Three girls gussied up and watched a novela together. Here’s our candid conversation about it.
Mary: So us three girls got to dress up and go to a fancy party. I honestly was dreading it because I guess after my experience with Curse of the Xtabai (directed by the same guy who directed the telenovela), I wasn’t sure what to expect. What were you expecting?
Monique: I love soap operas and novelas, even though I don’t really understand Spanish the plots always seem so dramatic, and definitely entertaining to watch. I was actually pretty excited to see La Isla Bonita, I love the idea that it was genuinely a community effort featuring familiar faces, and also that it would be in ‘Spanglish’, which was definitely a bonus for me.
Janelle: Well to be honest I was just plain eager to see what all the talk was about. The first trailer looked good so I got excited and was excited for it to premier but then the second trailer came out and I was like “eh”. So I went to the premiere with neutral expectations. I think at the beginning I was more excited about dressing up than the actual telenovela.
Mary: Heehee. I know you were excited to dress up! But after all the dressing up and then actually sitting down for the show (drink in hand in case we needed some liquid courage to make it through the hour-long show) and those first scenes started. Wasn’t that really fun? I loved the aerial shots of the island! Our island is truly bonita!!
Janelle: It was! Way much better than what I expected; Jose-Manuel (Josh) was such a heartthrob and perfect for the part.
Monique: Denny Mendez’s character Carolina Del Valle almost had me in tears from the first scene, shredding her veil in tears. Ha, I’m so emotional though.
Mary: Ha! Yes, you are emotional Monz. But that’s okay; we need someone other than myself to be the crier this time around! 🙂 My favorite character was definitely Mama (Doña Clara). It was the perfect part and she was cast perfectly. Janelle, I actually thought that Josh was the weakest character of the show. To be honest, it was like he was banking on his looks to carry him throughout. He had the same look for each scene it felt like. He needs to work on his facial expressions a bit more. Too wooden for me. But he sure is a cutie!!
Janelle: Yes Miss Shelly was amazing. She was a natural. I wasn’t a big fan of Denny. She can’t do a crying scene to save her life. Maybe you should have taken her spot Monz; you can produce more tears than her.
Monique: Yeah, it was so easy to love Mama. But one of my favorite characters was Carolina’s best friend, I forgot his name but he was the mechanic guy. He was pretty adorable, and I got a good laugh when he said he was trying to get in shape drinking his “shakes and Herbalife.”
Mary: Yes!! Oh he was hilarious!! I think, with a couple of exceptions – pretty much everyone was perfect for the roles they played.
I loved the audience reactions! Really, the word I used a lot to describe this episode was ‘cute’. That’s not meant to be condescending at all. Chito did a great job as Maximiliano de la Roca (that name is effing BOMB), and I know it’s been a dream of his. He’s a trained actor, and he worked his handsome tail off to get this off the ground. I loved that this incorporated so much of La Isla Bonita – even the storylines felt familiar! It felt like watching home.
Janelle: Yes I loved Chito’s character, but then again I always go for the bad boys in telenovelas.
Mary: Not just telenovelas young lady. Books. Life. (Poor Sammi). Haha!
Janelle: Oh Yeah!
Mary: So your final thoughts about the novela? I say don’t just go…RUN to the theater and check it out for yourself! It will be really fun to see the familiar (and unfamiliar) brought to life. It’s a great story and incorporates so much about the island that you’ll wonder if it’s real life!
Monique: I’d have to say my least favorite part of the novela would have been the fact that it had to end….I actually enjoyed the episode from beginning to end. But if there was one critique I’d have to give, it would probably be the “over-acting” in Lucrecia’s role (she’s obsessed with Juan-Manuel). I think she tried a little too hard to make her role believable. But over-all final thought: two thumbs up! I can’t wait to see more. I know Denny Mendez is an international film star, so I’m anxious to see exactly what will happen with Carolina; maybe another tragedy? Don’t keep us waiting too long.
Janelle: Everyone should approach it with an open mind. You just might be surprised at La Isla Bonita. I am definitely counting down the days till the next episode and am looking forward to some more heart-wrenching, adrenaline-pumping, island drama!
TL;DR: Fun First Episode. Loved the drama. Good acting. Want more!