The Time Is Now To Start a New Telenovela!

Did you watch the Very Fast & Furious World Premiere of “Falsa Identidad” on Telemundo? It was Fantastic! And the next episode starts in just a few hours!

Basically, Luis Ernesto Franco, as “El Diego,” and Camila Sodi, as “Isabel,” had better be Fast because The Bad Guys are Furious!

So basically, here’s the story so far:

El Diego has been in trouble with everyone ever since his father died when El Diego was a little boy, and before he had an “El” in front of his name.

El Diego and his older brother Eliseo are very tight, and Elisio always bails Diego out of trouble with their mother “Fernanda,” the Very Scary Yet Always Elegant Sonia Smith, who is now married to a creep that no one likes (except maybe Fernanda.

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch (literally), Mafioso Gavino Gaona has a huge house filled with:

-a wife he hates (but wants to possess),

-a daughter named “Circe” who is also a Falconer, and has the coolest name on the show, who he hates but wants to possess (Samadhi Zendejas);

-a huge staff made up of a lot of men who will kill anyone he wants,whenever he wants, who he does possess;

-a right-hand man named “Joselito” player by the always-great Uriel Del Toro, who might be hiding a False Identity of his own, who hates/loves Circe, and definitely hates El Franco,

– and a lot of other people who Gavino hates, and who hate him, but they all seem to live in the same house.

No one plays a perpetually angry and bitterly-disappointed-in-his-non-killer-children Narco better than the always fantastic Sergio-Goyri.

So El Diego and his BFF David (played by the always excellent and very popular Pepe Gamez) get caught stealing oil from Don Gaona’s pipeline.

I thought they had struck oil, and I was about to watch a telenovela version of the “Beverly Hillbillies,” but when they ran away as lots of big black cars drove up shooting at them, I realized there was a big difference between stealing oil and striking oil.

El Diego’s mother Fernanda was very angry that her son was stealing oil from the rich and corrupt and giving it to the poor, especially since the oil belonged to Don Gaona, her new husband’s patron.

As she was trying to throw him out, his brother Elisio was running interference for him, but Fernanda wasn’t having it.

Unfortunately, while Diego’s mother and brother were fighting over how bad Franco is because he stole oil from the NarcoBoss, El Diego then stole the Narco Boss’ much younger wife.

While Diego and Mrs. Gavino Gaona dallied in a tool- shed with no comfortable furniture, Joselito found them and took a lot of photos, which he then gleefully showed to Mr Gavino Gaona.

An angry (well, angrier) Gavino then sent his men, and oddly, his daughter Circe The Falconer, to kill El Diego.

Circe was in the best position to kill El Diego but she didn’t because she loves him, and she’ll be lucky if her father doesn’t kill her once The Evil Joselito tells on her.

MEANWHILE,

Poor Isabel, played by the lovely and talented Camila Sodi, married the wrong guy, and she knows he’s the wrong guy because he beats her up all of the time.

How does he get away with it?

His father is the Chief of Police.

So Isabel can’t leave because her husband will kill her.

And she can’t stay because her husband will kill her.

Since it’s bad either way, Isabel takes her two children and flees to her friend Zoraida’s house, where Zoraida lives as the housekeeper for … wait for it … ELISIO!!

When Eliseo finds a whole new family hiding in his kitchen he demands to know (not unreasonably) who they are.

Here is how pretty Camila Sodi is:

Even with Band-Aids on her face, she’s still beautiful.

MEANWHILE,

El Diego learns that his girlfriend Mrs Gavino’s body has been found hanging from a bridge attached to a note that says “We’re looking for you…”

Diego is pretty sure that the “You” referred to in the note is Diego.

When Diego’s stepfather learns that there is a price on his head, he calls Don Gavino to turn him in.

I’ll be honest: I don’t think step-dad needs the money; I think he’s just that bad.

So Diego flees to his brother Eliseo’s house.

When Elisio learns that Isabel and her children are hiding from her abusive husband and the Chief of Police, and he realizes that he’s got to get his brother out of town, he solves two problems in one brilliant way:

Diego and Isabel can flee together, pretending to be married.

Even though they just met in the hallway between the kitchen and the living room, they agreed to do it.

If this relationship works out, it will change the face of courtship forever!

The only catch was there were not enough passports for Isabel’s daughter, so Isabel had to leave the teenager with Eliseo, who vowed to raise her as his own.

This is a very generous gesture by Eliseo, who apparently hasn’t ever met a teenage girl before, and is not prepared for the tears, screams, unreasonably hurt feelings, massive, massive texting, and eye-rolling.

Think this is a lot for one episode???

You don’t know the half of it!!

And don’t miss tonight’s episode on Telemundo!

If you’ve always wanted to watch a telenovela now is the time!!

With “Falsa Identidad” just starting, and my recaps of the show (and the English subtitles, if you want), this is the perfect show for you!!

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!

“Mary For Mayor” Is A New Kind Of Telenovela! With Many Of Your Old Favorites!!

Que tal!

Mary for Mayor” is a new kind of telenovela, and it’s a lot of fun! It was available on Netflix, and now you can find it on Venevision USA!

Mary For Mayor

MFM is a sly story combines the best of the old and the new: It’s a new way to watch telenovelas, but it’s full of your old favorites too. It’s like a novela family reunion, but without the possibility of a family murder. “Mary for Mayor” is not like any novela I have seen before! Some of the Stars you’ll recognize are Anthony Alvarez, Katie Barberi, Rosalinda Rodriguez, Alfredo Huereca, Nicolas Maglione, to name just a few!

I know … I know … I am a late arrival to the telenovela party that has been going on for generations, but ever since I watched my first novela a few years ago (because I knew I’d learn Spanish and have more fun learning the language from telenovelas than from a teacher), I have been devoted to them. You know that I pay close attention to them, and when I watched “Mary for Mayor” I saw a series that is fast, fresh and fun.

The show has many of the qualities you love in your favorite novelas and a terrific cast we recognize from Novelaville but with a new twist: It is bilingual in the exact way many of us are – the characters fall into English as naturally as they speak Spanish, and it just fits. Don’t worry! When a character speaks English, the dialogue is subtitled in Spanish, which not only works perfectly for viewers who are more comfortable with Spanish-language television, but it is also something that is very helpful for someone like me, who is trying to learn the language.

The transitions from Spanish to English (and vice-versa) are seamless, and give the show a very authentic quality. Your ears, your eyes and your heart will love watching Spanish and English just melt into each other.

Mary for Mayor is the story of Mary Ramirez (Tatiana Rodriguez) who lives in Rincon del Rio, a small town in New Mexico, with her husband Ricardo (Anthony Alvarez), and their three children: teenage daughter Paula (Gaby Borges), who spends most of her time reading or yelling at her equally teenage brother Ricky (Xavier Rubalcava) , who spends all of his time recording embarrassing family moments on his cellphone and posting them on Snapchat, and their younger brother Georgie (Nicolas Maglione and his trademark blue glasses!)

You know Mary’s a great mom because when Georgie throws up on her, she is more worried about him than the fact that he actually just threw up on her. It’s a good thing for the family that Mary is such a great mom because Papi is far less interested in his own kids than he is his own toys. And when I say “toys,” I mean other women. To say that Ricardo has a “roving eye” would be incorrect because that phrase suggests his eye is even in sitting an eye-socket. It’s not. That eye never rests. That’s how busy his eye is.

The Premiere of “Mary For Mayor” is equally busy! The show opens with a lot of plot-lines kicking off: Ricardo’s father Mayor Odilon Ramirez (Alfredo Huerca) is about to finally retire, but he is plotting the nomination of his successor so that he can still rule. Rincon may be a small town, but that always makes the Mayor even more important, right? And Rincon may be small, but it’s big enough to have its very own hipster who is also a reporter very wise to the Mayor, who has a bit of a crush on Mary too.

Meanwhile, across town, we are treated to a fiery sermon from Padre Armando (Sebastian Ligarde) while we get the rundown on Rincon del Rio from the long-dead founder of the town, Padre Menudo (Carl Mergenthaler). Apparently, Padre Menudo is up for beatification because he somehow founded a town where everyone is really great-looking, and no one ever gets divorced. Even Padre Menudo was exceptionally handsome, and we know this because as he narrates the opening of the show (from The Great Novela Beyond),he wants us to know two things: That because nothing is more important to the citizens of Rincon del Rio than The Family, no one in the history of the town has ever gotten divorced.

The Padre also wants us to know that the bronze sculpture of him that guards the doors of the only church in town does not do him justice: according to Padre Menudo, he was much better looking.

The show, and the town, are drenched in colors that pop out at you from everywhere, and the local color, in the form of the townspeople, is the same. The tone of “Mary for Mayor” is funny, and if I had to describe the show in only one word, “sly” is the word that comes to mind.

You have to watch the show closely, and I’d recommend watching it twice just because there are a lot of jokes scattered throughout this fast-paced show.

“Mary For Mayor” opens with a bang on two fronts when Mary’s three kids crash a shopping cart into the middle of one of Padre Armando’s awful lectures that are all anti-divorce, and pro- “The Family.” He is very clear: No one in town can get divorced ever. His rapt parishioners may hate each other, but they had better stick it out. The only Divorce Court is in Heaven, and that’s only because someone in dead.

You know who would hate the town of Rincon Del Rio?

Divorce lawyers.

You know who would love the town of Rincon Del Rio?

Funeral Directors.

The other explosion in the show happens at Mary’s house when she comes home early to change clothes for The Mayor’s party and walks in on her husband Ricardo engaged in very athletic and extremely extra-marital sex. It is as this point that you realize this show is going to turn convention on its head: Mary does not scream and yell. There are no tears, knives or guns with cries of “Matame!!” (Not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

Instead, Mary closes the bedroom door behind her, thinks about what she just saw, and realizes that she feels nothing. Absolutely nothing. No anger, no sadness, no homicidal intent. Nothing. Mary’s ambivalence towards her husband runs throughout this episode and is the catalyst for her later, monumental decision. Ricardo does nothing to help his cause when he emerges from the bedroom in a silk lounging robe wearing a cowboy hat which he discreetly moves a bit lower while insincerely apologizing for the “indiscretion” which meant nothing to him. Why? Because The Family is the most important thing in the world to him. And he says this with a straight face.

Mary and Ricardo put his infidelity aside long enough to take the kids to the Abuelo the Mayor’s Garden Party, where he will announce his successor. Well, a different successor, since the one he had in mind died very suddenly after eating over a pound of chocolate. We get our first glimpse into the Royal House of Ramirez at the party, where we watch Mary’s in-laws, Lord and Lady Mayor (Katie Barberi) preside over the townspeople like an off-brand Lord and Lady Crawley from “Downton Abbey.” They may be Rincon’s First Couple, but it’s clear that they think they are Second Coming of President and Nancy Reagan with a touch of Marie Antoinette.

One of the best bits in the show are the visual jokes surrounding this couple: The Mayor presides over Rincon from inside of a life-size replication of The Oval Office, where his desk is covered in bobble-head dolls of the former presidents, and for inspiration, he fondles and gnaws on a Pez dispenser with a Donald Trump head. The walls are lined with paintings of former presidents with the Mayor’s head superimposed on them. When he is not in his Oval Office, he presides over the town’s affairs (and perhaps his own) while sitting in a very lavish chair that comes as close to a throne as a Mayor in Smalltown, USA can get away with.

Katie Barberi is perfect and so funny as his wife, the First Lady of Rincon.

She wears white gloves, Adolfo, and knocks on her own front door so that her maid (wearing a traditional Mexican dress from another century) has to open it and escort her upstairs to bed. This show is so visual, you can watch it with the sound off and you’d be able to follow it, but don’t deprive yourself of the great dialogue too!

Mary is genuinely unsure about what her next move should be. But after watching a few betrayed and sobbing wives humiliated on a “reality” show hosted by a bubbly “La Chapina” (Nadia Escobar),doing some soul-searching, and eating lots of ice cream with her “I’ve Seen It All” mother (Rosalinda Rodriguez, who is fantastic in this series), Mary ends the first episode with a decision that may bring a plague of biblical proportions to Rincon del Rio – she decides to divorce her husband!!

The series takes off from there, with moments of surprise, hilarity, romance, and a few dark moments, too. I don’t want to reveal too much here – but it’s a roller-coaster of novela fun. And the easy give-and-take between Spanish and English feels so natural – it feels exactly how so many of us live our lives. You may speak Spanish to your parents and English to your kids, and somehow it all works out and everyone understands each other! “Mary for Mayor’ is a new kind of novela – and it’s a novela for right now!

To keep up with my sideways views on novelas, follow me on Facebook and Twitter @gringanovelera!

Building A Better Prosecutor By Watching “El Senor De Los Cielos”

Follow me here as I learn how to be a better prosecutor from Maria Conchita Alonso’s character, New York prosecutor Nora Requena, in the NarcoNovela “El Senor de los Cielos!”

It’s only been three nights of Continuing Legal Education From Prosecutor Nora Requena in the Telemundo NarcoNovela “El Senor de Los Cielos,” and already I have learned more than I learned in three years of law school!

I am closely following her character to learn how to be a better prosecutor. If this works, I may have invented a better way to get Continuing Legal Education credit!

Nora (Maria Conchita Alonso) is in Mexico because she just pulled the plug on her husband, literally, and also at the request of theDEA Mexico City Chief, the always angry and impatient, 3-piece-suit wearing, vest-loving Joe Lazaro, played by Guy Ecker. (When Guy played the police chief in the old t.v. show “Las Vegas,” which was a Very Guilty Pleasure, he wore more open-collared shirts and was much more relaxed. But in #ESDLC he is angry all of the time, which might have something to do with wearing a collar and tie all of the time. Who wouldn’t be cranky?)

So when we meet up with Nora in her third episode, she is right where we left her – making everyone in the meeting nervous.

The DEA (minus Corina, who was busy stirring it up at Aurelio’s house), and Aurelio’s latest conquest Carla the Crusading Journalist, were all there to convince Nora to extradite Aurelio to the USA, although it was clear that Carla was having second thoughts because she needed a date for a wedding that was coming up.

Their strategy was to show Nora the video taken the day that Aurelio took over the news station and announced that even though he was the world’s biggest cartel boss, he was still better than the crooked bosses of Mexico.

Nora, played by Maria Conchita Alonso, is really one cool customer.

After watching the tape where Aurelio admitted all of his crimes to the audience (and it was not even Sweeps week), Nora announced that the tape was not evidence of anything.

Nora’s statement, and her rejection of charges, rocked my world.

I have always thought that a confession is pretty important evidence.

But Nora disagrees and I think she called it “television gossip” as though Aurelio’s broadcast was a bad episode of “The Batchelor.”

I’ll be honest.

Until I heard Nora’s remarkable assessment, if I was trying this case, I would charges him, hit “Play,” on the DVD player, lit a cigarette, and when the tape was over I would have announced “State Rests.”

But no, not according to Nora.

Even with a confession made to the entire country of Mexico which no one could ever complain was coerced because it was Aurelio himself who took over the whole tv station at gunpoint just so he could make this statement, there is no resting, and the work is just beginning, according to Nora.

The DEA was disappointed, but perked up when Nora tried to get everyone to go out drinking, which shows that the DEA in Mexico City is like every other prosecutor’s office around the USA.

Only Guy agreed to go, even though Nora appeared to be buying.

As they were leaving, Corina showed up.

I thought Nora would see through Corina with what I am sure are x-ray specs, and that she and Corina would be natural enemies, like the Snake and the Nongoose.

But Nora was so unexpectedly kind and charming to Corina that Corina (channeling her inner Sally Field) actually said to Deputy Chief Colon, ”See, she likes me! She really likes me!”

This has clearly never happened to Corina before.

After Nora left the offices of the DEA, Deputy Chief Colon told Corina he is worried and thinks that Nora is there to investigate them.

But Corina does not care because she has a new friend in Nora.

Wait until her new BFF Nora meets Corina’s boyfriend Aurelio and her old BFF El Rojito.

So what lesson did we learn from Nora last night?

What decisions did Nora make that will help us to be better prosecutors?

Well, that a “confession is not evidence, apparently.

Her views of confessions as gossip is interesting, but the real lesson, if you ask me,

is that as prosecutors we should strive to

create a mood of so much confusion and craziness that half of the room thinks you’re investigating them,

and the other half wants to go out drinking with you.

And of course our Nora was taking a page right out of Don Corleone’s book with her approach to Corina – “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Don’t miss these valuable legal lessons from Prosecutor Nora Requena, tonight and every night in “El Senor de Los Cielos” on Telemundo!

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!

How I Am Learning To Be A Better Prosecutor From Maria Conchita Alonso In “El Senor De Los Cielos: Day 1

I’m no “Julie & Julia,” or Julie OR Julia, but I am a prosecutor in the criminal courts, and I am closely watching a prosecutor in the telenovela “El Senor de Los Cielos.”

That prosecutor is “Nora Requena” played by Maria Conchita Alonso, and she just joined the cast on Monday night.

If you don’t watch telenovelas (Why not??? Better check your pulse!!), you might think a prosecutor is a fairly straightforward character.

You’d be wrong:

In a series where the Venezuelan Ambassador to Mexico spends more time money laundering than serving tea to guests and reading telex’s, and where the Presidente Of México has more orgies in office than Caligula, a prosecutor has many more interesting things to do in the show than prepare Answers to Discovery.

I think I’ll learn a lot from “Nora” and what I’m going to try to do is tell you what I have learned every day, in every episode!

_______________________________

Day 1:

There’s nothing better than a good criminal prosecutor in a telenovela, and if we are lucky, the prosecutor is good because the prosecutor is BAD. As in Very Bad. And the Worse they are, the more fun they are!

Last night the legendary Maria Conchita Alonso debuted as Nora Requena in “El Senor de los Cielos.” In the series, Nora is a New York city prosecutor determined to bring Aurelio to justice. And bring him to New York City, where Nora will take a bite out of crime, and Aurelio will take a bite out of the Big Apple. Will he see justice? That’s anyone’s guess. Will he see the inside of Nora’s apartment? Always a possibility since Nora may be completely unprepared for the power of The Kevorka, a quality Aurelio shares with Kramer from “Seinfeld.”

We were introduced to Nora last night.

Since I am a prosecutor just like Nora, I wanted to see how much I could learn from this character, and believe me, in just a few minutes, I learned a lot and will be doing everything differently from now on.

When we meet Nora she is in a hospital room, at the bedside of a man on a ventilator.

Nora is hiding behind a fan, which she dramatically closes when the doctor and nurse enter the room. Honestly, it never occurred to me to use a fan before, but now I don’t know how I lived for so long without one. A fan is something I could use very effectively in closing arguments, as long as no one ever bursts into the song “Lady of Spain.” And when I say “no one,” I mean me. Or any of the arias from “Carmen.” Or I don’t develop a southern-accented Scarlett O Hara voice and claim to have “The Vapors.”

Now that I think about it, I could do a lot of damage with a fan, and all of it would be self-inflicted.

So back to the show … Within a minute of the doctor and nurse coming into the room of the man on the ventilator and Nora coming out from playing peek-a-boo behind her fan, Nora directs the nurse to take the man off of the ventilator.

And just like that, the nurse shuts off the ventilator and the man stops breathing. No one even asks Nora for identification. The nurse hit the button and that was that.

Nora did find time to take a call from the head of the DEA, Joe Navarro. Like Nora, I always have time to speak with law enforcement officers.

Unlike Nora, I don’t usually take those calls in the middle of pulling someone off of life support. So given that, Nora seems to be a more selfless prosecutor than I am.

We didn’t see Nora for a while after that. I thought maybe it was because she had a lot of paperwork to complete since she ordered the man’s death, but that wasn’t it at all. When we saw Nora again we were still in the hospital room: The Man took his final breath, Nora announced that her husband had been a complete stranger to her, gave his wedding ring to the nurse, and announced to the doctor and nurse that she was finally free. The doctor hoped that Nora meant “Finally Free to pay the hospital bill,” but that’s unlikely.

After this short but powerful speech, Nora left the hospital, her dead husband, and the very confused doctor and nurse who were now stuck with the wedding erring and the body that went with it.

So what I learned from Nora in this episode is that you can get away with anything if you are beautiful, dramatic, confusing, and best of all, using a fan.

Let’s see what she gets up to tonight.

One thing I can tell you that Nora is not doing any legal research.

The Real Not-Housewives Of “El Senor De Los Cielos!”

I’m learning a lot more than Spanish learning Spanish from telenovelas!

Things are getting very complicated in the Telemundo NarcoNovela “El Senor de Los Cielos,” these days, as Aurelio is trying to keep two very beautiful but surly women happy, keep them in love with him, and keep them in the drug business with him:

1: La Coronela Ambar Maldonado of the Venezuelan Army, who gives out solid gold bars of solid gold with the same frequency Fredo Corleone used to bang Las Vegas cocktail waitresses in “The Godfather:” Two at a time.

I’m not sure what this is doing for Venezuela, but her love life has improved dramatically.

She uses sex as a weapon, and she also uses weapons as weapons.

2. Corina, of the DEA:

She might be the real daughter of the head of the DEA, she might be the pretend niece of the second in charge, and she might be another Love of Aurelio’s Life, but she is the most unpleasant and angry woman this show has seen yet. All she does is make speeches and yell at people at work all day.

I am curious to see if she gets away with so much yelling now that she’s at the heart of the Cartel, where no one has to pretend to follow the law, and they all carry guns too.

Like the scene in “Goodfellas” where they kill the whiny Maury, someone will finally blow Corina’s head off and say “I thought she’d never shut up.”

Corina is only ever a little happy when she’s at the heart of Cartel business with Aurelio, which might account for why she is so unhappy at doing anti-Cartel work with the DEA, pretending (not very well) to be against drugs.

When Aurelio found out Corina was a double-agent, he locked her up in his basement jail, which is as common as a swimming pool in the living room in Narco Novelas.

Now she is allowed out on work-release and it appears Dona Alba (Aurelio’s mother) is her Pre-Trial Services Officer.

I wonder if Dona Alba ever wonders how Corina moved from a Prisoner of War to a Prisoner of Love, and how many more future daughters-in-law will she have to meet and throw wedding showers for.

Meanwhile, La Coronela is battling in a second war:

She is also fighting with “La Doctora,” who is the head of the Venezuelan Embassy in Mexico and is very busy selling off the parts of Venezuela that La Coronela hasn’t already promised to Cuba.

They are fighting (I think) for the Cuban President, Presidente El Commandante. Ambar is wooing him with more gold from Venezuela, and La Doctora (aka “Lady In Red” is wooing him by letting him hang out in the Venezuelan Embassy, wearing only red, and giving him lots of coffee and very comfortable chairs to sit around in.

My money is on La Doctora because even though Ambar is a Coronela, she is already using a lot of resources to fight with Corina for Aurelio, and everyone knows you can’t fight a war on two fronts!

We are also very excited about the upcoming appearance of Maria Conchita Alonso as a New York City Prosecutor who is about to extradite Aurelio.

And I hope it’s not just because she needs a date to a wedding.

This is a fantastic series! With tough, smart, scary, and of course beautiful women!

Why watch something that’s “like” a telenovela when you can watch The Real Thing???

If you haven’t watched it before, check your pulse.

Season 6 is currently on Telemundo, and you can catch up from Season 1 on Netflix!