What’s better than a big street that goes in a big circle??
Here’s Episode 3 of my new podcast!
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!!
In the SuperNovela “Falsa Identidad” on Telemundo, if Isabel thinks that the hospital is going to return the money her current husband Diego paid for her ex-husband El Corona’s kidney transplant to try to win her back, because they took the payment without her permission, the first thing Isabel needs to know is that it is not a violation of the HIPAA Act for a hospital to take money.
Second, even if it was a violation, they will never return it.
Third, you can see Isabel has not spent a lot of time dealing with hospital Billing departments.
Want to have fun and learn about telenovelas?
Join me on my journey learning Spanish from telenovelas!!
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!
First, I was his fan,
and then I was his friend,
and now Jose Ignacio Valenzuela, aka José Ignacio “Chascas” Valenzuela, has asked me to share his presentation of his thriller “To The End Of The World” at City Lit Books in Chicago on October 6, at 5:00 p.m.!!
Who am I???
I’m #lagringanovelera, also known as Karen Kerbis, a Chicago prosecutor learning Spanish from telenovelas and writing about them every day!
How did a Chilean author & I find each other?
Come to City Lit Books at 2523 North Kedzie Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Logan Square, to hear our presentation of Jose’s first book to be translated into English, “To The End Of The World,” and you’ll learn the answer to that mystery!!
See you there!!!
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!!
By the time you read this article, Summer will be in its Ultimos Capitulos.
One of the great things about telenovelas is that they are seasonless. What is happening on-screen in your novela of the moment has nothing to do with the actual moment you’re living in. (Except for when in “Senora Acero” the Narco & Gunrunner El Gallito, running for Mayor, pledged to “Make Matamoros Great Again.”)
We don’t watch telenovelas to see what’s happening in our own world; we watch them to see what happens when impossibly beautiful people, impeccably dressed, highly accessorized and usually armed, make really bad decisions and never call 911 for help. Last month, I explained how the telenovela lawyers not only can’t do much to help fix a bad decision, but they usually make them even worse. I’m so proud that I received a lot of great reviews for that article – many from other lawyers in Chicago who had no idea that being a lawyer could be as much fun as it is in a telenovela. I assured them it was, as long as they were willing to ignore the law and start dressing a lot fancier. And on top of the very kind reviews and comments, I received something even better: A Request!
The Request came from woman who I admire very much, one who really knows the telenovela business from the inside out. What was her request? My take on telenovela doctors! Que?! COMO?!? First Lawyers… now the Doctors… two of our oldest professions might never look the same to you again!
Mi Amiga, this is for you!
If I was a doctor in a telenovela, the first thing I would ask myself is whether all of the student loans, debt, and divorce from the spouse who put me through medical school was worth it. I know what you are thinking – that doctors here in the Real World are asking themselves the same thing. True, except that in the Real World, the doctors aren’t examining their lives because a guy wearing a gigantic cowboy hat with an even bigger belt buckle has kidnapped him at gunpoint to operate on a shot-up compadre in the back of a gas station bathroom.
I never knew how dangerous medicine could be until I started watching telenovelas. Well, I always knew it was dangerous for the patients, but in telenovelas, it’s the doctors who are on the wrong side of the argument. In telenovelas, there are Good Doctors and Bad Doctors. And doctors that have received no medical training at all, who are the Best Doctors, if you ask me.
The Good Doctors are the doctors who are literally minding their own business, making sure that their malpractice premiums are current, when the door to their office bursts open, a gang of NarcoTerrorists march in, and put a gun to his or her head, demanding that the doctor joins them for an unexpected House Call. This House Call can take place anywhere, but it is usually on a couch in the living room of a total stranger who is also being held at gunpoint to provide shelter to the gang. However, that surgery-at-gunpoint can also take place in the in-house hospital suite many Narcos have built right into their home. A Narco’s house has a lot of room to build out the spaces we generally don’t see in real estate: specifically, the hospital suite, a swimming pool inside of the living room, and a jail cell in the basement. The reason for this is because a Narco has a lot of freedom inside of his house, but can’t ever leave it, unless it is to travel secretly to a house that looks just like the one he just left, which he will also never leave. I know this is off-topic, but I don’t see the point in all of the drama and danger that goes along with the Life of a Narco if you can’t go out for a hot dog once in a while.
So the people that work for the Narcos will do anything to save El Jefe’s life, but one thing they always forget about is The Sterile Field. No, I’m not a doctor. But I have watched enough medical shows on TV to practice medicine with an FCC license, and I have learned that The Sterile Field is the field in a the Operating Room you have to keep sterile. But in a telenovela Operating Room, the guys who have kidnapped the doctor and are forcing him to operate at gunpoint not only break the sterile field by not scrubbing in, but they make things worse when they drag extra unnecessary people into the operating room, like the doctor’s wife and children and mother-in-law, who they have also brought into the operating room at gunpoint, to make sure the doctor does a good job.
I’m not making this up: I have seen this scene more than once in the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All: “El Senor de los Cielos.” In ESDLC, Good Doctors are regularly dragged in to repair gunshot wounds or rustled up to perform emergency reconstructive plastic surgery (to change NarcoIdentities), with their terrified family members watching while they are menaced by NarcoThugs, which is counter-intuitive, if you ask me. Trembling hands and extra bodies in the operating room do not promote a quick recovery, and in the USA, health insurance companies would never allow it.
The Bad Doctors are the doctors who are totally in on The Game. They are basically Narcos Who Went To Medical School. The best example of a Bad Doctor that I can give you is from the novelas “Sin Senos No/Si Hay Paraíso.” Now in its third season, the plots of the show have changed a lot, but originally, the series was about poor girls in small towns in Colombia who tragically can only see a way out of a dead-end life by having reconstructive surgery to attract a Narco, to then live what they think will be the high life. Almost always, the reconstructive surgery was breast implants; hence, the title of the show.
This was such a common practice in the show that at least one of the Narcos, El Gato Gordo, had a mini-hospital in his home (including a Gift Shop), with a full medical staff going round-the-clock. His hospital only had one patient – Catalina La Pequena – who Gato Gordo had drugged and kidnapped, and then forced to undergo breast-implant surgery. She had to stay in his hospital until she had fully recovered from the surgery. The only bright side was that she was not billed for any of it. Gato had the help of a Bad Doctor who did the surgery and supervised the recovery. The Bad Doctor did a great job, but got the axe (literally) when he fell in love with Catalina too.
If you are a doctor who performs unnecessary breast-implant surgery against the will of the patient in the basement hospital of a Narco whose name translates to “Fat Cat,” you probably should have paid more attention to the Ethics Lectures in medical school.
One thing the Good Doctors and Bad Doctors have in common is this: They are always being threatened that if they do not cure the patient, they will be killed. This is a much better incentive to practice good medicine than medical malpractice lawsuits.
Wondering what the doctors just leading the lives of regular doctors are doing in telenovelas? Well, they are wandering around making house calls (!) and only ever delivering two bits of news that are ALWAYS cataclysmic: “You Are Pregnant!” OR “You Can Never Have Children…” That keeps them very busy.
So who are The Best Doctors in a telenovela?
They are the people who perform complicated medical procedures, but are not doctors. You can find them in almost any NarcoNovela, because no one needs constant access to health care more than a Narco. Most recently, in ESDLC6, Aurelio’s half-brother Amado found Aurelio all shot up in a boxing gym in Mexico City, and gave him a blood transfusion USING HIS OWN BLOOD in the locker room with no equipment, and without sepsis setting in. And while chewing gum the whole time.
But the Very Best Examples of The Best Doctors were in the FABULOUS telenovela “Santa Diabla.” If you have never seen this novela, where have you been? You need to watch it now. It was tangled up in fantastic characters engaged in absolutely wild plots, and full of The Best Doctors:
Want to see a Crazy/Beautiful, young woman who can (without anesthesia) remove the bullet from Willy Delgado, the man her father was holding prisoner in his basement, AFTER she shot him AFTER she forced him to have sex with her while he was still chained up, and then post-surgery carry him upstairs? Yep! Ximena Duque’s “Preciosa” was not only a skilled surgeon, but like an ant, she could also carry a hundred million times her own body weight. And where did the gunshot would victim recover? In the bedroom of the kindly prostitute who ran the local bordello. She changed the bandages and somehow hooked up an IV in between hookups.
“Santa Diabla” also had it’s own Telenovela “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman:” The wacky old lady who Lived In A Van Down By The River, and showed no signs of having lived in a civilized society, let alone having attended medical school. She found Santiago (Aaron Diaz) floating down the river, near-dead: shot, drowned, and all beat-up. After anesthetizing herself with a bottle of whiskey, she removed the bullets with her (unsterilized) fingers, sewed him up with catgut (still inside of the cat), and he survived. Unfortunately, Dr. Quinn did not, but you’ll have to watch the series to find out why…
Just like Telenovela Lawyers, no Doctor has as much fun in real life as they do in telenovelas. And if you ask me, the same can be said for all of us. There is no life that is as much fun as the Telenovela Life!
For more of my sideways views on telenovelas, join me daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @gringanovelera, or follow my blog Lagringanovelera.me!