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!!







Wherever You Were For The Very Grand Finale Of “Al Otro Lado Del Muro,” That Was The Place To Be!

I hope you were there for the Great Very Grand Finale Of The Telemundo SuperNovela Al Otro Lado del Muro!

Where?? You ask?

Well, you could have started in Miami, where Sofia & Joel & Patrick & Agent Garcia rescued Alondra and lots of other poor girls from a Sex Slave Auction that was the centerpiece of a Masquerade Ball, like Trivial Pursuit is the centerpiece of my parties.

Or you could have been in L.A., where a busy, insane and tireless Jennifer drugged Eliza and escaped from the Asylum For The Criminally Insane, and then tricked Eliza into coming over, and then attacked her with a baseball bat, and then tried to drown her, and then, when Andres and Max rescued Eliza, Jennifer tried to yell Eliza to death.

Or, you could have been in the Women’s Prison with Paula, where the other inmates were beating her to death since she had sold most of their daughters.

Or you could have been on a Florida Beach with Sofia and Joel, where Joel gave Sofia the Pardon for the Crime She Never Committed, and just as they were about to celebrate their long-awaited honeymoon, Sofia saw a creepy old man hitting on a 3rd grade girl, and ran over to confront him and save the girl, at which point Joel realized that the Honeymoon Is Over.

Or you could have been at Interpol watching Agent Garcia accepting an award for breaking up The World’s Biggest Human Trafficking Ring, and signing a lot of Overtime slips.

Or you could have been at an Infinity Pool somewhere in the Caribbean with Ernesto, cool as a cucumber in linen, ordering an icy-cold beer that was delivered by an ice-cold Patrick who was finally allowed to arrest him.

Or you could have been in Boyle Heights, at the wedding of Eliza and ANDRES!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! Max may have come out strong out of the gate, but 10 years is a long time to be afraid of your wife.

And letting the Bone Marrow Transplant continue at the scary Dollar Store clinic really was the last straw.

Plus Andres can do everything important: sitting around staring languidly into space like a hungry supermodel is not his thing.

In fact, Andres made a great speech comparing love to making bread, and who doesn’t love bread?!

I loved Litzy in this series, and I’ve seen her get married a lot! But she never looked as beautiful at any of her other novela weddings as she looked in #AlOtroLadoDelMuro!

I think they are all packing up and moving back to Mexico, so her mother Carmen can continue to yell at her without traveling to San Diego every time she wants to tell her something.

Carmen, BEST GRANDMOTHER EVER, found Frida rebuilding her career without those sleazy pimp/managers, and invited her to the wedding, so Tomas and Frida could reunite, which they did.

In front of everyone.

Charlie was invited to the wedding too (without either of his parents of course), and he and Rodrigo were busy plotting something that I hope doesn’t hurt either one of them.

Or, you could have been like me, on my couch in Chicago, watching the end with an eye on a clock that was going way too fast, and wishing it could go on forever!

This novela was wonderful, and I hate to see it end!

I loved these characters and the story, and it’s hard to say GOODBYE to them!!

Thank you Laura Sosa Pedroza for such a fantastic novela!!

And thank you to a great cast that included Marjorie De Sousa Litzy Gabriela Vergara, Adriana Barraza, Gabriel Porras, Uriel Del Toro, Guillermo Ivan, Ed Trucco, Christopher Millan, Khotan, Noah Rico, Gael Sancheztv, Gustavo Pedraza

And A Cast Of Thousands!!!!!

And a special thanks to Joaquín Fernández and his team for the fantastic music, Luisa Ibanez for her tireless work on behalf of the show, and everyone at Telemundo who works so hard to make these shows as great as they are!

All The Telenovelas In The World…

Do you ever wonder what telenovelas are out there in Latin America?

Novelas you may never get a chance to watch because they don’t air here?

Do you ever contemplate what other twins have been separated at birth, leading them down remarkably different roads?

Do you ever ponder who has stolen whose identity lately?

I do, all of the time.

And now you will too, once you read my latest article for “Latin Connection Magazine,” which is about all of the telenovelas we cannot see (unless we watch them on YouTube!!)

One of those shows is the FANTASTIC & FUNNY telenovela from writer Luis Mi and the rest of the crew at TV Azteca, “Educando A Nina!”

You can’t go wrong with beautiful twins separated at birth (apparently by their own father – Que Horrible!) who then live starkly different lives:

“Mara” (who is smartly given away by her father, who can see into the future), grows up as the indulged and Super Annoying daughter of a fashion magazine publisher who lives her life on Instagram and sounds like a cross between ANY Kardashian, Fran Drescher from “The Nanny,” and the marriage of a snake to a chicken.

-“Nina,” who doesn’t have any money, lives in a big, exciting house with lots of colors and doors, but only one bathroom, which is a problem.

Nina lives with her father, her best friend, and the Reggaeton singer for whom she sings backup, “Daddy Papi.”

And Daddy Papi’s Mami, La Mecha.

When Mara goes to prison, Mara’s father and his publicist Patricio somehow dig up Nina, to have Nina pose as Mara until some deal is finished.

When Mara is sent to the Scary Women’s Prison (Episode 2 I think), the writers and actors turn the entire “Women in Prison” sub-genre of NarcoNovelas on its head, and it’s better is then anything!

Watching Mara behave exactly as Mara always behaves, absolutely oblivious to the fact she is in a prison full of insane and heavily tattooed inmates is one of the best gags I’ve ever

The other two shows I tempt you with are “La Hija Prodiga” and “Perdona Nuestros Pecados.”

And if you look, you’ll find plenty of others!! There is a whole world of Novelas out there!!

This is just the tip of the iceberg!

And once you see one episode of any of these the shows, you’ll be hooked!


Why Ed Trucco in “Al Otro Lado Del Muro” Now Understands Captain Dobey’s Pain … And Other Telenovela Tragedies…

Que tal!

Did you see last night’s gripping episode of Al Otro Lado del Muro on @Telemundo? It is definitely the fastest hour on television!

Poor Eliza and those kids of hers!

They finally arrive in Los Angeles by bus, and Max is not there to pick them up, the kids are hungry, and Liza’s cell Phone does not work in the USA.

Between the bad food in bus terminals and no phone, this is where I get right back on the bus to Mexico. Let Max find me there.

I’m going back to my mother. And The Bakery.

But Liza is a better person than I am, and so she waits.

And waits…

Meanwhile, two security guards who don’t speak Spanish are getting ready to make a move on her.

Now here is where I get a little angry:

I predict we are going to see some Gringos who do not speak Spanish, or are going to speak Very Bad Spanish.

Why not cast La Gringa Novelera in one of these roles?

No one speaks worse Spanish than me.

I could play any of these roles.

And I already have experience acting in a telenovela.

My 4-seconds in #QuienEsQuien was the most compelling 4-seconds in that series.

I would go the distance in a role requiring Very Bad Spanish, and believe me, I wouldn’t have to go very far.

But I digress…

So the Missing Max has a good excuse for not showing up at the Bus Station – his son with the evil Jennifer was in the hospital and the doctors can’t figure what is wrong with him.

All we know is that his parents were having yet another big fight, and the poor kid collapsed.

My guess is that he’s so tired of listening to his mother trying to hold her marriage together by screaming at his father that she has driven the poor kid into a coma.

Max now needs to stay at the hospital so he can be with his son, and so that Jennifer can continue to yell at him.

So Max sent his brother-in-law Steve (who was on his way to Madrid to try to reunite with his family) to pop-in at the bus station, explain everything to Eliza, and give her a lot of cash.

Steve (Gustavo Pedraza) wasn’t too crazy about this idea, because even though yes, he was in his way to Madrid, he was not going by BUS, so it’s a bit of an imposition. But he agreed to go.

He must be a pretty good packer, because normally on the day anyone is about to travel, there’s no time to go to the bus station, cover for a Missing Dad, and still get to the airport in time to fly to Madrid.

But unfortunately poor Steve was mugged and badly beaten up just before he walked into the bus station. Unconscious, he was taken away by ambulance…

And Eliza and the kids are about to be thrown out of the bus station by a mean Gringo who does not speak Spanish…

Meanwhile, back in Mexico, Sofia has problems of her own- not the least of which are a Human Trafficker of a Husband who is also Governor, and an evil stepson named Julian, who is thwarting her escape plans at every turn.

She should have known Julian could not be trusted when, at the age of 11, he expressed an interest in wearing bow-ties, when he should have been asking for a Metallica t-shirt.

Joel, the Brave and Heartbroken Interpol Agent, showed up at a Governor’s Gala in disguise as either a Hipster or a Rabbi.

As you can imagine, this created just enough confusion at the Gala to give Joel and Sofia enough time to plot her escape, with the help of her Kind And Trustworthy Driver, German.

He’s not German – that’s his name – and he’s played by my friend Hely Ferrigny!

The Governor was interrupted at the Gala by his Human Trafficking Partner’s calls from jail demanding to see him.

So the busy Governor left his fundraiser to go to the jail to visit Juan Estevez, with a confession already written out for him to sign.

A “confession” which of course takes the Governor out of the crime ring.

The Governor promised Juan that if he confessed, after a short time in prison he would send him to Spain.

I’m not sure what the Sentencing Laws are in Mexico, but if Parole includes a trip to Spain, this is an excellent criminal justice system.

Even though Juan is a Human Trafficker, and Spain is beautiful, I admired him when he took the “confession” and threw it in the Governor’s face.

As a disappointed Governor left the jail, confession in hand,

I wondered when had time to write it, but figured he had staffed it out to Paula, who loves nothing more than to compound a crime, when she is not trying to humiliate Sofia or fool around with Sofia’s husband The Governor.

In Illinois, our Governors never visit anyone in prison, but that is because they all end up in prison.

Meanwhile, at first Sofia’s escape seems to be going pretty well:

Since one of the guys in the Governor’s security detail is a former and current hitman who Joel had arrested before, Joel was able to convince him to help get the kids to their mom Sofia, who Joel had stashed in a second-rate hotel, where the elegant and highly-accessorized Sofia stood out like a sore thumb.

If you ask me, Joel should have hidden Sofia at The Four Seasons, where she could hide in plain sight.

Things started to break bad when that twit Julián snuck Sofia’s cell phone into the bathroom and called his dad, to tip him off.

Then poor Patrick, Joel’s Interpol boss who spends half of his workday yelling at Joel for being a rebel, and the other half of the day covering for Joel because he’s his best agent, gets attacked by the Sicario/Bodyguard, and is left for dead.

Patrick, played by Ed Trucco, is like Starsky and Hutch’s constantly worried Lieutenant. He knows he’s lucky to have Joel, but Joel’s UnOrthodox methods (unless he’s posing as a Rabbi) drive him crazy.

I love the scenes between Patrick and Joel (played by Guillermo Ivan) more than any other scenes in this show because they usually speak English, so I can relax a little.

As last night’s episode ended, when Sofia opened the door to her Motel 6 room to escape with her kids into the waiting arms and small private plane of Interpol, The Evil Governor was on the other side of the door.

Now what????????

Don’t miss tonight’s exciting episode!!!

Pretty soon we should be seeing Christopher Millan!!

I Love this series!!




This is a very big Premiere Week for us and Telemundo, with another new MegaNovela that premiered last night – “Enemigo Intimo” (“Intimate Enemy”), which stars Raul Mendez, Fernanda Castillo, Guillermo Quintanilla and Diego Soldano!

Only in a telenovela can you go from Swiss banks to Mexico to a murder in the nightclub in a co-ed prison, all in the same hour, which pretty much sums up why I am so addicted to them. Telenovelas, that is. Not co-ed prisons.

Raul and Fernanda play a brother (Captain Alejandro Ferrer) and sister (Roxana Rodiles) who were torn apart as children, and now don’t recognize each other as adults. Not to sound like “Monk,” but Here’s What Happened:

When Captain Alejandro and “Roxana” were little kids, that was not her name, and they lived with their parents somewhere in the desert. Alejandro and his little sister were very close; he was crazy about his little sister, and he showed it by giving her a reptile of her very own.

One tragic day, in a horrifying scene that did not involve the reptile, their parents were slaughtered, and the killers took Alejandro’s little sister away. The bloody arm of the man holding her hand was wrapped in the tattoo of a gigantic snake, so I cannot wait to see whose arm that is. But we are going to have to wait a while for that… or maybe not!

25 years later, Alejandro is a Captain in charge of a super-efficient police department, with gigantic television screens, high-tech surveillance equipment, and plenty of avant-garde crime solving techniques, but he has never forgotten his sister.

Unfortunately, his little sister has forgotten it all, and has become the ultra-sophisticated, super-glamorous and Tres-beautiful globetrotter Roxana Rodiles, for whom every day is like a Vogue assignment, as she catwalks through Europe, spreading her boyfriend’s money around. I don’t know who raised her after they killed her parents, but I am definitely convinced charm school was involved, and there weren’t a lot of after-school snacks.

Captain Alejandro has been on a tear, trying to destroy a big cartel and drinking a lot of coffee, and he made some headway when he and his troops killed the beloved son of the head of that cartel, who doesn’t look too thrilled with the son he has left.

Somehow, in his investigation (which as far as I could tell involves a lot of yelling at people and mocking them) he figured out that the money launderer for the cartel is the regal Frederico Montalvo (Diego Soldano) whose girlfriend ROXANA, it just so happens, is on a whirlwind tour of Europe, giving his millions away to small African nations and depositing some in Swiss banks along the way. Interpol is sent to find her, and she should have been pretty easy to spot because she was the only gal in Geneva driving a DeLorean. Roxana made it home, but was not free for long.

Meanwhile, while Roxana is flying home, Captain Alejandro is working very hard on getting a search warrant for Montalvo’s castle. The judge is very reluctant to grant the warrant because that will make his boss, Mr. Montalvo, very mad at him. Alejandro and his mentor sort of shame the judge into signing it, but as soon as he does and the police leave, the judge pulls his secret phone out of his cabinet and calls Mr. Montalvo to warn him that 5-0 is on the way.

Mr. Montalvo, who is in the same house as Roxana, does not warn her, and she gets arrested while Mr. Montalvo escapes. It is hard for me to tell why he didn’t warn her, but I think it might be because she either gave too much of his money away, or a DeLorean was never discussed. If you ask me, she should have known the bloom was off the rose when she came home from her European adventure and they ate dinner sitting at opposite of a dining room table that was approximately one city-block long.

In any event, the episode ends with Captain Alejandro putting Roxana in handcuffs while she gives him the same little-sister puppy-dog eyes she used to give him as a child when he gave her a lizard for her very own, but they don’t recognize each other.

But before we get to the end there is one more thing to discuss, and that is the Co-Ed prison which I cannot get enough of. There are Male Dorms and Women Dorms, and although they are not supposed to be in each other’s rooms after Midnight, the Warden runs a pretty loose ship so the inmates don’t burn the place down.

If you ask me, that warden knows what he is doing and is pretty much giving them Snow in Winter, because the women have the most and worst facial tattoos and are so unpleasant that even in prison I am not sure they could get a date.

The male prisoners are led by my hero Guillermo Quintanilla, who plays an inmate named “El Guillotina.” Guillermo always creates memorable characters and El Guillotina is no exception. With his gigantic moustache, tinted aviator glasses and the Greatest Nickname Ever, El Guillotina rules the school. His counterpart in the Women’s Dorm is “Zoraida,” who is actually scarier because everyone knows that women are meaner than men.

And the icing on the cake? The nightclub in the middle of the prison. A nightclub. In prison. At this point if you are not watching telenovelas you might want to check your pulse.

The headliner at the prison nightclub is, or was, “La Dulcita.” You could tell she was a big hit with all of the inmates and that’s not just because her prometido El Guillotina made everyone applaud for her. She was a very good entertainer, with costume changes and everything.

I could not figure out if she was another inmate or brought in just to perform for the troops. Or inmates. But it doesn’t matter anymore, and here is where, for one brief glorious moment, this telenovela turned into a film noir, because someone killed La Dulci, The Nightclub Singer. The Gilda of Cell Block 8. She was killed in her own Prison Nightclub Dressing Room. Isn’t that always the way in the old movies? Someone kills the nightclub singer, and it’s up to her flawed, tough-as-nails boyfriend to solve the crime?

Well a devastated Guillotina may be better at crime than crime-solving, because instead of doing anything helpful, he is leading a riot against the warden, and they are burning their own furniture, including the velvet ropes used to keep the riff-raff out of the VIP section at the Prison Club, Studio Cell Block One. How’d you like to work the line at that club? Imagine asking people if they are “on the list?”

All this, in only one hour? Do you see why I love telenovelas so much?!?!?

Let’s watch this Telenovela together!