Friday, February 04, 2005

Telenovela cliff notes: “Entre el Amor y el Odio”

Next, a distillation of a 5-month long Spanish-language soap opera called “Entre el Amor y el Odio” (between love and hate.) It’s in case you don’t have time to watch all 125 hour-long episodes. I had to leave out about 25 people. If it's still too long for you, just skip along till you get to the end and you'll be at yesterday (and a different topic).

A recently deceased rich shoe-factory owner leaves his fortune to (see left) his nephew, the Good Guy, Octavio (O.), and his ward, the Good Girl, Ana Cristina (A.C.), with the stipulation that they, not previously acquainted, marry. What a manipulative old geezer.

The villains are (see right):
  1. O.’s advisor the evil Marcial, who lyingly tells him Ana Cristina had been getting it on with the shoe magnate, thus impugning her innocent purity and getting the soon-to-be-wed couple off on the wrong foot, and
  2. O.’s evil girlfriend Frida.
Marcial and Frida plan, chummily, to purloin the factory and fortune. They are also shagging away secretly.

Glumly A.C. and O. go through with a crummy civil wedding in order to secure the loot. Then O. invites his evil girlfriend F. to move into the mansion with him and his new wife. The newlyweds are “between love and hate,” get it? Next, after some smooching etc., the newlyweds have a second, real, i.e. church wedding, but pretend they didn’t.

Then follow about ten weeks (50 episodes) which alternate:
  • expressions of eternal love
  • rage and rejection, face slapping etc
  • boinking and/or kissing
  • rock throwing, swords, people getting hit by cars
  • people going to the hospital because they lapse into comas, get shot, get poisoned, etc.
  • LOTS of people who don't know who their kids are, or alternately, don't know who their parents are
  • stolen stuff: bracelets, important documents, cassette tapes, etc.
  • many, many graveyard scenes. These people spend as much time at the crypts as Buffy.
By week 11, both Octavio's women are pregnant. Then Ana Cristina is bleeding to death, back to the hospital, ok, then, she recovers, and both babies are born, and Octavio thinks he’s the dad of both, and for some reason he thinks he owes it to the evil Frida (whose baby is actually Marcial's) to marry her so he serves divorce papers on our heroine A.C. and actually divorces her -- whilst telling her he will love her forever. We know that's true, cause they're the good guys.

Marcial and Frida switch babies; now Ana Cristina has Frida's. DNA tests, results stolen, Frida tries to smother A.C.’s baby (though it's actually Frida's - no matter, being a villain Frida is not maternal). O. tells A.C. she is his one and only love and will she please come to the wedding when he marries Frida?

More murders and poisonings. The baby which is actually Frida’s but which A.C. thinks is hers “cannot have a normal life” because -- we find out later -- Frida DRANK and SMOKED when she was pregnant. Hmm, so did my mother and I turned out ok. This picture is from Sylvia Papas, isn't it great?

After divorcing A.C., Octavio married Frida in a civil ceremony. However, he claims he is “still married” to A.C. by virtue of their having had a superior-type i.e. church wedding, so he has sex with her too. Frida tries a few more times to kill the feeble baby which is really hers but which lives with A.C.

Frida also tries to run over Octavio in her car, but A.C. nobly gets hit instead and almost dies in the hospital but phew, she’s ok, and now they send Frida to the loony bin and A.C. and O. have both the switcheroo babies and Octavio says it’s not his fault he married Frida, she made him do it. Boiling water gets thrown on somebody so it’s back to the hospital.

Time goes by, now the babies are boys. Frida gets sprung from the loony bin and tries to drown both boys in a swimming pool. They aren’t drowned but they get very cold and the feeble one dies. Then every single person in the cast gets a chance to find out about his death. The plot stands still for several days as each in turn falls to his/her knees and emotes.

Marcial, the true father of the now-dead boy, now in fury vows to be even more evil. In related news, the devastated Ana Cristina takes off her clothes and tries to drown in the river, but is rescued by a handsome feral Indian named Animas! He takes her to a MONASTERY where she glides sadly around in a hempen robe. More stabbing, more DNA tests. This time the results are stolen and burnt. What a security problem they have at this hospital, what with people trying to kill each other there and umpteen "lost" DNA samples and everything. Next time, barcode the babies.

Octavio is almost killed by a poisonous snake but the feral Indian saves him too.

There is a shamefully racist scene in which ignorant, barbaric Indians in their primitive village, dressed primitively and carrying torches cause I guess they don’t rate electricity, nearly kill Ana Cristina because she’s nobly vaccinating their children and they are so ignorant.

Eventually the tide turns. Evil Frida’s skin begins to fall off; she has LEPROSY. They show us in lurid, ghastly close-ups. She gets addicted to morphine and, wrapping herself head to toe in orange scarves like a burka, she sneaks into the hospital (again the security problem); covers her orange scarves with scrubs; poses as a nurse; kills a doctor and scores more drugs.

Finally one set of DNA tests is not-stolen and it proves the correct parentage of the surviving not-feeble child. A.C. is almost killed by an escaped-from-the-zoo lion but the feral Indian saves her, dying in the process.

Octavio is told Marcial was burned alive in a jacuzzi in a motel and is dead. Untrue, he just got VERY burned and looks gross so now he skulks around in a black cape and mask like the Phantom of the Opera. See right.

Out for vengeance, in his cape and mask he swings out of the trees at a big awards ceremony at the shoe factory and sweeps up the kid and takes him to the top of a huge statue - I think it's the one on the left here - while Frida (in her scarves) follows him up there cause she wants to stab him with her knife, or does she have a pistol? I forget.

All the good guys and their friends rush up to the top of the statue in their formalware and Marcial dangles the kid over the edge and then Frida shoots or stabs him and A.C. snatches the baby and Marcial pitches over the edge, and then Frida pitches over too.

Then everybody rushes down to the broken villains, and a priest comes to give last rites but, evil to the end, our villains reject him and each gives a long, long speech before collapsing and dying. Finally there’s a big party. El Fin.

I recapped Amor Real here.

I am recapping Alborada and the series begins here

Then I started a new blog for this very kind of recap and 30 people are working night and day to translate and editorialize upon your favorite Telenovelas at

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At 9:42 AM, Blogger Scherzo said...

Nice recap.

I watched this novela with my wife nearly everyday a couple of years ago. Now it's airing again in the late afternoon on Telefutura and I really can't help to watch again.

Yes, I know that the plot is insane and totally unrealistic. My main draw to this novela, especially at the beginning, is the chemistry between Octavio and Ana Cristina. I just love watching them together with these confused but passionate looks on their faces just before they kiss. No other couple in a novela that I've seen has made me melt like this one. "Amarte es mi Pecado" came close though.

Another good thing about "Entre El Amor y El Odio" is that it has so many side stories and a huge cast to support them. I understand why you couldn't talk about them all or this recap would have been three times as long.

Well, I'm off to read some of your other recaps.

At 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that was hilarious! I'm in the same boat as the other guy. I never got to see the end of the novela, but I was into the AC/O chemistry in the beginning. there's this scene that I absolutely loved when AC and O are pretending to hate each other. I think Frida and Marcial are outside while they're in a conference room and they keep screaming insults for their benefit while their smooching and smothering giggles. I thought it was great.

However, other stuff about the show was just...funny. them covering up O's bald(ing), how young AC was portrayed, how young her grandfather's godson acted/was supposed to be (that was a trip!), Marcial's mumbling (though for a villain he was scarily nutso, I mean really out there with that whole napoleon obsession weirdness. and did he embalm AC's randpa or something?) anyway, it was enjoyable to an extent so I'm glad it's on the air again.

At 8:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know the song that is on alborada. it is sung by intocable. i dont understand it but it is so nice to hear.

At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually bought the DVD set for this telenovela because I had to see how it turned out. I laughed my butt off reading your summary--hilarious but you captured it well. :)

Once I saw the guy who played Octavio in another telenovela that was even more rediculous--"Mundo de Fieras/Fieros" I think it was called.

At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Juegos de Mario Bros said...

I never got to see the end of the novela, but I was into the AC/O chemistry in the beginning.


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