To end UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR on the 30th meant Univision had ten days to air eleven episodes, and rather than give the telenovela an extra hour on Friday, Univision decided instead to egregiously chop up a few episodes, most noticeable on Monday’s broadcast – at one point, there were three consecutive cuts, in effect, jumpcuts, to Gala in her office, three separate scenes forced to run consecutively as a single awkwardly disjointed scene. Would it really make that big a difference in the scheme of things if the new novela started on the 4th rather than the 3rd or if POR ELLA SOY EVA was given a single Friday off?
Plot resolutions are accelerating as the novela nears its finale: Rodrigo (Gabriel Soto) got divorced from Gala (Jessica Coch); Don Aquiles (Humberto Elizondo), in poor health, had a touching scene with his estranged daughter Violeta (Aleida Núñez with her best work in this novela); Maximino (Roberto Blandón) confessed his fraud and setting up Claudio Linares (David Ostrosky) for the crime that put him in prison for twenty years to his two sons; and the continued bonding between Mateo and Rodrigo and Luciana (Zuria Vega), no one knowing he is their lost son. Friday’s episode concluded with the increasingly unhinged Roselena (Laura Flores), who is beginning to hallucinate, planning to lock up her daughter Jana (Ilean Almaguer) in a warehouse to prevent her from marrying Lorenzo (Erik Díaz) and Melissa (Tania Lizardo) on the verge of admitting her romantic feelings for the much older Claudio Linares.
On AMORES VERDADEROS (weeknights at 9 p.m. ET on Univision), farmer turned bodyguard José Ángel (Eduardo Yáñez) managed to leave his bodyguard job after being wounded saving Victoria (Erika Buenfil) only to be pulled right back into it when villainess Kendra (Marjorie de Sousa) arranged for his little house on the hill to be burned down.
I’m still puzzled by the tone – AMORES VERDADEROS often veers into camp, but it seems to be legitimate camp, that is, camp unaware of its own campiness (or if it is aware, is doing a damn good job of feigning ignorance). Muddying matters, there is a great deal of straight comedy as well, though I don’t find any of it as funny as the (I think) unintentional comedy such as José Ángel giving chase to would-be kidnappers through a crowded mall wearing just his boxers and taking a pointless leap and flip off an escalator (a sequence featured this week on the comedy clip show THE SOUP on E!), the incredibly cheesy commercial featuring bad girl model Kendra pretending to ski through fan-blown fake snow, or the way giant glowing orange letters rain down around Victoria to convey she is lost in thought as she types a novel inspired by her brushes with danger and new hunky bodyguard.
I’m also fascinated by Susana González, who seems like she is starring in her own different novela. Her character, Beatriz, drops in for one scene per episode, and for that one scene, AMORES VERDADEROS suddenly becomes a real-world, domestic drama as Beatriz attempts to cope with her abusive husband, gambling father, mother who abandoned her twenty years ago and her brother who suffers mommy-issues from that abandonment. González is great in the snippets and I could do with a lot more of her on the show, though a part of me also dreads her getting more airtime as it will likely mean seeing her join the sillier central story lines.
This week, ROSA DIAMANTE (weeknights at 8 p.m. ET) continued to fall apart, disappointing as it is lone Telemundo production to hold my interest, having abandoned CORAZÓN VALIENTE (moderately amusing trash that outstayed its welcome months ago) and EL ROSTRO DE LA VENGANZA (a nightly cure for insomnia).
The ratings for ROSA DIAMANTE were never great and recent weeks feel suspiciously like a production getting the bum’s rush, sacrificing character logic and story coherence for empty, nonsensical plot turns that give the illusion of incident, but are really just vapid runarounds, devoid of emotion or consequence.
Three central characters remain out of commission: Rosa (Carla Hernández) incarcerated in prison, Rosaura (Lupita Ferrer) kept sedated by wicked nurse Graciela (Tamara Mazarrasa) under orders of Miss Margaret (Luciana Silveyra), and Andrea (Sofía Lama) chained up by her kidnapper. (In a ripe bit of nonsense, Andrea managed to avoid her kidnapper’s sexual advances by feigning a headache – he’s an empathetic, considerate would-be rapist.) With three characters in effect imprisoned, unbelievably, there are two more hastily introduced plots afoot for two more kidnappings, both largely coming out of nowhere.
Even when ROSA DIAMANTE was running more smoothly, I still found the big moments, the set pieces the action builds toward, mostly falling flat; and that continued this week with the wedding of Jose Ignacio (Mauricio Ochmann) to Bárbi (Begoña Narváez), a male protagonist/female antagonist union for the sake of the man’s baby, rendered as a dull, clumsy mess, with a half-dozen subplot conversations distracting in the middle of the vows, vitiating the central event. Matters were not helped by the fact the wedding was apparently televised live (really?!) so Rosa could watch it from prison.
CORREO DE INOCENTES
The Colombian production CORREO DE INOCENTES is getting a second US run courtesy of MundoFox starting Wednesday, November 28th at 12 p.m. ET with a same day rerun at 4 a.m. ET. I don’t usually note rebroadcasts, but the first run of this show last year on Telefutura was edited, so hopefully viewers will get the full novela this time around. CORREO DE INOCENTES is a grim, but well-produced and acted novela about a mother (Margarita Rosa de Francisco) who becomes a drug mule to save the life of her daughter. It also stars Salvador del Solar, Roberto Urbina, Cristina Campuzano, Laura García and Victoria Gongóra.
- TELENOVELA WATCH: CORAZONES BLINDADOS Premieres Monday! Plus, ROSA DIAMANTE, AMOR BRAVIO & UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR (October 20, 2012)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: AMOR BRAVÍO Censorship, Final Stage Of UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR, PASION PROHIBIDA Casting Controversy (October 27, 2012)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: ABISMO DE PASIÓN Finale; AMORES VERDADEROS Premiere; Five Years Later On UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR (November 3, 2012)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: AMORES VERDADEROS First Impressions; AMOR CAUTIVO Preview (November 10, 2012)
- TELENOVELA WATCH: AMORES VERDADEROS, UN REFUGIO PARA EL AMOR, AMOR BRAVÍO, ROSA DIAMANTE (November 17, 2012)
R.G. Morin writes a regular column for We Love Soaps, "Telenovela Watch: A weekly look at the world of telenovelas for non-Spanish speakers." For feedback or questions, you can email R.G. Morin at email@example.com.