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!

In The NarcoNovela “El Senor De Los Cielos,” The Casillas Family Are The Worst Houseguests EVER!

Que tal!

I hope you have been watching “El Senor de Los Cielos” because right now it is the only show crazier than “Sin Senor Si Hay Paraíso” , and believe me, that’s saying something.

First of all, El Senor himself is in a coma, with his head wrapped up in bandages, with only one eye poking out.

Imagine The Invisible Man in the middle of a contract dispute, with a lot of men wearing big cowboy hats and bigger belt buckles in charge of his medical care.

After he was shot by El Cabo and his ever-dwindling group of Not-So-Merry Men, he had sought refuge with El Rayo (his childhood boxing coach), where he was rescued by his half-brother Amado, who is known as El Aguila Azul, but to be honest I think he should be called “El Principe Azul,” and Aurelio’s triple-crossing girlfriend Corina, and some luchadors.

This crew got him to The Ahumada Ranch, which is usually a pretty quiet place even with Don Ahumada running for El Presidente, until their long-lost (for a good reason) cousins The Casillas Family (all shot up) showed up at the Ahumada Ranch. Dona Alba and Mrs. Ahumada are cousins, but there’s a reason why Mr. Ahumada doesn’t want them around and it’s this: THE CASILLAS FAMILY ARE NARCOS AND HE IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT AND HIS PLATFORM IS “I AM NOT A NARCO!”

With the Casillas Clan, you get a lot of gangsters, bullys, big guns, yelling, a Command Center, more yelling, plotting, full-metal makeouts in unexpected places, shoot-outs, worry, drama, a mini-hospital, a full medical staff, torture, kidnappings, and even more yelling. This is not what a Presidential Candidate needs, except maybe for the plotting. And the make-outs. And the medical staff is OK but only if they have brought Ambien.

In fact, the Casillas Clan should probably just stay home the next time they are attacked.

Meanwhile, to add to the Candidate’s worry, his daughter Diana was kidnapped by the neighbors, the Ramos Brothers, who I hope are better ranchers than they are kidnappers and neighbors. Don Ahumada and the police were on their way to rescue Diana, but she tried to stall them because with the Casillas Cousins taking up all of the air in the room with their problems, neither Diana nor her mother had had a chance to tell Papi that Diana is a Narca, and that is why she is still single.

Diana is like a teenager who gets caught with marijuana in her backpack, except in her case it’s like 18 tons of marijuana.

She was so afraid her father and the police were going to find out she was a Narca that she actually called her archenemy and Texas dinner date El Cabo to ransom her. Cabo agreed to do it, because he thinks everything is funny, even though he thought there was a slight risk that it could be a set up. And even though it was not a set-up, because he did not find Diana tied to the railroad tracks (which I guess The Ramos Brothers said they were going to do) he believed that it was. If you ask me, the best part about that scene on the tracks was that one of his henchman held an umbrella over Cabo, to keep the strong sun off his head. Cabo is like Queen Elizabeth without the handbag, in that someone else holds his umbrella.

If I worked for Cabo, I would tell him he needs a summer weight Run-DMC track suit, in seersucker, because black velour is just too warm. I think if El Cabo could be anything he wanted to be (besides El Cabo), he would be a Russian Oligarch, because no one would love to prance around in an ostrich jacket more than El Cabo.

Luckily for Diana, she is rescued by her half-cousin Amado Leal, known as El Chicle or El Aguila Azul. But in Diana’s case, it’s more like “El Principe Azul” because when he rescues her as they booth shoot it out with the Nitwit Ramos Brothers, it’s Love At First Shot. It’s a good thing her hair and makeup still looked good even though she had to wear the burlap head bag for several days.

See, my mother was right: You never know where you are going to meet your Future Husband, and having your head stuck in a burlap bag is no excuse not to wear lipstick.

Once Diana was rescued from the Ramos Brothers, she had to explain to her father that she was kidnapped because she is a Narca, which is also why she was still single.

Of course she was kidnapped because she’s a Narca!

What does she look like? The Lindbergh Baby?

Meanwhile, an angry El Cabo incorrectly felt he had been betrayed by Diana, so he tried to kill her father at a campaign rally. If he dies I think there is a chance he can still win the election since everyone likes a nice quiet candidate.

And El Cabo’s girlfriend Evelina went to the morgue to identify her dead father but he wasn’t there, and that’s probably because he’s not dead.

If I understood things correctly, and the odds are pretty good that I did not, Evelina’s father is El Rayo, which makes her practically family to the Casillas Family, which is going to make Thanksgiving particularly awkward.

Don’t miss a minute of this fast, funny and fantastic show!

DAY 2: LEARNING HOW TO BE A BETTER PROSECUTOR WITH “EL SENOR DE LOS CIELOS!”

I am following the Adventures of New York prosecutor “Nora Requena,” played by Maria Conchita Alonso in the SuperNarcoNovela “El Senor de Los Cielos,” to learn how to be a better prosecutor! And I’ll be telling you all about it here!

And I am working hard to get us Continuing Legal Education credit for watching the show!

One thing I have learned from telenovelas of any type is that if there is a prosecutor hanging around, that prosecutor leads a pretty glamorous life: They have a driver; they can boss the judge around, and they usually have an office filled with antiques, Renaissance paintings and shrines to La Virgincita, something you don’t normally see in government work.

Since this is only the prosecutor La Fiscal Nora Requena’s second day on “El Senor de Los Cielos,” plus she is from NYC and only visiting Mexico, we have not seen her office yet.

However, there is no shortage of glamour for this VIP***. (*** – Very Important Prosecutor).

When we first saw Nora in yesterday’s episode, she was striding off of a private jet that had just landed in Mexico City, where she was met by the dashing and angry Joe Lazaro, the DEA chief in Mexico City who has somehow managed to figure out a way to yell at people through a clenched jaw.

When Nora tells Joe that her husband of twenty years has just died (leaving out the part about pulling the plug and leaving his corpse to science. Or whoever at the hospital wants it), Joe tells her he is sorry, and Nora responds, “I’m not.” Which Joe does not find odd at all, maybe because he’s already thinking about making a move on Nora since she’s already been in Mexico for approximately 7 seconds, and Corina needs a stepmother who can keep her in line.

Nora then climbs in the heavily-armed SUV with heavier-tinted windows, and she is whisked away to the DEA office in CDMX.

OK, as prosecutors, let’s unpack this scene.

First of all, when prosecutors travel for work we ride in whatever is lower than Economy Class, known as Sub-Economy Class, which usually involves standing for the entire flight.

Second of all, we never get to go to foreign countries, but instead we attend out-of state conferences in places like Arizona in the summer and Albany in the winter.

No one ever meets us at the plane. Instead, we stumble off with our too-heavy carry-ons. bleary, dreary, sleep-deprived, in desperate need of food, drink and a bathroom. Or put it another way, we disembark looking just like every other airline passenger.

There is no private car with tinted glass waiting for us at the airport. Here’s what usually happens instead: Some people try to get the whole group to go with public transportation or a shuttle service. A few jet-lagged people go with them, and the rest share cabs, during which period at least two people will claim they haven’t “exchanged their dollars” yet, so could someone else pay for them (ignoring the fact we are still in the USA and still using US currency; and one or two more people will announce they don’t have any change, so could someone else pay for them, with vows (always broken) of repayment.

Then when everyone is reunited at the hotel, someone somewhat cheap will introduce the idea of “The Kitty.” This is a shared fund for food, drinks and transportation into which everyone will contribute equally but some will deplete much faster than others, but then everyone has to “refresh” The Kitty by repeatedly putting more money into it.

At this point, the only thing a prosecutor’s trip for work has in common with #ESDLC is the potential for violence created by the resentment which is fueled by The Kitty.

Back to Nora The Telenovela Prosecutor…

After the luxurious SUV with the tinted windows whisks Nora away from the private plane, we don’t see her for awhile. Then, we meet her again in the very fancy and sleek offices of the DEA, where she is in a gigantic conference room with equipment right out of the movie “Minority Report” lining the walls.

Let the glaring and sideways glances begin:

Here’s who is in the meeting with  Nora: Joe Navarro – Chief of the DEA in Mexico, his Vice-President of the DEA Guillermo Colon, Bernardo Castillo-Chief of Security in Mexico, and Carla Uzcategui, the anti-cartel reporter who is now dating Aurelio Casillas (although she claims they are not dates, they are just kidnappings.)

As Navarro went around the table room introducing them, for each person in the room, when Joe announced their job title, the expression on Nora’s face was “I’ll be the judge of that,” which not only made me doubt whether I had understood correctly who these cast members were supposed to be, but it was clear even the cast members doubted themselves for a moment when they saw her skeptical response. Maybe Castillo really ISN’T the Chief of Security for the whole country of Mexico, after all?

Of course, Nora and Carla instantly hated each other on sight, as only two women who want to be the most popular woman in the room can hate each other. And somehow, I think Nora already knows that Carla hooked up with Aurelio the night before, where she literally and figuratively let her hair down.

Now that Nora has shaken everyone’s confidence in their own job titles, clearly her work is done for the day. Let’s see what havoc she wreaks tonight!!

And here is what I learned from Nora last night:

Striding anywhere with confidence gets you a much better chance of getting a driver, and treating anything your colleagues tell you with skepticism, even its it’s just their name, goes a long way to making you the most popular person in the room, as everyone works hard to get on your good side.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s session!

Happy 4th of July!! As I Learn Spanish From Telenovelas, I’ll Warn You That There Are No Recipes Here, Unless They Are Recipes For Disaster!

In the few short years that I’ve been learning Spanish from telenovelas on Telemundo everything about the way we watch television has changed.

With so many more options for the audience on both sides of The Border, Spanish-language broadcast networks are working overtime to keep their audiences entertained, and from turning to streaming services.

Are NarcoNovelas the answer?

Do telenovela fans want multiple seasons of the same show?

Are SuperSeries the future?

If I knew the answer I’d be running a tv studio!

But it’s something to think about, and the topic I explore in my latest article for Latin Connection Magazine.

Here it is!

And don’t miss the other great articles in this month’s issue, including a big layout on Miami Fashion Week!

“MI FAMILIA PERFECTA” IS PERFECT!!

Did you watch The Very Grand Premiere of “Mi Familia Perfecta,” the latest telenovela from Jose Spataro and Telemundo?!

I loved it, and it’s going to be EXCELLENT!! You will not want to miss a minute with The Guerrero Family! But believe me, you won’t want to babysit them!!

Apparently, The Guerrero Family had a mother and father at one time, but the father died, and the mother was deported five years before.

When the show opens, the kids all live together on their own, with NO parents at all. and to be honest, they are kind of messy, and not very good at housekeeping.

The house is a DISASTER, which is exactly what happens if there is no mom to yell at everyone all of the time to pick up their things, and to say things like:

“I am not your maid”

or “Who do you think is going to pick up after you?”

or “Those dishes aren’t going to wash themselves”

or “You can’t go out until you do your chores”

or “Why can’t you wipe that bathroom mirror down after you wash your hands?”

or “You had better learn how to clean your house or you will never get a husband.”

Things like that.

The kids are being raised by their oldest brother, El Patas, and if you ask me, he’s a pretty good older brother because he runs a burrito truck, and who wouldn’t want a burrito truck in the family?

El Patas is very responsible, and wants the best for his siblings. You would think that having to raise his brothers and sisters for the past five years would have made him want to delay starting his own family? but nope.

He has an AWFUL, trashy wife named Ashley who has not one redeeming quality as far as I can tell, unless you need cocaine in a hurry.

And they have a son who is a toddler and wreaks havoc in every room he goes into, but that’s pretty much because his mother has two moods: Stoned and Sleeping.

Ashley has a mother and sister who are exactly the kind of people you expect to find at a Trump rally, only worse.

Marisol Guerrero is not the eldest daughter, but she is the most responsible and the most interesting because she may have a brilliant soccer future ahead of her, but if she keeps hiding her soccer balls in the sewer and jogging on the mean streets of L.A. before daylight she may not live long enough to try out for a team.

Julian Guerrero is the kid brother who is always in trouble because he constantly breaks the law in order to support his family.

While he is well-intentioned, I am not sure that throwing his younger sister Lili into traffic to stage auto-accidents is really helpful. Plus, Julian gets into a lot of fights, and steals electricity from the neighbors, so he’ll be spending a lot of time at the police station and hospitals.

Lili Guerrero is the youngest sister, who is really kind of lost. She has grown up without her mother, and seems very unhappy. The best evidence that she feels that her life has no meaning is that she lets Julian push her into moving traffic to make a few bucks.

Rosa Guerrero is, as far as I can tell, the WORST of the lot because she is the oldest daughter and instead of assuming some responsibility and helping to raise her siblings, she dyes her hair blonde and fools around with married men.

When I was a kid, I loved my parents, but I always wanted to be adopted by the band The Monkees. The Monkees were lots of fun, were always up to interesting pranks, and every episode ended with a song. I thought living with them would be a dream come true. Until I saw The Hudson Brothers, and then I wanted them to adopt me. Clearly, I did not appreciate my parents, who might not have had a Saturday morning TV show or guitars, but they paid the bills and we always had plenty of food, school supplies, and electricity.

Even if CHORES took up an inordinate part of my teenage years.

I think all teenagers should have to watch the pilot of “Mi Familia Perfecta,” and then they could see what life is really like without parents. I can’t imagine anything tougher than children trying to support their siblings, and trying to keep them all going, and keep the authorities from finding out what is happening, and keep from being deported. All the while working and paying an immigration lawyer every penny to try to bring your mom back – a mother, by the way, who doesn’t seem too keen on returning, since she now has a new family in Mexico and has no intention of “Babysitting” her own kids.

I can’t wait to see tonight’s episode! I think they are going to hire someone to pretend to be their mother. Again, something I might have imagined as a child.

The cast in this series is FANTASTIC. It’s basically everyone who got killed off in ESDLC, including Sabrina Seara, Jorge Luis Moreno and Gala Montes.

Mauricio Henao, so terrific in “Senora Acero” has cleaned up GREAT, and here he plays a Mysterious Womens’ Soccer Coach From Colombia who is so handsome the real mystery is how any of the girls focus on soccer.

Laura Flores plays the Missing Mom In Mexico Who Clearly Met Someone.

I’m a big Laura Flores fan, ans I have learned a lot watching her in telenovelas, and this series will be no exception.

I love her here as the Mom who just might want to stay in Mexico instead of returning to that VERY MESSY house.

And her five kids, a wretched daughter-in-law and a grandchild who unintentionally tries to set the house on fire.

Watch for Natasha Dominguez as the BAD MOM.

Jose Guillermo Cortines is almost unrecognizable in a gigantic beard, but I am so happy to see him because I adore him! He’s an excellent actor and in the series is married to Karla Monroig. They play the good-hearted neighbors who try to help the Guerrero kids, but also have their hands full with their own kids, especially their son Eddie who stays out all night riding around and drinking.

And Beatriz Monroy is back as the lady the kids hire to pretend to be their mother (I think). I’m a huge Beatriz Monroy fan!!

But you won’t believe who plays Mrs. Trump – El Patas’ mother-in-law – Sonya Smith! I did not recognize her and you have to see her for yourself. Maybe it is just because her character is so awful and hateful that I didn’t see the beautiful and charming Sonya Smith under her unusual and unpleasant hairstyle and makeup.

This is a part we have not ever seen her in and it’s going to be DELICIOUS!!! I think she will be going to lots of rallies, and I can’t wait to see her in her MAGA hat.

Don’t miss this new novela!!

If This Is What Witness Protection Is, Where Do I Sign Up??

Did you watch Al Otro Lado del Muro on Telemundo last night?

First of all no one was more surprised than Patrick to see a very much alive Sofia storm out of Agent Richie Garcia’s Office last night, with Joel right behind her, demanding a beer.

A beer is just what this great episode deserved!!

Apparently, here’s what Joel learned in a meeting with the FBI and Sofia, once he could stop yelling long enough to listen. He was very upset because Sofia was supposed to be dead.

After 10 years at the FBI, Sofia takes a backseat to no one, and yelled right back at Joel, and then they both blamed Richie, who was in the unenviable position of being a cross between a matchmaker and a divorce lawyer.

So for the past ten years, Sofia has been living in L.A., working at the FBI as an undercover officer, rescuing victims of human trafficking, photographing her daughter Alondra as she grows up, andhelping to build the Human Trafficking case against that really tall senator whose Spanish is even worse than mine.

Sofia is sticking with her “confession” that she killed Joel’s sister and single-handedly ran the Human Trafficking Ring, but after the attempt on her life while she was on her way to be executed, she agreed to go into Witness Protection because Richie knows she is innocent despite her protests that she is guilty, which is pretty much the opposite of the way things work in law enforcement.

All the while, she has been living in a beautiful, white-on-white loft with lots of exposed brick, a darkroom/studio/exhibit space, with subway tile in the kitchen.

I wondered if part of Witness Protection includes a new identity for Sofia as a hip, edgy artist, and if the FBI got her a book deal too.

I also hoped that none of my own witnesses are watching the series because they’d want that loft too.

Who is signing the expense vouchers in this case??

At first, Joel angrily rejected the idea of working with Sofia and Agent Garcia, and can you blame him?

Sofia still insists she killed his sister, even though Joel is the only one who believes that mishegoss anymore.

Richie tells Joel he’s gotten to know Sofia pretty good in the past ten years, and she’s not capable of killing anyone, and that Sofia has done a great job building the Trafficking case, which must be how Sofia pays the rent on that loft I’m still stuck on.

Meanwhile, I continued to wonder what supervisor in the FBI was still authorizing overtime and rent receipts on Sofia’s SuperCool loft and will she hire me, or in the alternative, whether I could somehow get into this witness protection program?

At the end, Joel decided he’ll join the team, if only for the opportunity to kill Sofia himself.

And now Sofia says she’ll never work with Joel.

They are sort of like the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton of the FBI, and Poor Agent Garcia is like the head of the studio trying to hold the production together.

Meanwhile… in Mexico,

My favorite new character Don Carlos, who seems to be the REAL King of Mexico, broke the news to Ernesto and Paula that he can’t run for President, and is better suited to an Ambassadorship, where he can get drunk every day, behave as badly as he wants, and rack up millions of dollars in parking tickets.

This job has Ernesto’s name all over it, (and sounds pretty good to me too), but Ernesto wants to be El Presidente.

He feels he’s killed enough people to get there, and it’s his time.

Don Carlos is pretty persuasive, but the meeting was cut short when Julian called with an emergency; the emergency being that his girlfriend overdosed on what I think was Molly, and threw herself off the balcony.

Still wearing Julian’s tie.

Or should I say ONLY wearing Julian’s tie.

I guess he’s not in bow-ties anymore…

Julian is in big trouble unless Ernesto can cover it up.

And if he can’t, Paula can just kill anyone who annoys them.

And Eliza??

She had it out with Max and threw him out of The Bakery.

Max thinks that the father of her youngest son Rodrigo is Andres The Carpenter, but Rodrigo knows better, since there are (or were) photos of Max all over the house, and he’s a smart kid.

Well, at the very least he’s smarter than his older brother Tomas, who has agreed to hide the $30,000 his friend stole from the local gang while they were sleeping.

And how will Jennifer punish Eliza now, for having a second family with Max AND for turning down the invite to visit with Rodrigo because Charlie and Rodrigo are friends (also brothers), and also because Jennifer doesn’t realize that “Mrs Romero” is also “Mrs Sullivan?”

This can all only Break Bad, until of course, it Breaks Good!

Don’t miss a minute of this series!!

If I Was A Better Lawyer I Would Be Playing The Prosecutor In The Telenovela “Al Otro Lado Del Muro!!”

Last night’s episode of Al Otro Lado del Muro on Telemundo was the very definition of Must See TV, and if Telemundo would ever steam the entire run of the show I think viewers would end up literally glued to their couches, having not moved for approximately 100-120 hours.

First of all, I’m very proud that I had a tiny bit of input on Sofia’s confession and what’s coming NEXT by answering a few questions for the show’s writer Laura Sosa Pedroza about the criminal justice system in the USA!!

Watching the show last night, I felt that law school and 20 years in the business had FINALLY paid off!!!

While I watched the scene where Sofia confessed, I thought I should have included a clause in my contract where I play the prosecutor,

but then I remembered that there was no contract, and even if there had been one, I don’t know where the “clauses” go, or what a “clause” actually is.

I am not that kind of a lawyer.

Alright, now let’s get down to last night’s episode!

Sofia is the best evidence that a Beauty Queen can still be the smartest person in the room.

When she didn’t make any headway with Joel from Interpol, she called for the FBI.

Not only did she realize that it’s the the FBI, not Interpol, who is the police department who can get things done in the USA, but also she somehow knew that the FBI agent assigned to her case was going to be the very handsome and smart “Richie Garcia” played by one of my favorites, Christopher Millan !

Unfortunately, before Agent Garcia could meet up with Sofia and the prosecutor for what I would have described as a “proffer,” – a meeting to see what evidence Sofia could offer against others in exchange for leniency – Sofia had another visit from the always unwanted Paula.

Since Paula’s Boss and Boyfriend The Governor is now perpetually drunk and mooning over the loss of Sofia (even though he’s the one who framed her),

and since the Corrupt Congressman in the USA is now Confined to Quarters,

it’s once again left to Paula to get the job done,

especially since Los Pinos is breathing down the Governor’s neck, and not in a good way.

Plus, the Congressman has someone on the inside who told him that Sofia was asking to speak to the FBI.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Who could that Inside Man be??

So Sofia is escorted into the jail Visiting room reserved for visitors from Mexico who are visiting Sofia for the purpose of torturing her, and there is Paula.

Paula is a pragmatist – an evil pragmatist, but a pragmatist for sure.

One thing I love about Paula (even though I hate her) is that she never makes small talk.

In fact, I’ll bet that Paula has not once in her whole life ever discussed the weather, or sports scores, and I can tell you from experience could not survive a Baby Shower.

Anyway, so Paula is there to cut a deal with Sofia:

Confess to it all – the murder of Joel’s sister, the Human Trafficking – all of it, take the Governor out of it, and in exchange?

What’s in it for Sofia?

Paula will not tell the Governor where Alondra is, and will leave Eliza to raise her as her own.

And if Sofia doesn’t confess?

Then Paula will not only ship Alondra to Thailand, she’ll take Eliza’s daughter too.

For Sofia, there was no choice.

Next up for Sofia was her meeting with the FBI and prosecutor, to which Joel was invited, but told to keep quiet. The prosecutor pointedly reminded Joel that he had no jurisdiction there.

The prosecutor is correct, but I wanted someone to remind her a California prosecutor does not have jurisdiction over a murder in Mexico either.

So maybe she should have piped down herself and let the only person in that room with any jurisdiction over anything, FBI Agent Garcia, take over!!

No one in that Visiting Room was prepared for Sofia’s confession, which included killing Joel’s sister, running the Human Trafficking Ring out of her father’s ranch in Mexico, and even hacking the 2016 Presidential election.

And of course now that she was confessing to all of these things, Joel didn’t believe her at first, and rejected her confession,

but I think he eventually came around during their later, private meeting when she really sold it, a quality she learned as a pageant contestant.

The prosecutor was very unhappy with the confession, because now, as a witness to the confession, she can’t try the case, and lost the opportunity for scene visits to Mexico.

Agent Garcia was very skeptical of the confession, because he knows that a confession is almost never that easy to obtain. It will happen, but not before some pop, cigarettes, potato chips, McDonald’s and pizza.

And a bit of cat and mouse.

But in #AlOtroLadoDelMuro, Sofia walked into the room, fired her lawyer (a good thing because he was also Pastrana’s lawyer), and confessed to everything.

Everything.

Then she called Eliza and asked her to raise her daughter Alondra, because she was going to be locked up for awhile.

“Awhile” is one way to put it, if “Awhile” is another way to say “Forever” in Spanish.

Remember, she confessed to the pre-meditated, cold-blooded murder of a pregnant journalist because the pregnant journalist was about to expose her human trafficking ring of little girls.

I guess now that she is representing herself, she’s going to have to throw herself on the Mercy of the Court, and hope that Mercy has a big, cushion-y forgiving, lap.

And meanwhile, in other happenings on this great show, Steve barely remembers his wife, has no memory of his son, but can’t forget Eliza, who visited him when he had amnesia.

Max, Steve’s brother-in-law and Eliza’s husband, is doing a pretty good job of forgetting Eliza and the two kids he has with Eliza, as he and his Evil Battle-Axe of a Wife (his OTHER wife) Jennifer prepare to move to Manhattan.

At Sofia’s direction, Eliza returns the Human Trafficking evidence to Pastrana, who gives it to Paula, who gives it to the Congressman.

Patrick had the unenviable job of explaining to Joel why Pastrana was released without charges after Joel arrested Pastrana when he caught him trying to break into the Bakery/Apartment while Eliza was inside with Alondra, which actually is a Home Invasion.

No witnesses, and no jurisdiction.

If you ask me, since Joel is a witness to at least three different murders committed by Pastrana, including being accountable for the murder of a police officer in L.A., I found Patrick’s answer very suspicious and thought he might have been making it up as he goes along.

Angry as Joel was, Patrick cheered him up when he told Joel that Joel could sit in on Sofia’s proffer.

But I say keep your eyes on Patrick, which is actually pretty easy!

It looks like as Sofia prepares for life in prison, Life Goes On for Governor Ernesto as he publicly distances himself from Sofia and privately has alcohol-fueled empty sex with Paula in his office.

If I was Paula I’d demand a raise.

I cannot wait to watch the Sentencing Hearing, which I hope happens tonight.

Agent Garcia knows something is wrong with Sofia and that confession, Joel seems to accept the confession, and if you ask me, Patrick continues to be the Wild Card.

It is hard for me to evaluate him fairly because he has awesome dimples.

Don’t miss tonight’s episode!

Even A Simple Trip To The Grocery Store Is More Exciting In A Telenovela!

The start of the work-week can be tough, unless of course you watch telenovelas on Telemundo, in which case the start of the week can’t come soon enough!!

Don’t like Mondays?

Think Tuesdays are too tough?

Pobrecita!!

Every weekday is a great day if you watch telenovelas on #Telemundo because it’s just another week of mayhem and madness!

In “Al Otro Lado del Muro,” Sofia is having a Very Big Week so far, starting with running into Joel at the grocery store.

Of course she was at first ecstatic because she thinks that the Amor de su Vida has somehow miraculously found her at the Publix, until she realized that Joel had been convinced by a forged autopsy and lying Congressman that Sofia killed his beloved sister and the sobrino she was carrying.

Paula, Governor Martinez’ personal, private henchwoman, and Pastrana, Paula’s personal, Private henchman, did an excellent job of  building a fake case against poor Sofia, but Joel has disappointed me because he believed a Congressman.

My rule of thumb is to do the opposite of what any Congressman says.

I wish they had met up at the Whole Foods or Mariano’s, two fancy grocery stores in Chicago that have a wine and sushi bar, so that Joel could arrest Sofia under more quasi-date-like conditions.

The guy to keep our eye on in all of this continues to be Patrick, Joel’s Interpol Boss and BFF.

Is he part of the conspiracy or not??

As a seasoned law-enforcement professional, I’ll say this:

Patrick is so handsome I might not care.

Typically, criminals are not that handsome unless they are in telenovelas.

I’ve often thought that their bad looks might account for their criminality, and maybe we should be investing less in prisons and more in plastic surgery.

So as we say, the jury is still out on Patrick.

Meanwhile, we are all waiting to see how Steve recovers from the surgery to remove the aneurysm that might have been keeping him from recovering his memory.

However, even if he does remember he might pretend that he does not, because I’ll bet  Eliza is much nicer than his wife plus she’s an excellent baker.

Faking amnesia is something I’d like to try out, and I don’t know why it doesn’t happen more often. There’s really no downside when you think about it.

And just how did Interpol Joel find Sofia?

In Los Angeles?

With no leads?

Not an address or even a hint of an address, addresses from prior arrests, or a list of known associates?

Only lots and lots of head shots of Sofia, because she is so beautiful and was the First Lady of an Unnamed State in Mexico, so there were plenty of photo ops?

Well, armed with the most flattering photos of Sofia, and a budget with apparently unlimited overtime, Joel and Patrick hit the hot streets of L.A., showing her picture all over the place.

They got lucky when they showed Sofia’s photo to a woman who must have been in line with Sofia at the grocery store, because next thing you know, here comes Sofia, pushing a cart through the parking lot, just like the rest of us mere mortals.

At least Joel did not wait for  Sofia to unload her groceries into the hot car before he arrested her.

That would have been extra-painful.

Sofia could not have been happier when she thought Joel found her in the parking lot, and she was grateful that even though she had only gone to the grocery store, she had put on some lipstick and fixed her hair, remembering her mother’s advice that you should always have lipstick on, even to throw out the garbage, because you never know who you will run into.

However, Sofia’s hopes for a romantic reunion were dashed quickly when Joel put her in handcuffs (although for one moment Sofia worried that Joel might be a fan of “50 Shades…, which would have been a deal-breaker).

While Sofia was trying to understand what was happening, Joel was trying to get her to pipe down so he could give Sofia her Miranda rights without interruption, because believe me, if you ever try to give someone their Miranda rights and they keep interrupting you, you have to start all over again from the beginning or you will forget one.

And in the midst of all of this, there was Pastrana, who appears to be the most valuable member of the Governor’s team, shooting at either Sofia or Joel, or both of them.

Joel tried to capture Pastrana but he escaped with the help of two deadly Sicarios.

At the police station in the Interrogation Room, Joel confronted Sofia with the accusation that she killed his sister, which is definitely a conversation killer.

A stunned Sofia sat silent at first, stunned, sobbing, and of course ultimate denyied the accusation.

I could have told Joel this is not the best way to start questioning someone, if you want to get anywhere.

He should have offered her something to eat and drink, and a cigarette. A good interrogation always begins with good manners.

But Joel was never going to get anywhere with Sofia because The Lawyer No One Called For showed up.

If Joel had ever worked in Chicago he would have known the age-old saying: “You Don’t Want Nobody Nobody Sent For.”

That’s when the alarm goes off!

But he left Sofia alone with The Lawyer She Never Hired. Bad bad move.

Once this lawyer could not get a bond for Sofia, he began asking her about her daughter.

Sofia was already suspicious of him because the day before he suggested she call her daughter.

Now he wanted to know where she was, and it wasn’t to have the 10 year-old Alondra sign the contract.

Sofia realized that it was her husband who hired him!

Without a bond and without her daughter, Sofia will have to await trial in jail.

And meanwhile, her BFF Eliza, worried that Sofia never made it back from the store, went looking for her with Andres The Carpenter.

There was Sofia’s truck, and an excited bagboy to fill them in on what happened.

I’m pretty sure that the groceries were spoiled by the time Eliza and Andres got there.

Meanwhile, Max, married to Eliza, but Emotionally & Unlawfully Restrained by his Other Wife, Jennifer, has been stalking his family with Eliza, sitting in his car and watching them having a great time without him.

And Max’s battle-axe of a wife Jennifer (who would get along great with Andres Battle-Axe of a Wife, Maria) is stalking Max.

To paraphrase the great line from the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding:”

“But Jennifer, who is stalking  you?”

This series is Absolutely Fabulous!!!

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