All I wanted to do was learn Spanish from watching a telenovela- and somehow I became a character in one!!
As the hit FashionRomanceTelenovela “Betty En New York” has come to an end with SPECTACULAR ratings, things are just starting to heat up here in Mexico City, where the ratings for this fun and funny show are always #1 in it’s time slot.
Could these fantastic ratings be because I am actually a character in the show, thanks to Sandra Velasco, Luis Mi, Alejandro Vergara, Valentina Del Rosario Parraga and Lizandra Parra!
Yes, “Sofia” is represented in her divorce by Marcela’s good friend, “the Best Lawyer in the USA, “Karen Kerbis from Chicago!”
My favorite part of being a lawyer in this Novela is that just as it was when I actually was a lawyer in Chicago, my advice comes from watching telenovelas, because “Law and Order” was too unrealistic.
Here I am!!
I’m “Karen Kerbis, the Lawyer from Chicago!!”
Of course, I was very lucky to be played by the wonderful actress Lizandra Parra!
And doubly-lucky to have Amaranta Ruiz for my client!!! ❤️❤️
I will never forget that this happened to me!!
Muchas muchas gracias!!
Hello! Today is Sunday July 21 and I’m coming to you LIVE from Mexico City!!
As most of you know I moved here from Chicago about six weeks ago to write the telenovela of my dreams, having been so inspired by the telenovelas I started watching just a few years ago. At first, it was just a crazy experiment, one of the many dangers of living in Chicago during a winter of Thundersnow.
But almost immediately, telenovelas, and writing about telenovelas, became my true passion and eventually led me here, to live in Mexico.
The first telenovela I ever wrote daily summaries about was “Santa Diabla,” by Jose Ignacio “El Chascas” Valenzuela
In #SantaDiabla, nothing was as it seemed, and that was not because I didn’t speak Spanish! The plot of “Santa Diabla” was that a woman named Santa Martinez pretended to be a woman named “Amanda Braun,” so she could marry Humberto Cano (and basically into the whole mean and crazy Cano family) in order to obtain her revenge on him and his family for framing her beloved husband Willy for rape and killing him in prison, but then right after Santa married Humberto, she met his saxaphone-playing, perenially-sad brother Santiago, and fell in love with him.
And then things became super-complicated and mysterious and funny after that.
I never missed one episode of the novela and
I wrote summaries of the show every night!
I did that all on my original Facebook page called “La Gringa Novelera,” and my real name was nowhere to be found.
After Santa Diabla ended, I continued to write about telenovelas daily.
A couple of years after I started, Facebook, even though they helped Russia help elect Trump, took a firm stand on my Facebook page, and insisted I change the Page to my name, so I did.
My telenovela-sensei Irma Lopez had the foresight to help me save my old posts chronicalling “Santa Diabla,” and I found them recently!
And now that here in Mexico, Telemundointl is showing “Santa Diabla” again, I thought I’d resurrect these old posts that I wrote about the show, timing them to the episode that’s playing .
The series just started about two weeks ago, and here’s what’s happened so far:
Santa, pretending to be Amanda, has already married Humberto, drugged him during their honeymoon so she could escape and go visit her son in the hospital, fallen in love with his brother Santiago, got her mom a job as a maid in the Cano house but no one knows it’s her mom; got her sister-in-law Paula a job as a legal secretary at Humberto’s law firm but no one is supposed to know they are related, the idea being to destroy the Cano family from the inside-out.
Meanwhile, Humberto’s sex-machine mistress Lisette is back in town, with their 18-year old son Ivan who Humberto just met for the first time. Meanwhile, another guy in town named Arturo who’s terrified of his racist mother who I call Mrs. Trump, but still wants her to support him, is too afraid to tell his mother that his girlfriend Mara is African-American, so he proposes to Lisette because his mother promised him a lot of money if he’d settle down and get married and give her a grandchild. Even though Lisette is Humberto mistress and lives off of the men she’s involved with, she is a more acceptable daughter-in-law to Mrs. Trump that Mara, who is beautiful, kind, hard-working, honest but African-American.
And in another part of town, The Robledo Family, BFF’s and law-partners with the Canos, have their own set of problems in the form of the madcap and sociopath daughter “Ines,” who is my favorite character on the whole show. Ines has also just returned from somewhere (The Psychiactric Ward?), and instantaneously fell in love with Santiago Cano, except Santiago is already madly in love with Amanda/Santa, who just married his brother Humberto.
Ines was played by the great Ximena Duque – who stole the whole show!!!!!
Don’t worry – you will!!!
So I am going to try to re-post each one of these old posts to follow along with the series in repeats here in Mexico.
I am not changing or fixing anything, except for typos.
I missed a lot as I wrote my daily summaries of the show a few years ago, and got a lot of things wrong. But I think that made it fun and funny for me!
Let’s see how this experiment goes….
(From 21 August 2013)
Hola y buenos noches!
Ok, so “Santa Diabla” was very good tonight, but tomorrow looks even better because it involves a very telling DVD played at the Grand Opening of Humbertp’s new club, with all of the Cano (synonymous with “evil, except for Santiago) family and friends there, so this will cause much embarrassment for the Cano clan! I don’t know what’s on the DVD, but it’s gonna be good!!
Jorge (pronounced “George,” as per George) continues to try to kill his poor (but rich) father-in-law Mr Cano with poisoned Scotch, but Mr Cano knows something is up, so he poured a big glass for George too, poured one for himself, and made a toast. George panicked, dropped his tumbler full of poison scotch, and ran out of the room!
Mr Cano then smiled, and said something I did not understand any of because I DON’T SPANISH!!
For the same exact reason, I cannot tell if Barbara Cano (George’s wife and Humbertos sister) is in on the plot to murder her father.
Humberto and Santa have been married for about 72 hours, and already she has drugged him to get away to visit her secret son who was sick in the hospital, and made out with his brother Santiago at least twice.
But she can be forgiven because she only married Umberto to destroy his family to avenge her husband’s false imprisonment and true murder at the hands of most of the Cano family.
On the other hand, Umberto has already hooked up with his treacherous former mistress and mother of his (grown) son, the always-evil Lisette.
Who is supposed to marry Albert…
Can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow!!
What’s better than a big street that goes in a big circle??
Here’s Episode 3 of my new podcast!
Yes, I’ve moved to Mexico!!
Five years ago, I thought I might try to learn Spanish from watching telenovelas!
Five years later, I have left my job (Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney in Gang Crimes), my home (Chicago), and my family and friends (am I crazy?) to move to Mexico City to write the Telenovela of my Dreams!!
And now, I’m doing a Podcast from here!! It’s called “My Mexican Mistake(s)” and I’ve recorded two episodes so far!!
Here’s the link!
Are you watching “Falsa Identidad” on Telemundo?
Because it’s a lot of fun, plus you could learn a lot about the law! Which is basically the opposite of law school.
So Circe and her friend wanted to scare the Battle-Axe on the right, I guess because she’s about to expose Camila and Diego for stealing her identity.
Part of her identity is being mean and unpleasant, but remember that Diego and Camila were on the run from the even more mean and unpleasant Gavino when Diego’s Brother The Mayor and his Guy El Salas gave Camila her identity. (If Diego has The Mean Woman’s Husband’s Identity, he will want to get out of that relationship right away!)
So Circe and her friend dressed up like maids to pay a visit to the REAL Camila to “scare” her.
I’ll be honest- if Circe showed up in my hotel room I’d be terrified, and I’d double my tip.
Circe’s co-worker accidentally on purpose killed the woman by stabbing her in the neck.
They dragged her into the shower and left her to be found, thinking it would look like a suicide, because I guess in Circe’s world, people frequently stab themselves in the neck to avoid talking to her, her father and/or Joselito.
Well, The Real Camila was found by her friend on the left, and even though all he did was find her, he was promptly arrested for Murder!
As a former prosecutor, if the standard for proof is that low, I would love to be a Prosecutor in Novelaville! I might have won more often!
But I’ll tell you what: If the standard for proof is that low, remind me to never tell the police about any dead bodies I may come across in my travels.
This poor guy is now charged with Murder!
I want to be his lawyer and here is why: It’s SUPER easy apparently!
When this guy asked the detective for his lawyer, the detective stopped questioning him, which is very good behavior by the detective.
When he returned to the Interrogation Room a few minutes later, the prisoner asked “Where’s my lawyer??”
The detective took the lawyer’s card out of his pocket, with a message to the prisoner on the back of the card that told him to “Plead Guilty to Avoid The Death Penalty.”
If lawyers here see this bit, they will be ordering new business cards by the truckload! 😂😂😂😂
Join me on my journey learning Spanish from telenovelas on Telemundo!! I’m about to move to Mexico City!!
It’s very tough to say goodbye to the great SuperCrazyNarcoNovela “Senora Acero,” on Telemundo, but sadly, this is the last season!!
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 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!
Well, in “Falsa Identidad,” the latest ThrillerNovela from Telemundo, last night we watched the second episode, and have already called out our spot on the couch for the third episode, which starts Muy Pronto.
So, I didn’t realize until last night that Eliseo was THE MAYOR, yet still lived with his mother and stepfather.
I’m from Chicago, where we have a longstanding tradition of Mayors Behaving Badly.
I realize now that if they still lived at home with their moms, they would behave a lot better.
Eliseo sent his brother Diego on the road with Isabel and her son, so that Diego could escape from the Narco Gavino Gaona, who wants to kill Diego for stealing his wife and his gasoline.
Gavino had already killed his wife, now it’s Diego’s turn. So far no one in Gavino’s organization has been able to kill him because they either lost him in the chase or they are in love with him.
I’m not sure which category David falls into yet.
Mayor Eliseo promised Isabel he’d raise her teenage daughter as his own, because there weren’t enough passports for her, but he still hasn’t figured out how he will tell his scary, steely, flinty mother (The Great Sonia Smith) that he has a teenage daughter who just popped up.
Since her 2nd husband has already accused her of failing as a mother because her son Diego steals oil from Narcos, he will also accuse of her as failing as a grandmother, and it will be no excuse to say she didn’t even know she had any grandchildren.
MEANWHILE, I love watching Diego and Isabel On The Road because they are bickering just as much as any old married couple, even though they just met yesterday in the hallway of the Mayor’s house.
They crossed into Arizona yesterday but the Gaona Cartel is hot in their tail thanks to a combination of very corrupt border agents and ultra-efficient hotel clerks.
MEANWHILE, everyone has come to the Mayor’s house looking for El Diego and Isabel. First, Isabel’s weak and drunk husband brought his father, The Chief of Police, to find Isabel and the kids at the Mayor’s house.
Here’s where MEXICO is just like Chicago: No police chief in the real world or in Novelaville, in Chicago or in Mexico, is searching the Mayor’s house.
Not if they want to keep their pension anyway.
So at first, the Chief pretends to be a little social, but he loses his temper and eventually demands that Zoraida produce his daughter-in-law and grand-kids. At that point the Mayor’s mom Fernanda threw him out of the house.
The only thing worse than getting thrown out of the Mayor’s house is if it’s his mom who gave you the boot.
Defeated, El Coronel and that imbecile of a son left the Mayor’s house and went home to get drunk.
El Coronel thinks Isabel has a boyfriend; he doesn’t know she escaped because her son will kill her.
Just as Fernanda got rid of those two, the whole Goana Cartel showed up, looking for Diego.
They surrounded the Mayor and his stepfather at gunpoint,
on the front steps of the Mayor’s house.
We may behave pretty badly in Chicago, but no one here would ever have the nerve to hold the Mayor at gunpoint on his front steps.
Honestly, he’s more likely to take hostages than we are.
Eliseo is very brave, and he told the Goana Crew, including The Perpetually Angry Gavino, that they could come in and search the whole house. Diego wasn’t there.
Of course, once he called their bluff (and they then claimed that they saw Diego driving away), they all left.
I think that the real reason the Goana crew declined the offer is because they were afraid they’d run into Fernanda.
Gavino, whose appears to hate his daughter Circe and vice-versa, announces yesterday that when the time comes, he’s giving control of the cartel to his right-hand man Joselito, and not his daughter because she’s a woman.
Not only has a made an enemy, he may have lost a Falconer.
Watch this fun and fast show tonight!!
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.
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.
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!!