Since I have moved to Mexico City, it has been almost impossible for me to write about telenovelas because no one in Chicago is watching the telenovelas that are on here,
and when I write about the novelas on Netflix, I’m asked not to “spoil” the novelas for those who haven’t watched them yet.
And I have already written about all of the novelas that are on “Telemundo Internacionale” here.
So, with that in mind, and because we are coming up on Christmas, I have decided to try writing a mini-novela of my own, that is a combination of a telenovela and a Hallmark/Lifetime Christmas movie.
And since it’s my fantasy , I get to cast it anyway I want…
So today, here is the pilot of my HallmarkNovela: “A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES (AND MURDER & MAYHEM)”. Hope you like it!!!
“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES (AND MURDER & MAYHEM)”
A Telenovela/Hallmark/Lifetime ‘Television For Women’ Christmas Story…
“CHRISTMAS DAY – TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO – THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS”
When the story opens, we’re in a simple, humble little house, decorated for Christmas with home-made decorations. Dalmation puppies cavort around a giggling little girl, still in her pajamas, as she opens the few homemade presents under the tree. The little girl is about two-three years old – too young to really understand what is happening, but perhaps just old enough to remember everything.
From the little girl’s perspective, the scene looks foggy, like a dream or a memory. A pair of dusty, worn shoes, belonging to man, come into the room and stop right where the child sits, surrounded by puppies and gifts. The man asks the child “Que haces aqui?” which is Spanish for “What are you doing here?” The little girl stops what she is doing and looks up at him, terrified. Then a pair of woman’s shoes, high-heels, red sandals, come in right next to him. We never see their faces. The man speaks in a harsh voice, and tells the woman to “hurry up and get her dressed.” The woman, crying, half-heartedly refuses, but swoops up the silent little girl and wraps her in a winter coat and boots over the Christmas pajamas the child wears. Both the coat and boots are too big for her – clearly hand-me-downs.
Meanwhile, the man answers an insistent knock at the door – it’s another couple, about the same age, but they are dressed in better clothes and appear more prosperous. The little girl watches the male half of the couple hand the man a big wad of cash, and the woman hands over the little girl to the female half of the couple. The female half of the couple strips the little girl of her winter coat and boots, spitting out that they have much better clothes for her. Now the little girl begins to cry as they take her to a waiting car, which speeds away. The man slams the door to the house closed, and tells the woman “Stop crying – it’s better this way. Now get rid of those puppies next.”
The Dalmation puppies, without the little girl, wander around under the tree and whimper, looking for their little friend…
CIDERVILLE is a magical small town, decorated for Christmas on every corner. Plastic Santas with their reindeer descend from rooftops all over town, giant candy canes line Main Street, every house and business is decorated inside and out for Christmas, trees wrapped up in sparkling lights, a gigantic Christmas tree dominates the town square, gold and silver-wrapped boxes with red bows sit under the tree, lampposts wrapped in twinkling lights and holly … you know the drill. The only thing missing to make it all perfect is SNOW. (As I said, you know the drill.)
A black sedan drives fast up Main Street, failing to stop at Ciderville’s only Stop & Go light, and hits a handsome young man on a bike. The car stops, and LUPITA, a beautiful, solemn and highly-accessorized young woman emerges from the back seat of the car, yelling at her driver, OSCAR, who tries to help the bike-rider. The bike is damaged beyond repair, and the driver pulls out a wad of cash and hands it to the bike-guy who is banged up, but ok. The bike guy is JUAN CARLOS, known to all as “JAYCEE.” Jaycee swears and throws the cash back at Oscar and limps off with his bike, which looks broken beyond repair. As he goes, he looks back at Lupita with the “1,000 Yard Stare,” which is a cross between an alluring come-on and a murderous glare. Lupita returns that look with a small, mysterious smile.
Lupita gets back in the car, and Oscar continues to drive through Main Street, but a lot more carefully this time. As the car moves slowly down the street, townspeople stop to stare at it, and no one seems too happy to see it. It’s hard to tell who looks more sinister: Lupita, behind the tinted glass of her black sedan, or the kids who glare back at the car, longing for snow so they could throw snowballs at the car.
Finally, the sedan comes to a stop in front of a small holiday-themed gift shop, called “Ye Olde Casa del Christmas.” VERONICA, an attractive woman in a Christmas sweater goes to the window and studies the car, and announces “She’s here,” to GINA, equally attractive, and not dressed in a Christmas sweater. Gina looks worried, and she clutches a Christmas ornament in her hand as walks up to join Veronica at the window. Veronica looks down at the ornament in Gina’s grasp – it’s a Dalmation puppy. Veronica begins to warn Gina about the danger of the puppy ornament, but she is interrupted when they are joined at the window by a menacing, intense man, ROBERTO who would look a lot scarier if he wasn’t wearing a Christmas sweater too. He asks the women if they are ready. When he sees the puppy ornament he reminds Gina that he’s warned her before and now he’s done warning her. Veronica tells Roberto to shut up – they are ready. Nothing can go wrong. Then Gina silences their bickering with the two scariest words you can hear in a telenovela – “Trust me.”
Gina, Roberto and Veronica watch Lupita as she walks towards the shop and begins to open the door.
The bell hanging over the door, that rings “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano, falls from the wall, striking Lupita in the head and knocking her out cold.
Roberto and Veronica smile at one another, but Gina looks worried. Roberto then quickly drags Lupita’s unconscious body away from the door, while Veronica quickly draws the blinds and puts the “CLOSED” sign in the window. Gina wipes the blood from Lupita’s forehead, while trying to wake her up.
As Lupita comes to, her vision is still cloudy, and the first thing she sees is the Dalmation ornament.
“Mama? “ she cries, weakly. “Mama?”
Roberto covers her mouth with his hand, telling her to shut-up. Lupita wakes quickly after that, and her eyes grow into gigantic saucers once Roberto covers her mouth with his powerful (and hopefully clean) hand.
Meanwhile, back at the car, Oscar grows tired of waiting for Lupita. As he walks up to the shop, he notices the drawn blinds and “Closed” sign.
He’s about to go to the door, to make sure Lupita is ok (since that’s his job) when he notices the “Ciderville Christmas Cantina” across the street, and decides to go there for a drink instead, leaving Lupita at the mercy of three mysterious shopkeepers who clearly will stop at nothing, including wearing some pretty bad Christmas sweaters.
To Be Continued…