La Tempestad Isn’t Amor Bravío, But I’ll Keep Watching

If you’ve read my previous post, Farewell Amor Bravío, you know that I loved Amor Bravío and was heartbroken when it ended. I had hoped La Tempestad would fill the void left by Amor Bravío, but it is not Amor Bravío.

Amor Bravío had a slow build up. With every episode, I watched Camila and Daniel’s relationship grow until they fell in love with each other. In La Tempestad, Marina and Captain Damián Fabre fell in love within a month of the novela’s premiere. Because it happened so fast, the writers had to come up with some way to keep Marina and Damián apart. Their solution was to have Damián marry Esthercita who is infatuated with him and just happens to be Mayor Fulgencio Salazar’s daughter. Supposedly, Damián married Esthercita to protect her reputation. While there have been some musical montages showing Damián’s kindness (e.g., he buys a bunch of toys for children in one of the montages), marrying Esthercita seems overly generous, especially when it is quite clear that he can’t stand her. His facial expressions crack me up.

Of course, Damián’s marriage isn’t enough to keep Marina and Damián apart. That’s where Hernan comes into the picture. He’s obsessed with Marina and attempts to kill Damián just so he can have Marina to himself. Hernan blows up Damián’s boat while Damián and Esthercita are on their honeymoon, which puts Damián into a coma that he’s not in for very long. For me, this story line is the most entertaining because I keep wondering how long it’s going to take Marina to figure out Hernan is a complete psycho. What’s odd about this part of the story is that while Hernan appears to be obsessed with Marina, he also has parties with women clad in nothing more than bikinis and makes out with all of them. I guess his obsession only goes so far.

There’s more to La Tempestad. Briefly, Mayuya, who is supposed to be Esthercita’s friend, wants Esthercita and Marina out of the way so she can have Damián. Mayuya is a fool because Damián only wants one woman — Marina. Mercedes is looking for her missing daughter who just happens to be Marina’s twin sister and Beatriz who Marina believes is her mother (even though its Mercedes) has an inoperable tumor on her lung. I’m sure there will be more in the coming months.

Despite its flaws, I’ll keep watching for several reasons. First, William Levy plays the role of Captain Damián Fabre. I don’t think I need to elaborate on this point. Second, César Évora plays the role of Mayor Fulgencio Salazar and is excellent as always as one of the villains. I became a fan of Mr. Évora’s work when he played Dionisio in Amor Bravío. Third, La Tempestad is worth watching just for the rivalry between Damián and Hernan. Some of my favorite scenes are when Damián and Hernan go at it. Again, William Levy nails the facial expressions. He always has a disgusted look when he’s talking to or about Hernan – if only Marina could see what Damián sees.  

Finally, I’m hoping that the story will get better and that Damián and Marina will have the epic love story that Daniel and Camila had in Amor Bravío. I know I may be asking for a lot, but I can dream.

What do you think of La Tempestad? Will you keep watching?

Farewell Amor Bravío

In August 2012, I watched the first episode of Amor Bravío. I was learning Spanish and thought it would be a good idea for me to watch television shows in Spanish. I never expected to get hooked, but I did. I couldn’t miss an episode and started recording it. Even though I could barely understand what they were saying, the story of Daniel and Camila drew me in.

As a writer, my fascination with this show has made me wonder why this telenovela caught my attention and kept it. I blame it on the characters and good storytelling. The hero and heroine, Daniel and Camila, are everything a super couple should be.

Daniel is kind-hearted, he’s a protector, and he always tries to do the right thing, even if it means sacrificing something he truly wants, like Camila. His one fault is that he lies, but for the most part, he does that to protect people.

Camila is strong and independent. She doesn’t need a man to take care of her. But Camila is stubborn and will never ask for help, even when she needs it.

Together Daniel and Camila are magic. Of course, like any romance, the writers had to find a way to tear them apart and that’s where the villains come in, Isadora and Dionisio.

Isadora is all about the money. She killed her first husband by poisoning him over time so she could inherit his money. She tries to kill her second husband in the same way to get his money and ranch.

Dionisio is obsessed with Camila. He wants Camila and her ranch all for himself. When Daniel and Camila finally get married, Dionisio finds Daniel’s first wife, Miriam, who was supposed to be dead and brings her to Mexico. I admit as a former soap opera fan I should have seen that one coming, but I like everyone else that night was saying, “No está muerta!” (She’s not dead!)

Dionisio then arranges for a doctor to tell Daniel that Miriam has an aneurysm and she’ll die if anything upsets her. Daniel doesn’t want anything to happen to Miriam so he leaves Camila and doesn’t tell Miriam that he’s in love with Camila and married to her.

With only a few episodes left before Amor Bravío ends, Camila and Daniel are still apart, but I know that they will get their happy ending and I will celebrate when they do.

I learned more than Spanish from this telenovela. Despite the language barrier in the beginning, I kept watching because of the sexual tension between Daniel and Camila. It was so strong that it was almost tangible. It taught me how important that sexual tension is to any romance story and to up the ante to keep that tension there. I realize that sexual tension is an obvious element to any romance story, but it’s not always easy to write and keep fresh. Amor Bravío did it well. I’ll miss this telenovela.