Chapter Three. Careful what you wish for…
There was a time in my life when I would watch four or five telenovelas a day. I realize that now it seems excessive, but, to be completely truthful, I had a lot of fun watching them. I saw las telenovelas de epoca ( Corazon Salvaje 1993 – my favorite by far and forever), las rancheras, las Cinecientas, las de Brasil, Las Mexicanas, Las Argentinas. Todas.
The 90s’ was what you would call today “The Golden Age of Telenovelas”. Oh, those were sweet times. The actresses were natural looking and gorgeous, the protagonists handsome ( and macho) and the villains were….each to his/her own. To this date, I can tell you the names of the biggest telenovela stars ever down to the last one, the songs featured on the rolling credits (Marimar…costenita soy) and I remember most of the plots for those Latin American soap-operas. It isn’t difficult, if I think of it, since they were pretty much alike:
Poor girl meets rich boy. They fall in love. She gets pregnant and then gets her heart broken. Love overcomes obstacles. The poor girl ( now rich and educated) marries the rich boy. The End.
In times, a few of Latin American telenovelas managed to reinvent the above mentioned cliché. And those are the telenovelas that made history. One of them is Juana la Virgen who brought to the front page an unlikely heroine: an 18 year student, with a passion for photography, whose world is completely shattered when she is wrongfully inseminated during an medical exam ( this part I didn’t believe it…both in the original and in the adaptation). Juana didn’t dream of getting a husband, she dreamt of studying abroad – an approach quite contrary to the traditional Latin American storytelling. Virginity was not a burden to her and she had no grandmother or mother to pressure her into maintaining herself in a virginal state. She had other plans for herself. In a word, she was a modern woman.
When adapting the script for the American audience, the American showrunners have made some changes, as it is only normal to happen. Most of these changes are correct and beneficial to the story ( Jane’s family, especially her abuela Alba and her strictness on sex, virginity and other stuff – I totally get her, she’s a different generation), others are still under the question mark expecting to see if they come to fruition. For example, the identity of the “Sin Rostro” character who is the center of the police investigation and who could slve or totally bury the series. The possible candidates for this ingrate position are Rafael’s father, Zaz’s brother (whom we haven’t met yet), and even Petra’s mother who brings to mind (with that scared face) the Latin American villainesses.
What happened this episode you’re wondering?
Let’s see…Jane decides to have sex with Michael, but her plans are overthrown when she realizes she has feeling for Rafael. There is even a fire alarm at the hotel the night she and Michael ….Wait, WHAT? Go back to the she has feelings part. Oh, yes! It’s true. Our pregnant, yet virginal Jane starts having feelings for the former bad boy unhappily married cancer survivor owner of the hotel Rafael who, for the moments, doesn’t seem to have any clue. Or does he?Meanwhile, Michael continues the investigation in the murder of Zaz and lies to Jane about Petra’s affair with Zaz. See, Michael, this is how you lose the love of a good woman. Tell her the truth! Petra tries to deny in front of Rafael any involvement with Zaz, but Rafael gets two and two together and realizes there is something fishy Petra’s story who suddenly remembered the name of someone she supposedly didn’t know: Zaz’s brother. Could this mean that Rafael goes kaputo on his marriage?
On the girl-on-girl field, Luisa and Rose are playing with fire right under Rose’s husband’s nose who happens to be also Lisa’s father. Boy, this is a family with some serious issues. But the real question is: is Rose really in love with Luisa, or is she just using her? I’m inclining to think that yes, she likes her husband’s money a little too much and that Luisa is in for some serious pain. Maybe, she’ll even inseminate someone else …