“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES & MURDER & MAYHEM – Episode 5

Have you ever wished a Hallmark Christmas Movie could be more like a telenovela? Have you ever wondered what would happen if you mashed-up a Telenovela with a Hallmark Christmas Movie?? Well, now’s your chance… Look for a new episode every day of my telenovela “A Season for Magic & Miracles, and Murder & Mayhem… “

EPISODE 5 – “A TIME FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM”. — Yet Another Stranger Comes To Town

(A TELENOVELA COMBINED WITH A HALLMARK CHRISTMAS MOVIE)

We are in a dark alley. There are remnants of snow around, but basically, the snow is so old and dirty that the alley looks like a dirty ashtray. A caption tells us we are “Unpleasant Point,” New York.” Suddenly, we hear the footsteps of someone being chased – it’s a very handsome and mysterious man (“ANTONIO”). He stops at the edge of the alley – maybe he has escaped. He is scruffy and kind of beat-up, which somehow makes him look even more handsome.

As he catches his breath, he puts his gun back in his jeans pocket and looks around. Except for the sound of a dirty sax playing “Marry Christmas Baby,” coming from a nearby strip club, there is nothing at all Christmas-y about this dark, damp alley. Antonio hears the voices of the men who have been chasing him, so he begins to run towards a neon blinking “Unpleasant Point Bus Terminal.” He is stopped by a beautiful and mysterious woman who emerges from the shadows, and asks him for a light. This woman is “SANDRITA,” and she does not have a cigarette, which Antonio points out to her. “What is it you want me to light,” Antonio asks Sandrita. “My heart, mi amor – set me on fire.” Antonio ponders this odd yet intriguing response, assumes that this beautiful and mysterious woman was speaking figuratively, and excuses himself because there are men chasing him who want to kill him.

Sandrita watches Antonio run into the bus station, lights a cigarette and says to herself, “See you in Ciderville, mi amor.” Under her coat, we can what looks like the collar of a Christmas sweater.

The inside of the Unpleasant Point Bus Depot is even more grim and less Christmas-y than the alley, if such a thing is even metaphysically possible. Antonio makes his way to the lone cashier, who is dozing and eating at the same time. A small portable TV behind him plays “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.” Antonio comments that he’s happy to see something for the holidays here – for awhile he thought Unpleasant Point didn’t celebrate Christmas. At first the cashier is confused, then tells Antonio it’s the only tv station they can get this deep into the mountains of upstate New York – the signal comes from a town called “Ciderville,” and they show Christmas movies 24-hours a day. He only has the TV on to keep his dinner warm – and points to a casserole dish sitting on top of the TV. Antonio, who keeps looking over his shoulder, asks for a bus ticket for the next bus out of town – doesn’t care where it’s going. Without missing a beat the cashier tells him “You’re in luck Santa – you’re going to Ciderville.” He takes Antonio’s cash, hands him a ticket, and points to the lone bus sitting in the terminal. “It’s just about to leave – better hurry up.”

Antonio takes the ticket, runs to the bus, but stops to give an elderly blind man with a red bucket some money. After Antonio drops a big wad of cash into the bucket, he wishes the old man a Merry Christmas and hurries to the bus. The elderly blind man removes his sunglasses, looks at the cash in the bucket and watches Antonio get on the bus.

The two men who have been chasing Antonio arrive just as the bus pulls away. They ask the old (not really blind) man where that bus is going, and the old man tells them “Sacramento.” Defeated for now, the two men shoulders’ slump and ask where the nearest rental car business is. The old man points to the car rental office in the terminal, but adds that it’s closed for the night, and they had better make themselves comfortable …

MEANWHILE…

Back in CIDERVILLE, LUPITA runs up Main Street, where she runs into OSCAR, who is running towards her. They both have to dodge groups of carolers dressed like Dickens characters handing out cups of hot cider and Christmas cookies to passers-by. Lupita has just escaped the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, while Oscar has just escaped the Ciderville Christmas Candle-Inn. They have never been so happy to see each other, and bring each other up to date on the lunatics they have just managed to escape from. The two of them compare notes:

In a flashback, Lupita describes the disturbing encounter with the very handsome LEONARDO, who is GABI’s brother, and apparently one of GINA’s enemies. Lupita tells Oscar how Leonardo made a beeline for her, and insisted she was his wife! Oscar interrupts to ask her if this Leonardo thinks she is this FERNANDA too, but Lupita says, “NO!! HE CALLED ME LUPITA AND INSISTS WE ARE MARRIED!!”

Oscar is very surprised at this, and tries to ask Lupita if it’s possible that she married this LEONARDO somewhere and forgot? Lupita agrees that anything is possible during the magic of Christmas, but she’s pretty sure she’d remember marrying a man as handsome as Leonardo. Lupita adds that when she tried to convince Leonardo that they are not married, Leonardo confessed to her that Lupita was in a “Conscious Coma” when they got married, and that is why she doesn’t remember.

Oscar then shares his story with her – we see it unfold in flashback – that he had really fallen hard for this NADIA, and confesses he allowed her to puncture the tires to the car so he could spend the night with her, but then tells Lupita that while he and Nadia were in the cantina, two very dangerous criminal-types came in, JOSUE and JOSE, and that one of the criminals (Oscar doesn’t know which one because their names are vey similar and they were both wearing Christmas sweaters) announced that Nadia is his wife. Oscar says that Nadia insisted it is not true, but when the man broke a beer bottle on the bar, after crushing a glass in his hand, Oscar thought he had better leave, with Jose, Josue and Nadia chasing him down Main Street. He adds he was only able to get away because a group of very small people dressed as elves were walking up Main Street looking for Santa’s Village, which Osar wants to visit before they leave.

Oscar looks down at Lupita’s brightly colored Christmas shopping bag that reads “HAVE A MERRY CIDERVILLE CHRISTMAS – FOR ALL OF THE WISHES YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD!!!” Oscar asks “What’s in the bag?!” Lupita answers his question by pulling two Christmas sweaters out of the bag – His and Hers.” Oscar shakes his head NO, but Lupita insists – they need to wear them to blend into the big town meeting tonight at the Gingerbread Village Hall. Lupita reminds him that this is why they came all this way – they have to wear these sweaters tonight – they have to be at the big meeting!! Plus, Lupita adds that there will be hot cider and homemade cookies. And that Nadia will certainly be there, since she owns the Bed and Breakfast in town! Lupita promises Oscar that she will keep Jose and Josue busy so Oscar can talk to Nadia and straighten the whole married/not married issue out. Oscar reminds Lupita that she has the same issue to figure out for herself, but agrees to go to the meeting, and wear the Christmas sweater.

As Lupita and Oscar hash out the details of their plan, GINA hovers nearby, spying on them from the side of the building they are next to. In fact, it’s hard to see how Lupita can’t see her, but if she would just look a few more inches to her right, or pay attention to all of the people wishing Gina a “Merry Christmas” as they walk by her, Lupita might realize that Gina has overheard everything she and Oscar said…

As Oscar and Lupita walk away in search of a room somewhere other than Nadia’s Bed and Breakfast, and a place to try on their Christmas sweaters, Gina emerges from the shadows and watches them walk away. “Be careful, mi amor,” she whispers. LEONARDO has been spying on them too, from the other side of the building, and when he hears Gina say “Be Careful, Mi Amor,” he stops, and approaches her very seductively. “Are you talking to me?” he asks. “Well who else would I be talking to?” responds Gina. Leonardo offers Gina his arm and asks her if she’ll join him for a hot cider. Gina accepts with pleasure, and they two of them sashay down Main Street together. As they pass by the window of the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, GABI watches her brother walk arm-in-arm with her archenemy, takes a chocolate Santa Clause off of the tree, and bites off the head.

MEANWHILE … Back at the Ciderville Village Hall…

LAS COLOMBIANAS are very busy chatting, chattering, and decorating the Town Hall, getting ready for the big meeting tonight. They have brought Arepas for everyone, claiming that since they are Colombian, they can’t live on Hot Cider and Cookies alone. Somehow, they are able to dance while they work, but once Maluma’s version of “(Baby Please) Come Home For Christmas” starts playing, all work stops as the two lead a Zumba lesson.

MAYOR LUIS and SHERIFF RICARDO watch Las Colombianas and agree they are in love with them, even though they can’t understand most of what they say, and they would feel a lot more confident if they knew who this “Parce” fellow was.

They toast each other with an Arepa and watch the Christmas Zumba lesson Las Colombianas give to the rest of the group.

MEANWHILE… Back on the bus to Cedarville…

Antonio watches the towns roll by as the bus travels towards Ciderville. A big happy family at the front of the bus sings Chrismas Carols, while another woman hands out homemade Christmas Cookies, and pours everyone a little hot cider from her gigantic thermos.

Antonio realizes his seatmate, an older woman wearing a headband with reindeer ears and a Christmas sweater pulls an apple out of her bag and offers it to Antonio. He refuses it at first, but she tells him she has an extra-one and he looks like he could use it. She reminds him it’s a long way to Cedarville and he needs to eat. This woman is CLARA. Antonio gratefully accepts the apple and they start talking. Clara suggests that Antonio buys a Christmas sweater as soon as he gets to town, or else he’ll stick out, and whoever is chasing him will be able to find him. Antonio asks Clara what makes her think he’s being chased, but Clara just gives him a knowing look and tells him that unless that gun in his waistband is made of chocolate, which are the only guns allowed in Cedarville, he better stash it somewhere before he goes into town.

Antonio sheepishly looks down at his fun, stuffs it deep in his pocket, and joins in with Clara and the Carolers, as they belt out “Feliz Navidad.”

The bus rolls through the dark New York hills… It’s snowing, but when the bus pulls into Cedarville, there is no snow anywhere…

MEANWHILE… Back at the Ciderville Village Hall…

Mayor Luis and Sheriff Ricardo help Las Colombianas as they build a Kissing Booth. The Kissing Booth is creating tension between Las Colombianas and Luis and Ricardo, because Luis and Ricardo do not want Las Colombianas kissing anyone but them. And another thing creating tension is that neither Luis or Ricardo can remember either one of their names, and now it’s too late to ask, so they refer to them as LA COLOMBIANA and THE OTHER COLOMBIANA, and to make matters worse, they’re are not even sure which Colombiana they are talking about at any given time, nor can either one of the two men remember which Colombiana they like. And the tension definitely increases when the girls begin talking about a guy named “Parcero,” who Luis and Ricardo are pretty sure is “Parce’s” hermano (“Brother”).

As Luis and Ricardo watch Las Colombianas prepare themselves for the kissing booth by repeatedly checking their lipstick, and blowing out the tiny candles on their crop-top Christmas sweaters so they can light them again, an anxious Fernanda spies on them from around the gingerbread corner, smoking with one hand and eating bits of the buttercream windowsill with the other…

As the crowd begins to pour into the Meeting Hall of the Village Hall, the atmosphere is festive, EXTREMELY CHRISTMAS-Y, and ripe for some very big hijinx…

Lupita and Oscar stroll in in their new Christmas sweaters… Lupita wears a crown of garland covered in tinsel, so she clearly thinks there is some kind of prize for “Best Costume,” – not realizing this is a pretty standard look for the women of Ciderville. There’s Nadia, flanked by Josue and Jose… She has thrown caution and tradition to the wind by wearing a red mini-dress a la Scarlett O’Hara at the Ball in Atlanta…

In strolls ROBERTO flanked by Gina and Veronica, followed quickly by JAYCEE, flanked by his parents BLANCA and PABLO. When Pablo and Roberto face-off, not only are they identical twins, but to add to the confusion, they are wearing identical Christmas sweaters… In comes Leonardo escorting his sister Gabi – he has traded his finely-tailored Italian suit for a Christmas sweater too. Gabi wears a Christmas sweater-dress, which every woman in the Hall is envious of.

Fernanda is wearing a silver mini-dress with tiny Christmas sweaters sewn all over it, and because she thinks this is a formal event, she has placed her cigarette in a holder.

The room is buzzing with competing Christmas get-ups, hot cider, Christmas cookies, and even though it looks like a party, they are all there for a very important purpose – to discuss what to do about “The Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Wants To Buy Ciderville To Destroy It Because She Hates Christmas.”

As Mayor Luis tries to call the meeting to order, he bangs on the gavel and people gradually take their seats, except for Las Colombianas and the men (and a few women) lined up at the Kissing Booth.

An angry Sheriff Ricardo breaks up the line at the Kissing Booth, declares it officially “Closed,” and order everyone to their seats. For the first order of Village Business, Mayor Luis moves to ban Kissing Booths, Sheriff Ricardo “Seconds” the motion, and Mayor Luis orders Las Colombianas to his office to await further instructions from him and Sheriff Ricardo.

The room finally begins to quiet down, when Mayor Luis, still at the podium, sees Antonio standing at the back of the room. All eyes follow, and the room goes very quiet, as everyone stares at yet ANOTHER stranger who’s come to town. Finally, from the podium, Mayor Luis yells, “ANTONIO, QUE HACES AQUII?!?!?!?!?” (“Antonio, what are you doing here?!?!?!”)

Antonio stares at Luis for a moment, and then pulls out his gun… Everyone ducks…

And no one sees FERNANDA, standing right behind him…

… To Be Continued…

EPISODE 4

“A SEASON FOR MAGIC & MIRACLES … AND MURDER & MAYHEM!”

When we last left off yesterday, GINA was at the door of the Ciderville ‘El Generalissimo’ General Store, and GABI was not happy to see her, while LUPITA was still reeling from the events of the day so far,and she had only been in town for a few hours!

Gina is holding a snowglobe filled with Dalmation puppies, and still in her Christmas sweater.

An angry Gabi asks her “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!? (What are you doing here?!?)”

Gina responds that she is there to see FERNANDA. Lupita insists she is not Fernanda, and wants to know why everyone keeps calling her ‘Fernanda.’

For the umpteenth time that day (so far) she tells Gina in no uncertain terms that she is NOT this ‘Fernanda,’ and adds for good measure, that she is not here to buy the town of Ciderville, either.

She then adds, to both Gina and Gabi, that she is NEVER going to wear a Christmas Sweater, and that when people in The Big City wear them, they wear them as jokes, for ‘Ugly Sweater’ contests.

Gina and Gabi bless themselves.

Gina asks Gabi for a moment of privacy with ‘Lupita.’ Gabi is reluctant to do so, but Lupita insists it’s ok, and so Gabi goes to the store-room to unpack more Christmas sweaters, which is also an excellent listening post.

Before she goes, she asks if anyone wants any hot cider, but no one does.

Gabi pretends to go into the store-room, but she stands in the doorway, where she can hear everything.

Lupita asks Gina what she wants, and demands that Gina explains why Gina, Veronica and Roberto kidnapped her earlier that day.

Gina reminds her it was more in the nature of an “Unlawful Restraint,” and not a full-blown Kidnapping, but agrees it was wrong and apologizes and begs Lupita for her forgiveness. Lupita says she forgives them, but wants to know WHY??? Gina tells her that the Town of Ciderville is very important to all of them, and they heard that a Busy Career Woman From The Big City Who Hates Christmas was coming to Ciderville to buy the town to destroy, and that she and her partners had decided to hold The Career Woman hostage until after Christmas, so that Ciderville could have “One Last Christmas,” but that when they saw the Career Woman was Fernanda, they just couldn’t do it.

In the middle of the conversation, they hear the screech of tires, and Gabi, Gina and Lupita run to the windows of the shop, where they see the long, black limo we saw at the end of yesterday’s episode has stopped in front of the store. The tall, very handsome, elegant man in a perfectly tailored Italian suit emerges from the back of the car, and again removes his photo of “Fernanda” from his wallet, then looks directly at the faces of the three women in the window. Lupita shows no emotion, Gabi’s face breaks into a big smile, and a stunned Gina drops the Dalmation snow-globe, shattering it into a thousand pieces. And then faints in case anyone missed the point.

The man – LEONARDO – begins walking up the Candy Cane Lane to the shop… Taking his time… Enjoying this moment…

MEANWHILE…

NADIA and OSCAR are still day-drinking, at a different Cantina in town, the “Ciderville Christmas Candle-Inn.”

The Cande-Inn has no artificial lights, is entirely lit by Christmas candles, and the bartender dresses like Santa Clause, the Bar-backs dress as elves, and the waitresses dress like Mrs. Clause. But not a “Naughty’ Mrs Clause – more like a Hallmark Mrs Clause.

It’s one of the most popular places in town, because everyone looks great in candlelight.

In between steamy embraces, in their corner booth, Oscar asks Nadia about the town – specifically, what’s with the cider, and where’s the snow? Nadia is about to answer some of his questions, but changes her mind when “La Murga” comes on the jukebox, and she can’t resist the Christmas salsa music. She pulls Oscar onto the dance floor, and even though the two of them have been drinking all day, they don’t miss a step.

Everyone in the bar begins to clap around them as they take over the floor, yelling “Eso!!”

Just like Mark Anthony.

The music ends with an abrupt scratching-sound, when the doors to the bar open, letting in daylight and two figures of two men standing in the doorway, whose faces are blocked by the sun.

The two men come towards Oscar & Nadia.

Nadia’s eyes open in terror when she realizes it’s JOSE and JOSUE, now in matching Christmas Sweaters.

Jose says to Nadia – “Mira Nada Más” (“Well, Well, Well, Look Who’s Here…”) “Go on, my love, why don’t you tell your new lover about the cider?”

Josue adds, and “And don’t forget to tell him about the snow, too!”

Jose and Josue laugh diabolically and crowd Nadia, who pulls herself up bravely to her full height (approximately 5’3”) and demands to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?!?”

Josue brings his face very close to Nadia’s, and tells her “We’re here for you.”

“And for some hot cider,” Jose adds.

Oscar believes this a good time for him to leave the bar, to go find his Patrona Lupita, but Jose and Josue block his exit, which leads Oscar to rethink his exit, and instead orders “Hot Cider all around!!” This breaks the tension, and everyone has a good laugh, until Josue leans right into Oscar’s face, demanding to know “Que Haces Aqui?!?!?!?!?”

Oscar replies that he’s only passing through town with his Patrona,

but Jose corrects him and says “No, I mean what are you doing here with MY WIFE?!?!?”

He then crushes the cider goblet in his hand, never losing eye contact with Oscar…

MEANWHILE-

Back at the Ciderville Village Hall made entirely out of gingerbread, MAYOR LUIS and and SHERIFF RICARDO walk into the small conference room where LAS COLOMBIANAS wait for them, drumming their extremely decorated and very long nails on the table. They are wearing Christmas Sweaters, but because they are Colombian, the sweaters are actually crop-tops that just look like Christmas Sweaters.

The crop-tops are also decorated with small candles that are actually lit, but because Las Colombianas are Colombian, they are not afraid of wearing lit candles.

When Luis and Ricardo walk into the room, Las Colombianos demand to know “QUE HACES AQUI?!?”

To which Luis responds “I work here. The better question is “QUE ESTAN HACIENDO AQUI??!” (Which means, “What are you doing here, (plural)?!?!?”)

Ricardo then tells them to put their sweaters out, because this is a “No Smoking” building.

LA COLOMBIANA points at LA FRANCESCA, The Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, who is spying on them from the doorway, and smoking. La Colombiana demands to know why La Francesca is allowed to smoke, and Luis explains that La Francesca’s grandmother founded the town, so she’s grandfathered in on smoking. And Ricardo reminds them that Francesca is also the Deputy Mayor and Chief Deputy of the Ciderville Police Department, so she can pretty much do whatever she wants. THE OTHER COLOMBIANA objects to the corruption of the Ciderville town government, and also wants to know if she and La Colombiana can have some more hot cider please.

Luis tells them that they can have as much cider as they want once they explain what they are doing there without an appointment.

Las Colombianas explain (In very fast Spanish, in a very strong Colombian dialect that sounds kind of Chinese to an untrained ear, like mine) that they are there in the spirit of Christmas, and want to work with Ciderville to end waste, and to that end, they have a suggestion: After Christmas, they volunteer to take whatever is left of the Gingerbread Town Hall and ship it all to starving children.

Their organization is called “A Nosh for Los Ninos.”

The ladies add that they want to create a Christmas Talent Competition to raise funds for the organization, which will take place on Christmas Eve, and that since they are very talented themselves, they should not be excluded from the competition.

Luis and Ricardo try to catch their breath from the long and fast verbal assault from Las Colombianas, which is just how they talk. But the Mayor and Chief like the idea.

And they like Las Colombianas.

Luis calls for Francesca to bring more hot cider for everyone, and while the four of them toast happier days ahead for their relationship, Francesca watches from the doorway, smoking, and pulls out her phone.

When whoever she is calling answers, Francesca says “My love, I have some very interesting news for you… But it will cost you… Meet me at the Christmas Cantina. …

No! Not that one, the other one!”

MEANWHILE…

Back at the Ciderville “El Generalissimo” General Store, Lupita is trying to revive Gina, while Gabi fusses over LEONARDO with hot cider and cookies, and she holds different Christmas sweaters up to him, trying to decide what will suit him best.

Leonardo really likes those cookies, and doesn’t stop eating them.

He eats and waits for Gina to wake up, and stares at Lupita. Lupita finally revives Gina, and when Gina comes to, she asks Leonardo, “Leonardo, Que Haces Aqui?!?!?”

Gabi reminds GIna that Leonardo is family – her brother – and the better question to Gina is “What are you still doing here?”

Lupita watches them while they argue, and Leonardo interrupts them both with a “Shut Up,” which they obey immediately.

Leonardo begins walking towards a nervous Lupita, who walks backward as he walks forwards, and she nervously asks him what he wants.

Leonardo responds “You, Lupita, I want you – my wife!”

Gina and Gabi bless themselves, and Lupita slaps Leonardo, hard.

And then slaps him once more, in case he didn’t get it the first time.

STAY TUNED FOR EPISODE 5!!

#Telenovelas

#HallmarkChristmasMovies

I Make Mistakes In México So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong….

Listen to my podcast to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

I Make Mistakes in Mexico City So You Don’t Have To…

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

So why not move to Mexico from Chicago to write the Telenovela of my dreams?

What could go wrong?????

Listen to my podcast, NOW ON APPLE PODCASTS, to learn all about my mistake-filled life here, and please give it a great rating even if you have to lie!!

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/my-mexican-mistake-s/id1474401635

Not One Decorating Or Travel Tip Here. No Recipes Either.

Why You Need to Stop Decorating And Watch “La Reina del Sur 2” on Netflix

One of my favorite series, “La Reina del Sur 2” is now on @netflix everywhere, and coming soon to @telemundointl here in Mexico!

Only GOT beats it in the ratings, which isn’t surprising because basically LRDS is a NarcoNovela GOT, with it’s own cool acronym too.

There is a lot of driving in #lrds2 – and oddly some of it is by a ten-year old girl driving a Cadillac through the winding streets of Tuscany.

You’ll see things in this great series you’ve never seen before, including American actor (and Julia Roberts’ brother) Eric Roberts, speaking worse Spanish than I do.

The show has a wonderful cast, great music (thanks to @flaviomedinal and his back-up singers @robertowoficial & @lincpal) and is a lot of fun and a Truly Excellent Adventure. @calvatwitt as

“Batmancito” is going to break your heart, plus there’s nothing more fun than watching him argue with a ten-year old. Humberto Zurito is a blast as “The Narco Who Would Be President.”

The only real danger of his Presidency would be that Cabinet meetings could get confusing because he calls everyone “Mijo.”

Watch @reinadelsurtv on @Netflix for a very good time!!

#lrds #netflix #gringanovelera

My Favorite Street In México City

What’s better than a big street that goes in a big circle??

Here’s Episode 3 of my new podcast!

https://anchor.fm/karen-kerbis/episodes/Theres-Nothing-Better-Than-A-Big-Street-That-Goes-In-A-Big-Circle-e48o75

Hello From México!!

Yes, I’ve moved to Mexico!!

Five years ago, I thought I might try to learn Spanish from watching telenovelas!

Five years later, I have left my job (Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney in Gang Crimes), my home (Chicago), and my family and friends (am I crazy?) to move to Mexico City to write the Telenovela of my Dreams!!

And now, I’m doing a Podcast from here!! It’s called “My Mexican Mistake(s)” and I’ve recorded two episodes so far!!

Here’s the link!

https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Z0OCurC484Zac6YdkX8cB?si=c2pJOTKDREGfFqDWfTgjfA

More to come!! https://open.spotify.com/episode/4Z0OCurC484Zac6YdkX8cB?si=c2pJOTKDREGfFqDWfTgjfA

WATCHING “SENORA ACERO” COME TO AN END IS LIKE LEAVING A FUN PARTY FILLED WITH GREAT-LOOKING GUESTS WITH TERRIBLE JUDGEMENT, WHO NEVER CALL 911!

It’s very tough to say goodbye to the great SuperCrazyNarcoNovela “Senora Acero,” on Telemundo, but sadly, this is the last season!!

Que LASTIMA!!

Please join me for a trip down Bad Memory Lane in my latest article for Latin Connection Magazine, a tribute to five seasons of madness in Señora Acero!!

Saying goodbye to the crew is like being at a super fun party with your best friends, who are the perfect combination of good looks and terrible judgement!!

The magazine is available on line, and here’s the article!

@LatinConnection is all about living the Latino lifestyle in the USA, and in addition to my Telenovela news, there is a lot more news you can use!!

TELENOVELAS vs SEINFELD

Telenovelas have learned a lot from Seinfeld.

In Seinfeld , George built a hidden compartment in his desk so he could nap.

In Señora Acero , the Evil Gringo FBI Chief in Mexico built a hidden compartment in his desk so he could hide the $$$$ he got from El Teca.

You be the judge…

George never had that much cash, and the DEA Chief is too coked up to sleep.

So as usual, everything works out for the best!!

If you’re not watching telenovelas you don’t know what you’re missing!

Doctors Gone Wild!!!

Que tal!

By the time you read this article, Summer will be in its Ultimos Capitulos.

One of the great things about telenovelas is that they are seasonless. What is happening on-screen in your novela of the moment has nothing to do with the actual moment you’re living in. (Except for when in “Senora Acero” the Narco & Gunrunner El Gallito, running for Mayor, pledged to “Make Matamoros Great Again.”)

We don’t watch telenovelas to see what’s happening in our own world; we watch them to see what happens when impossibly beautiful people, impeccably dressed, highly accessorized and usually armed, make really bad decisions and never call 911 for help. Last month, I explained how the telenovela lawyers not only can’t do much to help fix a bad decision, but they usually make them even worse. I’m so proud that I received a lot of great reviews for that article – many from other lawyers in Chicago who had no idea that being a lawyer could be as much fun as it is in a telenovela. I assured them it was, as long as they were willing to ignore the law and start dressing a lot fancier. And on top of the very kind reviews and comments, I received something even better: A Request!

The Request came from woman who I admire very much, one who really knows the telenovela business from the inside out. What was her request? My take on telenovela doctors! Que?! COMO?!? First Lawyers… now the Doctors… two of our oldest professions might never look the same to you again!

Mi Amiga, this is for you!

If I was a doctor in a telenovela, the first thing I would ask myself is whether all of the student loans, debt, and divorce from the spouse who put me through medical school was worth it. I know what you are thinking – that doctors here in the Real World are asking themselves the same thing. True, except that in the Real World, the doctors aren’t examining their lives because a guy wearing a gigantic cowboy hat with an even bigger belt buckle has kidnapped him at gunpoint to operate on a shot-up compadre in the back of a gas station bathroom.

I never knew how dangerous medicine could be until I started watching telenovelas. Well, I always knew it was dangerous for the patients, but in telenovelas, it’s the doctors who are on the wrong side of the argument. In telenovelas, there are Good Doctors and Bad Doctors. And doctors that have received no medical training at all, who are the Best Doctors, if you ask me.

The Good Doctors are the doctors who are literally minding their own business, making sure that their malpractice premiums are current, when the door to their office bursts open, a gang of NarcoTerrorists march in, and put a gun to his or her head, demanding that the doctor joins them for an unexpected House Call. This House Call can take place anywhere, but it is usually on a couch in the living room of a total stranger who is also being held at gunpoint to provide shelter to the gang. However, that surgery-at-gunpoint can also take place in the in-house hospital suite many Narcos have built right into their home. A Narco’s house has a lot of room to build out the spaces we generally don’t see in real estate: specifically, the hospital suite, a swimming pool inside of the living room, and a jail cell in the basement. The reason for this is because a Narco has a lot of freedom inside of his house, but can’t ever leave it, unless it is to travel secretly to a house that looks just like the one he just left, which he will also never leave. I know this is off-topic, but I don’t see the point in all of the drama and danger that goes along with the Life of a Narco if you can’t go out for a hot dog once in a while.

So the people that work for the Narcos will do anything to save El Jefe’s life, but one thing they always forget about is The Sterile Field. No, I’m not a doctor. But I have watched enough medical shows on TV to practice medicine with an FCC license, and I have learned that The Sterile Field is the field in a the Operating Room you have to keep sterile. But in a telenovela Operating Room, the guys who have kidnapped the doctor and are forcing him to operate at gunpoint not only break the sterile field by not scrubbing in, but they make things worse when they drag extra unnecessary people into the operating room, like the doctor’s wife and children and mother-in-law, who they have also brought into the operating room at gunpoint, to make sure the doctor does a good job.

I’m not making this up: I have seen this scene more than once in the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All: “El Senor de los Cielos.” In ESDLC, Good Doctors are regularly dragged in to repair gunshot wounds or rustled up to perform emergency reconstructive plastic surgery (to change NarcoIdentities), with their terrified family members watching while they are menaced by NarcoThugs, which is counter-intuitive, if you ask me. Trembling hands and extra bodies in the operating room do not promote a quick recovery, and in the USA, health insurance companies would never allow it.

The Bad Doctors are the doctors who are totally in on The Game. They are basically Narcos Who Went To Medical School. The best example of a Bad Doctor that I can give you is from the novelas “Sin Senos No/Si Hay Paraíso.” Now in its third season, the plots of the show have changed a lot, but originally, the series was about poor girls in small towns in Colombia who tragically can only see a way out of a dead-end life by having reconstructive surgery to attract a Narco, to then live what they think will be the high life. Almost always, the reconstructive surgery was breast implants; hence, the title of the show.

This was such a common practice in the show that at least one of the Narcos, El Gato Gordo, had a mini-hospital in his home (including a Gift Shop), with a full medical staff going round-the-clock. His hospital only had one patient – Catalina La Pequena – who Gato Gordo had drugged and kidnapped, and then forced to undergo breast-implant surgery. She had to stay in his hospital until she had fully recovered from the surgery. The only bright side was that she was not billed for any of it. Gato had the help of a Bad Doctor who did the surgery and supervised the recovery. The Bad Doctor did a great job, but got the axe (literally) when he fell in love with Catalina too.

If you are a doctor who performs unnecessary breast-implant surgery against the will of the patient in the basement hospital of a Narco whose name translates to “Fat Cat,” you probably should have paid more attention to the Ethics Lectures in medical school.

One thing the Good Doctors and Bad Doctors have in common is this: They are always being threatened that if they do not cure the patient, they will be killed. This is a much better incentive to practice good medicine than medical malpractice lawsuits.

Wondering what the doctors just leading the lives of regular doctors are doing in telenovelas? Well, they are wandering around making house calls (!) and only ever delivering two bits of news that are ALWAYS cataclysmic: “You Are Pregnant!” OR “You Can Never Have Children…” That keeps them very busy.

So who are The Best Doctors in a telenovela?

They are the people who perform complicated medical procedures, but are not doctors. You can find them in almost any NarcoNovela, because no one needs constant access to health care more than a Narco. Most recently, in ESDLC6, Aurelio’s half-brother Amado found Aurelio all shot up in a boxing gym in Mexico City, and gave him a blood transfusion USING HIS OWN BLOOD in the locker room with no equipment, and without sepsis setting in. And while chewing gum the whole time.

But the Very Best Examples of The Best Doctors were in the FABULOUS telenovela “Santa Diabla.” If you have never seen this novela, where have you been? You need to watch it now. It was tangled up in fantastic characters engaged in absolutely wild plots, and full of The Best Doctors:

Want to see a Crazy/Beautiful, young woman who can (without anesthesia) remove the bullet from Willy Delgado, the man her father was holding prisoner in his basement, AFTER she shot him AFTER she forced him to have sex with her while he was still chained up, and then post-surgery carry him upstairs? Yep! Ximena Duque’s “Preciosa” was not only a skilled surgeon, but like an ant, she could also carry a hundred million times her own body weight. And where did the gunshot would victim recover? In the bedroom of the kindly prostitute who ran the local bordello. She changed the bandages and somehow hooked up an IV in between hookups.

“Santa Diabla” also had it’s own Telenovela “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman:” The wacky old lady who Lived In A Van Down By The River, and showed no signs of having lived in a civilized society, let alone having attended medical school. She found Santiago (Aaron Diaz) floating down the river, near-dead: shot, drowned, and all beat-up. After anesthetizing herself with a bottle of whiskey, she removed the bullets with her (unsterilized) fingers, sewed him up with catgut (still inside of the cat), and he survived. Unfortunately, Dr. Quinn did not, but you’ll have to watch the series to find out why…

Just like Telenovela Lawyers, no Doctor has as much fun in real life as they do in telenovelas. And if you ask me, the same can be said for all of us. There is no life that is as much fun as the Telenovela Life!

For more of my sideways views on telenovelas, join me daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @gringanovelera, or follow my blog Lagringanovelera.me!