bethke with Santos

The Altamira vaqueros-


María Nieves
Pajarote & MN


Pajarote & Leon




The El Miedo Vaqueros-
Leon, Balbino Paiba, Tigre



Capt. Delgado

Lieutenant Guerrero

Orestes Prieto

Florencio Quita Dolores

Dr. Arias

Asdrúbal (JenCarlos Canela)


Friday, May 22, 2009

Doña Bárbara - Thurs., May. 21 - Grand Finale

This is it folks.

DB gets dressed up in a frumpy outfit.

She has flashbacks to passionate interludes with Santos while smelling his shirt and saying that she will take his smell with her. Then she says that this is last time she will look at the walls of the house. She urges Marisela to have it torn down since the house is full of death and hate.

At the canoe, DB tells Juan Primito that she is going far away and won't be back. She tells JP to take care of Santos and Marisela and they will take care of him.

DB tells Marisela to be happy and to make Santos happy. She has to - that is why DB is leaving. Marisela asks how she will know that DB is ok. DB says that she will think if Marisela every morning and Marisela should do the same and they'll know about each other. She says that one day, a child of Marisela's will look at her with DB's eyes and then she will know that DB is with her.

She blesses Marisela. Santos and Antonio watch but leave the moment to DB and Marisela.

DB gets in the canoe and Melquíades and Eustaquia are there. Marisela wills her mother to look back. Melquíades tells her not to look back like the goddess she is.
At a dinner of Melesio's family, Antonio announces that he has appointed Andrés to be his advisor.

DB takes ill on the river and is helped by a missionary woman.

Josefa tells Federica that she can't understand what she sees in Mujica. Josefa says that since she has to become a decent woman, she will take Pernalete and says, "better the devil you know than the devil you don't ('mas vale malo conocido que bueno pro conocer')." Mujica calls her his mother in law, Federica calls her 'mama' and Josefa reaches for the bottle.

DB has a the rape dream but this time, Sapo shoots Santos. The missionary woman wakes her up and gives her medicine. She asks what her name is and DB tells her to call her "La Doña" of the river.

Marisela tells Santos that DB forgave them and told them to enjoy life. She says they will have to get used to living without guilt. They have to be happy. Santos tells her not to worry. He says that it is very easy to get used to being happy.

"A few months later" Maurice gets a letter from Marisela describing her wedding and scolding him for not attending. She tells him that everyone at the wedding was making bets that DB would appear. However, the only untoward event that occurred was that JP ran in with the earrings that DB previously tried to give Marisela. She puts them on immediately. She tells Maurice that she is happy and pregnant.

Then we jump ten years ahead. DB, now graying, returns to the mission with gifts for the children and supplies for the missionary. She says that she has been wandering up and down the river all this time. Her malaria returns but she says that she knows that her daughter is happy because she talks to her every morning. She is ill again.

Back at Altamira, Pajarote and Genoveva are finally getting married after having two children.

Marisela is pregnant again. Maurice takes video of everyone to fill in what has happened in the meantime. Gervasia's new boyfriend is Néstor.

Federica and Mujica's family.

Marisela goes into labor at the wedding reception.

Marisela's new baby girl has DB's eyes and Marisela tells Santos that she doesn't feel that DB is there any more. JP says that the rebullones have returned.

DB goes on her final journey.


Thanks to Novelera for filling in for me when I went to Venezuela. Thanks to all those who posted comments. It's been a fun ride. I think this was the best written novela I have ever seen and I'll ask my question again - if DB's writers can produce this, why are the other novelas written so badly? I've been watching La Tormenta in the afternoons and it is similar to DB in that it takes place in the llanos and stars Christian Meier but it is has the same cardboard characters as most novelas. DB had interesting, complex characters and avoided almost all of the tried and true novela plot devices - no babies were switched or kidnapped; there were no secret paternities; no one was forced to marry someone they didn't want to and there were few misunderstandings that went on and on. That being said, I wish the novela hadn't been extended. I thought it lost a lot of its power when DB was essentially redeemed after the Meléndez incident. I'll miss finding out what's happening in the Arauca every night but I won't miss the three hours it took to do each recap!

I don't know if anyone watched the 12 Corazones on Friday. It had some funny bloopers from the show.



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