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TV Series Review

If you don't like this review, blame my evil twin.

It's clearly his fault. I'm writing this with the best of intentions. But ever since my evil twin, Paulisimo, escaped from that underwater prison off the coast of Venezuela, rode to the U.S. on the back of a mako shark and became president of a multinational corporation that served as a convenient cover for his illegal hummus-selling ring, he's taken to messing with my copy something awful.

Or perhaps this review is bad because I'm suffering from a touch of amnesia. Or maybe I'm writing while in hiding in a barn, trying to evade Paulisimo's black-clad, nunchuck-flinging henchmen. It's not my fault, is what I'm saying.

Or at least it wouldn't be if I was a character in a telenovela.

As the World Turns in the Days of Our Lives …

For decades, telenovelas have provided guilty-pleasure escapes for their Spanish-fluent fans, and the fictional Las Leyes de Pasión is one of the escapiest. Every episode is crammed with love, conflict, intrigue and … cleavage. But what about the lives of those who work on the show—the actors and writers, along with the seamstress tasked with enhancing the aforementioned cleavage?

Loyal viewers might assume that Ana Sofia Calderon—the glamorous star of the Spanish-language Las Leyes—would herself speak Spanish. (But she can't.) Or that sparks might fly between her and her onscreen lover, Gael Garnica. (They don't; he's gay.) Or that viciously-coiffed Isabella actually has an evil twin.

Well, OK, that last bit is true. And it is kinda racy for Ana's ex-husband, Xavier, to be cast as her co-star. But, hey, at least he doesn't arrive on set with a pet mako. And Rodrigo Suarez surely isn't the nasty fellow that his fake black mustache and ever-present white cat would suggest.

It's the setup for a silly, surreal, show-within-a-show comedy that actually spends more time merging elements from Ugly Betty and 30 Rock than it does mimicking real-life telenovelas.

In the Darkness, an Exclamation Point Rings Out!

I'm pretty sure that if this was a review of Las Leyes de Pasión, I'd be ending it with some variation of, "This show is so frightful it should come with a restraining order."

Telenovela isn't quite as bad as all that. But it's not great, either. The wardrobe choices here are uniformly (and purposefully) salacious: Necklines plunge, shirts hang open, muscles are flexed, straps come undone. In one episode, Ana dons a risqué nun habit. In another, she does an "accidental" strip tease for the new network head. Cast members hop in and out of bed, both on the set and off, triggering a certain flippancy regarding sex, sexuality and marriage. Alcohol, too. Certainly there's no topic or situation that's beyond the bounds of an over-the-top joke.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

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Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Telenovela - Dec. 7, 2015 "Trapped in a Well"



Readability Age Range





Eva Longoria as Ana Sofia Calderon; Jencarlos Canela as Xavier Castillo; Amaury Nolasco as Rodrigo Suarez; Diana-Maria Riva as Mimi Moncada; Jose Moreno Brooks as Gael Garnica; Alex Meneses as Isabela and Carmen Santamaria; Jadyn Douglas as Roxie Rios; Izzy Diaz as Isaac Aguero






Record Label




On Video

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Paul Asay

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