EPISODE 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gina and Gabi bless themselves.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEANWHILE…

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

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

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

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

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

Just like Mark Anthony.

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

The two men come towards Oscar & Nadia.

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

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

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

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

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

“And for some hot cider,” Jose adds.

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

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

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

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

MEANWHILE-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And they like Las Colombianas.

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

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

No! Not that one, the other one!”

MEANWHILE…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STAY TUNED FOR EPISODE 5!!

#Telenovelas

#HallmarkChristmasMovies

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

I had never before been to Mexico,

I don’t speak much Spanish,

I don’t know The Metric System.

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

What could go wrong….

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

Gracias!!

#podcasts

#mexico

#telenovelas

#travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#lrds #netflix #gringanovelera

There’s No Law Lesson Like A Telenovela Law Lesson!

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.”

That’s it!!

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!!

S

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!!

In “Falsa Identidad” We See Why All Big-City Mayors Should Still Live At Home With Their Moms

Que tal!

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.

MEANWHILE,

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!!

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!

Want To Be A Prosecutor?Skip Law School And Watch Telenovelas!

TELENOVELA PROSECUTORS THROUGH THE AGES:

What’s Law Got To Do With It??

———————————————-/

Que tal!

When I started learning Spanish from telenovelas, I was usually very wrong about everything. In fact, I was so dazed and confused during the first month of La Patrona on Telemundo that I thought Antonia and Alejandro were a rich, unhappily married couple with no children, and that Antonia hated Alejandro SO MUCH that the gigantic family portrait over the fireplace only included her. “Thank goodness they didn’t bring any children into this unhappy marriage,” I thought.

And then one day I realized that they had no children because they weren’t married: they were mother and son. Why Alejandro did not get his own apartment is a question for another day, but clearly, there no room in my fevered brain to figure out the subtleties of the show.

But as time went on and I understood more and more every day, I came to really love the courtroom scenes in La Patrona, and in all of the telenovelas I watch to this day. The courtroom hijinx in a telenovela would make the whole world want to go to law school, if only court could actually be as crazy and as much fun. And as a prosecutor in in the criminal courts of Chicago, I love watching what my fellow Novela prosecutors get up to.

For example, in “La Patrona,” the prosecutor (Ricardo) was a pretty decent guy with a gigantic Crucifix in his office, which is kind of unusual for government work. He was only able to have sex with women he wasn’t married to, which is usually something we see in celebrities and professional athletes, but in Ricardo’s case it was because his father had convinced him that his mother had abandoned him to run away with the Tennis Pro, when in reality Ricardo’s father had had The Mrs. imprisoned in the local Asylum for the Criminally Insane, so he could spend all of her money on hookers, Tequila, and his Senate campaign. Ricardo retired from the Prosecutor’s Office to defend his mother of trying to kill his father after she escaped from the Asylum.

Of course he did.

In “Eva La Trailera,” Sofia Lama played “Betty,” a prosecutor so in love with Eva’s boyfriend Pablo that Betty prosecuted Eva for a murder which Betty knew Eva didn’t commit, scared all of Eva’s witnesses, conspired with the Real Killer to see that Eva was convicted, lost her job when her bosses found out about it, and then pregnant and broke, moved in with Pablo’s family even though no one invited her.

In “El Senor de los Cielos,” Erika de la Rosa played “Elsa,” the Very Special Prosecutor assigned to prosecute Don El Chema, who was supposed to be El Chapo. Elsa is one of my favorite prosecutors for a couple of reasons: Number 1, I don’t even think Elsa was a lawyer. I think that her parents were big campaign contributors to El Presidente, and basically paid him to take her off of their hands. Elsa gave me hope: She showed us that having no working knowledge of the law was not an impediment to a successful prosecution. Number 2, Elsa was dating Chema at the same time she was prosecuting him. When I met Erika at a Telemundo event, and gushed about how much I learned from Elsa about being a prosecutor, Erika quickly excused herself and called for “Security.”

And then, in the next season of “El Senor de Los Cielos,” Alejandro de la Madrid played Ignacio, a serious and honest prosecutor who became so frustrated by his inability to convict any drug kingpins that he assembled a team of the prettiest women in the office and they formed a Hit Squad, assassinating everyone who was acquitted, which is another way to go. Usually, in law enforcement, when a team of the prettiest women are recruited, it is because someone is assembling a softball team.

ESDLC is an embarrassment of riches of fantastic prosecutors. Now, in Season 6 of the series, we are treated to another great prosecutor from whom we can learn a lot – Nora Requena, played by Maria Conchita Alonso.

Nora has come from New York to extradite El Senor himself – Aurelio Casillas. I love that Nora gets to go to the country from which she is extraditing the criminal. If this happened in real life, we would all be looking to Italy for our defendants. Usually, a successful extradition requires that the prosecutor complete hundreds of documents exactly right, and then hope the host country agrees with us. But in ESDLC6, Nora has the right idea – Go right to the country harboring the criminal to make your case in person, and take a private plane to get there. Nora acts like she is on vacation, and the DEA agents in Mexico are the hotel valets.

Right before she left for Mexico, Nora had just pulled the plug on her husband, literally. Once her husband drew his last breath, Nora left the hospital for Mexico City, and left the hospital staff with her husband’s jewelry driver’s license and his body, telling them she was finally “free.” Well, she is certainly free from all medical and burial expenses.

Nora then flew into CDMX on a private jet. 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 boss the judge around, and they usually have an office filled with antiques, Oriental rugs, and religious objects. Although we haven’t seen her office yet, I am sure Nora is no exception to this rule. My proof? She carries a fan. A fan.

It never occurred to me to use a fan before, but now I don’t know how I practiced law 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 as long as I don’t develop a southern accent and call in sick because I have “the vapors.” At least I need to find out what “the vapors” are, exactly. Now that I think about it, I could do a lot of damage with a fan, and most of it would be self-inflicted.

In ESDLC, once Nora and her entourage landed, DEA chief Joe Navarro picked her up at the airport and took Nora right to a meeting at the Mexico City offices of the DEA. With her piercing glare, fan and gigantic glasses, Nora made everyone in the meeting nervous, maybe because they never saw a prosecutor use a fan before.

The DEA wants Nora to ask Mexico to please extradite Aurelio, and Carla The Journalist was there to impress upon Nora the importance of shipping Aurelio to the USA, except Carla had just hooked up with Aurelio the night before and was clearly conflicted about sending Aurelio to the USA when she needed a date for a family wedding coming up.

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

Nora is really one cool customer.

After watching the tape, she 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 if Aurelio’s broadcast was a bad episode of “The Bachelor.”

I’ll be honest.

If I was trying this case, I would have charged him, queued up that tape, 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 television station at gunpoint just so he could make this statement, the work is just beginning, according to Nora. This could be true, or it could also be that Nora wants to extend her trip to Mexico.

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 Joe agreed to go, even though Nora appeared to be buying.

Nora came well-equipped to take care of prosecutor business. She is armed with an evening gown, gigantic glasses, and fans to match every outfit. Is this a homage to Novelaville’s Greatest Villainess Catalina Creel, who had an eye patch to match every one of her dresses, even though most of her dresses were made out of the same fabric as the curtains? Time will tell.

All I know right now is that I wish Telemundo could offer credit for Continuing Legal Education for teaching us how to be better prosecutors from telenovelas!

For more of my sideways views of telenovelas, please follow me here, and @gringanovelera on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and on “Latin Connection” magazine!

Gringa Novelera

Latin Connection Magazine

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!

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!