Tag: sonia braga

Las Reinas (ABC) pilot preview: Not soapy enough

Positively Miami“. Written and produced by Dean Georgaris  (Paycheck, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life). Executive produced by Mark Gordon (Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Quantico, Designated Survivor), Chris Brancato (Narcos) & Nick Pepper. Directed by Liz Friedlander (Conviction, Stalker, 90210). For ABC Studios, EOne & The Mark Gordon Company. 59 pages. Network Draft 5. 1.25.17.

Description: Detective Sonya De La Reina is forced to confront her past when a case compels her to reconnect with her estranged family, especially her grandmother Gabriella, the head of the most powerful criminal outfit in Miami. Thrust back into the world she thought she had left behind, Sonya must walk the murky line between the law and her family, and question her true destiny as a De La Reina…

With Daniella Alonso (Animal Kingdom, Being Mary Jane, Revolution, Friday Night Lights), John Corbett (Northern Exposure, Sex & The City, Parenthood, United States of Tara), Matthew Davis (The Vampire Diaries, Cult, Damages, What About Brian), Sonia Braga (Aquarius, Luke Cage, Alias), Amanda Warren (The Leftovers), Eric Winter (Days of Our Lives, Brothers & Sisters, Witches of East End), Shalim Ortiz (Heroes, Magic City)…

  

You’ll like if you already like: Queen of the South.

Likely timeslot: Sunday at 9, Monday at 10, Wednesday at 10

 

Writer Dean Georgaris is a lucky and supposedly talented guy. The two scripts he wrote this year got a pilot order: the military drama For God and Country at NBC and Las Reinas at ABC, two very different beasts. Years ago, he created Clementine, already for ABC, an intriguing show centered on a girl who discovers she has psychic powers. It was good and this close to get a series order. Maybe he’s about to get his revenge, though I feel like the alphabet has way better and more fitting options than this crime drama set in Miami –which is kind of exotic- originally developed in 2015-2015 when they were not looking for any procedural. Now they are, but Deception or The Trustee are stronger.

Even though the pitch indicates Las Reinas may be a soap –the classic story of a girl who abandoned her wealthy family a long time ago (six years precisely) but who has no other choice but to reconnect with them- it’s not. There are elements, yes. Like the grandmother who’s evil. I’d be glad to watch the incredible Sonia Braga playing this part. Think Madeleine Stowe in Revenge as Victoria Grayson. Gabriella de la Reina is the same kind of cruel queen. She looks lovely and stunning for her age (she’s 66), everybody in the community thinks she’s the most generous woman on earth, but in fact she’s a ruthless bitch and a murderer. I would want her funnier, so at least the show gives us a good guilty laugh, but she’s just mean and that’s it for now. Every time the show has the opportunity to go full soap, it just looks the other way. No OMG moments or edge of your seat scenes. No emotional stuff either. It’s a pity. ABC viewers would be more likely to give it a chance if it were soapier.

It’s mostly about the investigation –a missing girl, of course- and establishing our heroine as a no-nonsense badass cop who doesn’t follow the rules because she has a great instinct and people around her who are ready to forgive her behaviour as long as she saves the day. Exactly as the other ABC pilot The Trustee, but at least this one’s fun. And she has a partner, a new one, she’s not fond of. How surprising. He basically follows her everywhere but doesn’t add much to the mix. He’s bland. There was no time to give him something interesting to play it seems. There are other cops we don’t care about and Sonia’s ex-partner, who’s now her boss. There’s a nice potential there. But it’s a procedural so we’ll have to wait before they find the time to make something out of it.

There’s nothing even remotely fresh in Las Reinas, nothing that really makes you want to come back, unless you’re craving for one another crime procedural about a formidable detective with a difficult past. The criminal family angle is the only thing that could have made the difference but it’s not convincing and important enough in the pilot. It’s a CBS show lost in the ABC development slate. It was not good enough in 2014. It’s still not good enough in 2017. Adiós.

“The Curse of the Fuentes Women” (NBC) pilot preview: “Ugly Betty”‘s creator wants you to have an orgasm!

CURSEOF

Written & produced by Silvio Horta (Ugly Betty, Jake 2.0). Co-produced by Andrew Maher. Directed by Jason Ensler (Hart of Dixie, Franklin & Bash, Red Band Society). For NBC, Warner Bros. Television & Silent H Prod. 62 pages.

Description: When Salvador, a magical and mysterious young man inexplicably emerges from the ocean during a violent storm, he breathes new passion into the lives of the Fuentes women who own a Cuban restaurant on Miami Beach: the beautiful but lonely Lola, who instantly falls in love with him, her mother Esperanza, who’s losing her mind since she’s been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer, and her troubled daughter Soledad, who’s secretly pregnant. The curse that ruined their lives for so long finally breaks…

With Adan Canto (The Following, Mixology, X-Men: Days of the future past), Christina Vidal (Taina), Rachel Ticotin (Total Recall, Law & Order: Los Angeles), Katie Sarife, Sonia Braga (Alias, Royal Pains), Daphne Rubin-Vegain (Smash), Robbie Jones (One Tree Hill, Hellcats, 90210, Bosch), Trace Lysette

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NBC is definitely trying to sweep the latino american community off their feet this year, and most importantly off their spanish speaking channels like Univision & Telemundo, which draw big ratings every night. A smart strategy since ABC is more into the african-american community thanks to the Shondaland series & comedy Blackish, while FOX has the surprise success of Empire. In order to make a splash, they are rolling out the heaviest artillery: besides Eva Longoria’s Telenovela (Read the preview), Jennifer Lopez’s Shades Of Blue (Read the preview) & America Ferrera’s Superstore (Read the preview), NBC ordered a new show from Ugly Betty‘s creator, Silvio Horta. The man had a hard time getting one off the ground with all his previous attempts (Bastards & Sold! for ABC…) failing to get picked-up. Will The Curse of the Fuentes Women break the cycle? It could, but should it?

For those who didn’t understand the pun in the title of the show -can’t blame you, it’s not an easy one- let me try explaining it to you without being too crude. Of course, Fuentes is the name of the family first. But fuentes in spanish also means fountain. The curse is linked to a fountain. But the naughty thing is the (rare) women who ejaculate water -like a fountain- when they have an orgasm are called “mujeres fuente” in spanish, or “femmes fontaines” in french. You got it now? It was important to note because it puts you in the mood for what the show aims at: giving you pleasure -a guilty one or not, you choose- and why not even making you squirt! Not much of the show is really about sex, but there is a scene I have to talk about: Lola, our desperate and lonely heroin, is so turned on by the new man in town that she takes a banana away with her in the toilet of the restaurant and starts to masturbate with it! And she screams loudly. I’m not sure NBC will keep it in the final version, but I’ll be impressed and proud of them if they don’t touch any of it. It was the climax of the pilot for me. Later on, Lola hooks up widly in the kitchen with her cook, Jean Baptiste. But that’s it for the sex. Well, if you don’t take into account the fact that Salvador is so so hot that every scene he’s in is automatically wets your pants.

The first act is kind of excruating to read but unavoidable for us to understand: it’s the whole story of the curse from when it started to today. That’s when the show looks like a telenovela the most. It’s a little bit funny thanks to the voiceover (in the same fashion as Jane The Virgin) but it’s really long. It’s the director’s job to make it better now, I guess. The rest of the pilot is way more exciting, even if I’m not totally sold on the characters. I’m afraid Lola turns into Betty Suarez. We loved her but sometimes, she was too whiny and way too nice with everybody. Esperanza is an interesting and touching character due to her illness, but it will be hard to use her every week as long as she can’t remember anything. Soledad is the mandatory teenage character that has yet to prove being worth more screen time. Hopefully, there’s a Wilhelmina kind of bitch, Orquidia, the one that created the curse in the first place, but she’s not funny in her wickedness, at least for now. And she needs to be. What’s the point otherwise? The Curse of the Fuentes Women is mostly ridiculous, with some crazy scenes like when Salvador spits out so much sea water that he filled a whole room with it or when he makes the whole neighborhood dance because he is so sexy and he knows it, but that’s exactly what makes the show attractive at the same time.

While Devious Maids is a not a ratings juggernaut for Lifetime but a decent player nonetheless and as Jane The Virgin became a critical darling more than a hit for the CW, The Curse of the Fuentes Women can’t be a sure thing at NBC but I totally see it joining their Friday’s supernatural line-up, paired with Grimm. It is way more compatible than Dracula, Hannibal and Constantine were, because it’s lighter, funnier and of course, magical enough. Plus, they really need something like this, not too serious, in their schedule. That being said, TV can do without the Fuentes Women. But who would refuse an orgasm when it’s so gently offered?