TELENOVELA WATCH: 'Manual Para Ser Feliz' Final Week; Thoughts on 'Hasta El Fin Del Mundo' and 'La Malquerida'

Manual Para Ser Feliz (weekdays at 3 p.m. ET) is entering its final full week on MundoFox. This quirky and charming Colombian telenovela really grew on me. There is a shaggy dog quality to its characters, not just the misfits working in the office, but the leading lady fashion designer and her cousin and even the villains that I just found very appealing. It is a modest production that never seems to be reaching for its effects. There is very little plot and almost no actual jokes – the interest and humor comes in observing the little details in the characters’ lives and their day-to-day interactions with each other. In a telenovela format which deals almost exclusively in larger-than-life dramas, there is a cheeky perversity in how Manual Para Ser Feliz focuses on the small and mundane.


Hasta El Fin Del Mundo
There is an unfortunate déjà vu for telenovela watchers who keep abreast of international productions. The Mexican produced Hasta El Fin Del Mundo is the third version of this story I’ve encountered in a couple years after Dulce Amor, the Argentine original, and a current Chilean version called El Amor lo Manejo Yo. In the first few weeks, the two new versions are almost scene-for-scene retreads of the original.

For those coming to the story fresh, Hasta El Fin Del Mundo (weeknights at 9 p.m. ET on Univision) is a respectable version. It is similar in structure to another often produced Argentine telenovela, Amor en Custodia, which was most recently remade as Amores Verdaderos, only instead of a wealthy mother and daughter romancing their bodyguards, Dulce Amor and Hasta El Fin Del Mundo feature a pair of wealthy sisters falling for their chauffeurs.

Pedro Fernández is an atypical leading man. He is not believable as the neighborhood lothario and his acting is filled with too many ah-shucks mannerisms; but there is an earnestness and charm that helps sell the budding romance with the leading lady played by Marjorie de Sousa. He is a likable performer and the fact he isn't a run-of-the-mill telenovela dreamboat only means the producers, writers and actors have to work harder to build a convincing relationship between the protagonists based on something more substantial than the stereotypical telenovela instant romances attained by merely gazing into each other’s eyes.

Guest Stars Update: Jon Lindstrom on the 'Castle' Season Premiere September 29

Jon Lindstrom guest stars on the season premiere of ABC's Castle.
We Love Soaps is tracking where daytime, primetime and web series soap opera stars are appearing outside of their regular show. Below are some of the upcoming guest appearances in various television and web shows and movies.

SEPTEMBER
15 Dallas - Judith Light (ex-Karen, One Life to Live)
15 Under The Dome - Max Ehrich (Fenmore, The Young and the Restless)
17 Legends - Kirk Avcevado (ex-Miguel, Oz); J.R. Cacia (ex-Dmitri, Spyder Games)
20 Hallmark Channel Movie Perfect on Paper - Morgan Fairchild (ex-Jennifer, Search for Tomorrow); Lindsay Hartley (ex-Theresa, Passions)
21 The Good Wife - Kelli Giddish (ex-Di, All My Children)
22 Forever - Mackenzie Mauzy (ex-Phoebe, The Bold and the Beautiful)

Today in Soap Opera History (September 15)

Peyton Place premiered on ABC 50 years ago today.
"Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable."
George S. Patton

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1964: Primetime soap opera Peyton Place premiered on ABC. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, the series was preceded by a 1957 film adaptation. Peyton Place ran for 514 total episodes with the series finale airing on June 2, 1969.

In the first episode, Dr. Michael Rossi (Ed Nelson) arrived from New York City to set up practice in town. Newspaper editor Matthew Swain (Warner Anderson) told him people usually tried to get away from towns like Peyton Place, not move to them. Matthew's cousin Allison MacKenzie (Mia Farrow), a close friend of classmate Norman Harrington (Christopher Connelly), fell in love with his older brother, Rodney (Ryan O'Neal) as they shared their first kiss. At the end of the episode, Allison's mother, Constance (Dorothy Malone), made it clear she disapproved of her daughter's relationship with Rodney.

'Dallas' Preview: Bobby Ewing To The Rescue

Antonio Jaramillo, Emma Bell and Brenda Strong. Photo Credit: Skip Bolen
In the wake of a devastating family kidnapping, Bobby (Patrick Duffy) puts everything on the line to save the lives of Ann (Brenda Strong) and Emma (Emma) on the next episode of Dallas, airing Monday, September 15 episode at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT.

Also in the episode, titled "Boxed In," John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Pamela (Julie Gonzalo) form a truce of sorts. Elena (Jordana Brewster), who's been in hiding with Nicolas (Juan Pablo Di Pace), finally learns the truth about his connections to the cartel, which sends her spiraling. Christopher (Jesse Metcalfe) desperately searches for Elena, fearing for her safety. And Bobby is forced to make a choice he never anticipated.

Check out a sneak peek video below:

Preview of Tonight's 'Masters of Sex': Below the Belt

The second season of Showtime drama Masters of Sex continues on Sunday, September 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

In this week's episode, titled "Below the Belt," Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) tries to find a cure for Masters' sexual difficulties; Masters (Michael Sheen) learns of a rival study and tries to brand his work; Flo (Artemis Pebdani) informs Langham (Teddy Sears) that he must have sex with her in order to keep his job; Barbara (Betsy Brandt) and Lester (Kevin Christy) connect over their shared sexual dysfunctions; Libby (Caitlin FitzGerald) asks Johnson to give her an alibi while she canvases a tenement for a rent strike with CORE.

Watch a sneak peek video below:

Today in Soap Opera History (September 14)

1966: Constance went into labor on Peyton Place.  1981: General 
Hospital's Susan was in the hospital after having baby Jason.
2009: Guiding Light's Lillian visited Maureen Bauer's grave.
2010: One Life to Live's Dorian threw water on Bo and Nora.
"Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable."
George S. Patton

"Today in Soap Opera History" is a collection of the most memorable, interesting and influential events in the history of scripted, serialized programs. From birthdays and anniversaries to scandals and controversies, every day this column celebrates the soap opera in American culture.

On this date in...

1936: NBC debuted Frank and Anne Hummert's radio soap opera John's Other Wife. The story revolved around John Perry (Hanley Stafford), the owner of a department store, his wife Elizabeth, and an assistant secretary named Annette. John got more than he bargained for when Elizabeth started to feel as though Annette had become his "other wife." The show ran until 1942.

1966: On Peyton Place, Connie (Dorothy Malone) was brought to the hospital after she began feeling labor pains.

Soap Opera Ratings: 'Days of our Lives' Up in Viewers and the Demos

For the week of September 1-5, 2014, ABC's General Hospital posted gains in Total Viewers (+92K) and Women 18-34 (+15K) and Women 25-54 (+50K). NBC's Days of our Lives rose in Total Viewers (+220K), Women 19-49 (+49K), Women 18-34 (+24K) and Women 25-54 (+51K).

None of the four daytime soaps aired new episodes on Monday, September 1st. Three were pre-empted and ABC broadcast a repeat of General Hospital. The Bold and the Beautiful and The Young and the Restless were also pre-empted on Friday, September 5th.

Check out a breakdown of the Nielsen ratings below:

Total Viewers (versus previous week/versus same week last year)
1. The Young and the Restless 4,567,000 (+142,000/-48,000)
2. The Bold and the Beautiful 3,448,000 (-15,000/-223,000)
3. General Hospital 2,964,000 (+92,000/+212,000)
4. Days of our Lives 2,467,000 (+220,000/-157,000)

Hillary B. Smith Representing 'A Million Happy Nows' in Harrisburg's Walk to End Alzheimer's

The annual Walk to End Alzheimer's will take place in Harrisburg on Saturday, September 20 on City Island. The event raises awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research.

Actress and producer Hillary B. Smith, who starred for over 20 years as Nora Buchanan on One Life to Live after a successful run as Margo Hughes in As the Worlds, will be in Harrisburg, serving as captain of team "A Million Happy Nows." The team is named for a film that she is acting in and producing with Crystal Chappell.

In A Million Happy Nows, veteran actress Lainey Allen (Chappell) is tired of being sidelined for younger talent on the soap she has starred in for twenty years. Coupled with finding it harder to retain her lines, she decides not to renew her contract, and she and her publicist and partner, Eva Morales (Jessica Leccia), move to their weekend house overlooking the ocean on the Central California coast. The move highlights some small changes in Lainey’s personality – mild depression that Eva puts down to leaving the show. But when Lainey starts to forget more than can be attributed to stress, Eva insists on a visit to the doctor.