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El Hotel de los Secretos is Televisa’s own Downtown Abbey — or so they think

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Over the holiday break, while looking for my daily fix of La Rosa de Guadalupe but also trying to find something suitable to watch with my madre, I came across a little gem in Univision’s line up: El Hotel de los Secretos. Turns out Televisa remade Grand Hotel, the Spanish murder mystery series, and If you already watched Antena 3’s original version of the show, then ready yourself because you’re about to see how Televisa takes foreign ideas and regurgitates them with underwhelming results (see their remake of Betty la Fea or Big Brother).

I want to applaud Televisa’s efforts for attempting to recreate the original Spanish novela — at least it’s not another Rosa Salvaje remake, right? —  but the problem with El Hotel de los Secretos is that the narrative isn’t there. The original Grand Hotel is a murder mystery filmed in the historical Spanish castle Real Palacio de la Magdalena. Since the Royal family actually lived in the castle, it gives the original show an authentic feel that fits perfectly with the vibe of the storyline, which revolves around Spanish nobility. In contrast, #HotelDLS’s effort to faithfully recreate the directing, acting, and convincing setting of Grand Hotel is a big fail. (I’ll give Televisa an A for effort but a C for execution.)

Both shows saw the return of famous television stars; Grand Hotel had Adriana Ozores, an actress belonging to a dynasty of well-respected directors and filmmakers, while El Hotel de los Secretos is lead by Diana Bracho, a well-known telenovela actress and movie star. Diana Bracho actually delivers a decent performance as Adriana Ozore’s counterpart, and both play the role of the Alarcon family mother, and soul of the hotel.

However, the real hero of #HotelDLS is none other than Daniela Romo, the popular singer from the ‘80s, and that’s because she plays the role of Angela, a mean-spirited governess who will stop at nothing to save the hotel’s reputation.

Unfortunately, while the original Spanish cast is full of talented actors who interact perfectly with each other — Grand Hotel is simply a great example of effortless storytelling —  #HotelDLS did cast good-looking actors, but, as with most Televisa-produced novelas, their thespians are not wholly talented. For example, the original Javier Alarcón Aldecoa, played by Eloy Azorin, is a serious hot mess, but he’s also impossible to hate. The same character in the remake comes off as a condescending, spoiled brat.

Interested parties should check out Grand Hotel’s 39 episodes on Netflix because they’re nicely broken down into three seasons. In contrast, Televisa is probably going to drag out the story by pushing out hundreds of episodes because #ratings.

Here’s the official trailer for El Hotel de los Secretos:

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Culture

Oh, right. Old-school Mexicans humiliate their children by pretending they don’t exist.

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I’ve been visiting my mother, and all of our immediate family, for the last week. They’re old-school, rural Mexicans. The kind who always offer food, even if they hate you.

I’m in my mid 30s now, and have been living on my own since I was 18, so at our gatherings I get a proper adult seat at the table. They listen to what I have to say, but it wasn’t always like that.

It’s not like that for my younger relatives, either. At family reunions, I see them out of the periphery of my eye. They’re trying to get a word in, but those older Mexicans won’t allow it. Why would they? What have those mocosos (snot-nosed kids) done to deserve anybody’s respect? Did they pay for their food? For the roof over their head? For their car, gas, clothes? No? Then they don’t exist.

Yes, they’re physically there, but unless they can prove their worth through monetary independence, they’re no one. If they try to make their voices heard, they’ll be silenced by a death stare, or an abrupt change in conversation.

If they persist, other humiliations will be flung at them, such as being asked to do something entirely meaningless, just like their opinion. “Vete a ver si ya puso la marrana” (go see if one of the pigs laid an egg) is a classic. My grandma had one of the most bizarre just-get-the-fuck-out-of-here phrases, which I’ve never heard elsewhere: “Vete a descular hormigas” (go chop the asses off ants).

I know these Mexicans sound like assholes, but they’re like that because they believe in resilience, not fragility. Giving encouragement to a mentally and physically healthy person seems redundant to them. Those people already have all they need to succeed, they’ll think.

To gain their respect, at the very least a person will need to become self-sufficient. That’s how you earn the right to sit with them. Either you’re with that, or you’re not there at all.

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“Trump Dating” site doesn’t want the gays, but allows the “happily married” to join

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You can even be mad at Trump Dating, a new website for lonely — or not so lonely, but just promiscuous — maganogamous people. It’s a perfect representation of their cherished administration, since it’s also homophobic — it only allows “straight” women or men to sign up — and, just like Trump, it’s all about adulterous relationships:

“When you kick off the process of starting a profile, you get two options for labeling yourself — ‘straight man’ or ‘straight woman.’

Yet according to Trump Dating’s rather strange drop-down menus, married people are welcome. For a relationship status, the site offers options like ‘have a significant other,’ ‘happily married,’ and ‘unhappily married.'”

And since no self-respecting republican-specific dating site should exist unless it takes an issue with race, Trump Dating allows their users to be super specific about their genealogy:

“The ethnicity options also seemed oddly specific. In addition to the typical categories, the site includes choices like ‘Scandinavian,’ ‘Polynesian,’ ‘Eastern European,’ ‘Western European,’ ‘Mediterranean,’ and ‘Eskimo,’ a term used to label the indigenous people of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland that is considered offensive and inaccurate.”

OMG, you guys. There better be a second menu where users can identify which of the five Aryan subtype races — Nordic, Mediterranean, Dinaric, Alpine, and East Baltic — they belong to. Otherwise the server room of this Trump Dating is gonna get tiki torched.

Anyway, where you at, Chispa, the “Tinder for Latinos”? You gonna let Trump Dating walk all over you? You need to re-brand to DACA Dong, Canelo Kennedy Courting, or something.

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