I Watched All 80 Episodes of the Celia Telenovela and I Still Cannot Speak Spanish

An 80-episode telenovela loosely based on the life of Celia Cruz was released on Netflix last year. Each episode is about 45 minutes, and I was hooked after I watched the first episode. It began when Celia’s Aunt Ana has a baby girl who dies. At the funeral, a priestess tells Aunt Ana that children never die and the baby will come back as someone else. To know who she is, Aunt Ana breaks the baby’s pinky finger to leave her mark. Her sister gives birth to a baby girl three months later that has the finger. That baby girl is Celia.

There were things in the show that were added for dramatic effect, and didn’t actually occur in Celia’s life, but the show was great nonetheless. It was easy to root for her. I’m going to talk about the characters and scenes from the series, but I also know that it may be different from her actual life.

My favorite characters other than Celia were Aunt Ana and Mirelys. Poor Mirelys! She just couldn’t pick them. All she wanted was somebody to love her and provide her with regular orgasms. After Pedro ditched her, she thought she found it with Mario. Now Mario and Pedro had been close friends, and he was grieving the end of his relationship with Raquel, who had run off to Mexico with her ex-husband. Raquel’s ass didn’t even like Mario until he surprised her by bringing her mom to see her from Cuba. Then he helped her get her career off the ground. Call a thing a thing – she was curving that man left and right. She only fell in love after Mario did all kinds of shit for her. Well this is where Mirelys comes in. Mirelys and he only fell in love because they were both heartbroken and lonely. Both relationships were doomed.

Years later, Raquel and damn near everybody else ended up in the U.S. I stopped liking Mario’s ass when he arrived in New York. Mario ran into her and discovers that she has a son that is his. Well Mario was all googly-eyed and wanted that old thing back. He snuck around with Raquel and was hiding it from Mirelys. Well, Mirelys had a woman’s intuition. Pedro’s ass cheated on her throughout their entire marriage so she knew when the math wasn’t mathing. She showed up to Raquel’s apartment to extend an olive branch to her, but low and behold, Raquel and Mario were in the back room post-coital. I felt her pain when she found Mario in bed with Raquel. I was yelling at the TV. Mario’s coward ass didn’t even want to leave the room to address Mirelys. It was so wrong how he did Mirelys and the girls.

Mario left Mirelys, of course. Then he had the nerve to use his son as the reason for him leaving. No sir, you were just trifling. Sure, you have a son, but you also have an entire family established with Mirelys and the girls that you committed to! There was a right way to handle that type of situation and he decided to handle it in the worst possible way. How are you just going to up and leave like you don’t have responsibilities? This isn’t the 1800s when you could say you were going to the store and just leave!

Then how did he decide to just up and move in with Raquel without even consulting her? Then he wanted to bring up the fact that he saw Mirelys getting it in with somebody one night as if it matters. Sir, y’all weren’t even together then. Pedro had left her for Celia a long time ago, so she could bang whoever she wanted. He was trying to make himself feel better about leaving by assassinating her character as if she was the one sleeping with someone else. However, let’s not act like Mirelys wasn’t petty and childish toward Celia and Pedro. At some points, she had every right to throw shade at them. I mean, Pedro was a married man

Oscarito was a snack!

I liked Lola and Noris sometimes. The family really treated Noris wrong even if she was a brat. We all knew Celia was the favorite, but damn. They didn’t have to rub it in so deeply. Ollita was on her sick bed getting cared for by Noris and every other word out of her mouth was regarding Celia. Show some respect to the child who’s by your side everyday, bathing you and ensuring that you take all of your medications. You don’t think she wants to go out and enjoy her life?!

I didn’t like Pedro’s ass at all. It’s really not that hard to be honest, damnit. And it was always something, and Pedro was never the one to bring it up. Celia always had to find out through somebody else. I’ve experienced the lying by omission and I consider it one of the most selfish and disrespectful acts of a human being. He was entertaining until he met Celia. I also didn’t like how he was with his children. He never saw those kids and just handed over money.

I think Lola really was an unnecessary character. She was based on La Lupe, who in reality was not on drugs and was very supportive of Celia’s career. They just let her be a druggie with no other character development for 40 episodes. It was as if they didn’t know what else to do with her so that gave her horribly-fitted wardrobes, wigs, and eyeglasses and let her do whatever. I didn’t like how she died. I’d prefer that she died a more violent death at the hands of a drug dealer or something. But to poison herself? Nah.

Somewhere around episode 55, things changed. New actors played aging versions of the people in previous episodes. Some of the actors stayed the whole way. Mirelys was the same actress for the entire season. So was Billy. They just threw some fake facial hair on him. I don’t understand why they couldn’t just throw some aging makeup on Jeimy Osiris and let her play Celia the entire series. It took some time to adjust to the new Celia because she wasn’t as warm-hearted and tender as the first actress, and those same mannerisms weren’t there. The new Celia eventually grew on me and I liked her voice better than Jeimy’s. The different Lola Calvos went smoothly to me. I really spent half the episode trying to figure out if they had just put aging makeup on the old Lola. The hair and makeup was the key. They both were similar in mannerisms, but the new Lola was team too much. Her ass wipes her mouth entirely too much. The new Mario was tragic, and that facial hair left me confused. Also, you could tell that those were the actors’ real eyeglasses that he had been wearing for some years and they needed adjusting badly.

I took me almost a year to finish this series, but I’m glad I did. It’s unfortunate that I don’t know anyone else who watched it, so that we could discuss it in length. The last episode, which discussed Celia’s death, was hard to watch. She was really a gem.

AZUCAR!

5 thoughts on “I Watched All 80 Episodes of the Celia Telenovela and I Still Cannot Speak Spanish

  1. Making my way through the series, just because Celia Cruz is my favorite Latin singer. By the time I realized it was a full-on novela, it was too late; I was hooked.
    But now I feel like someone owes me a more accurate biopic.
    Thoughts: I basically started fast forwarding through all the Lola scenes; the girl was just too hell-bent on self-destruction & it got old. Since her character didn’t really exist anyway, I don’t feel like she added to the story. Mirelys comes off as a shrew, but with her husband dogging around like Pedro, I can’t blame her for being pissed. Celia herself seemed like a weepy mess at 1st, but I’m sure a lot of that was for typical novela drama. Some of the episodes seemed extremely rushed, while others seemed to drag the action out over several episodes. And then there are the cast changes…
    But it has been fun nonetheless ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2.

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  2. Ok, my sister stumbled upon this series via Netflix March 2018. I had seen it advertised, but because it was in Spanish I didn’t want to read the subtitle (too busy!). Well, after the third episode I was hooked! I finished the entire series by April. I had a problem with the changing of the characters, but then adjusted to them. I tried to learn some Spanish, but I only left with AZUCAR! My most favorite parts was the singing and her wardrobe.
    Although it was fiction…I’m truly glad that Netflix added it to their collection. Anyways, I was so excited about the show that we decided to go to Cuba on a cruise (not expensive at all – from Miami) and we went to the, ‘Tropicana,’ however, the tour guide would not entertain us with any questions about Celia Cruz – Really!

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    • Glad you enjoyed! From my visit to Cuba back in 2016, I learned that her music was banned by the government since she was considered an enemy of the revolution. There’s generations of Cubans that don’t really know of her greatness.

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