This one is called Sebastion y Catalina, and I’m watching it on Viki.com, which got the footage from youtube so it’s everything you’re imagining- jumpy, fuzzy quality, sometimes skipped scenes or repeated scenes from bad cutting. The series is cut up into ten minute chunks to facilitate youtube’s limitations.
As for the series itself, production values are pretty bad, most of the acting is worse (not quite all of it, but most), and the story is hokey.
So why am I watching? Because it’s in Spanish, produced in Mexico, and I’m trying to brush up my Spanish. I took it in high school, used some of it informally in that same high school because the majority of my school years were miles from the Mexican border and my high school was 70% hispanic. But I never was fluent, nor have I used it since then for anything other than occasional words and phrases to mess with my childrens’ heads. I’ve been using Duolingo to brush up, but I felt the need for something else in addition to endless sentence constructions about horses who eat rice and children who read books and spouses who are drivers (if you use Duolingo, you’ll know what I mean- it’s very helpful, up to a point, but there are limits).
This story, hokey as it is, is cute, and it’s got the unrealistic romantic plot that hits my sweet spot. Sebastion and Catalina get married, but she doesn’t love him. According to the description of the show, he’s rich and her family is poor but pretends to be rich. He falls in love with her. She has a boyfriend that she loves and plans to marry. She told Sebastion right away, but he doesn’t believe her (her father told him she did not have a boyfriend, but she always tells people she does). Her family wants her to marry Sebastion for his money, she refuses, although she does come to like him as a friend. Her boyfriend betrays her, marrying a rich older woman for her money. She, reeling from the shock, angry, bitter, on the rebound, finally succumbs to family pressure and marries Sebastion, who takes her home to his wealthy family’s expensive ranch.
Only it turns out, he’s not the son of a wealthy rancher. He is only the foreman. He lied because he loves her so much. Oh, noes.
Only, it turns out (this is a spoiler, but it’s in the description of the show at Viki, so it’s not like it’s a big shocker)- he actually is the son of the wealthy rancher. He is only pretending to be the foreman so that he can prove she loves him for himself. Only, of course, oh noes oh noes oh noes, she doesn’t. But even more of course, over the course of the series, she will come to love her husband for himself as a poor foreman, and then at last it will be revealed they are wealthy beyond her wildest dreams, at least, I assume so, and everybody will, I hope, live happily ever after except perhaps the scheming girl who wants Sebastion for herself and maybe the greedy mother who drove the family to debt and the necessity of marrying off their lovely daughter for sordid gain.
I’m only a few episodes in. It seems to me that somebody did some censoring of the show ahead of time, which I don’t mind since I’m just here for the Spanish. But there are some references to a couple unsavory events that actually don’t occur on screen. I think they did, because they would have fit right where the show seems to be its jumpiest, and it’s obvious that I missed something.
I’m okay with that.
Updated to add: Ugh. I think I am not a telenovella person. I’m now looking up Spanish language cartoons on youtube.