By: Tamara Yajia
When it comes to dramatic, over-the-top television, I dare you to find a richer deposit of jilted lovers, vast intrafamily conspiracy, and heavy doses of financial support wielded as a tool from creepy older men, than what you will find in telenovelas.
And by far my favorite one at this point is Maria la del Barrio. Broadcast in over 180 countries, this freaking show hits hard and then kicks you when you ‘re down and then curses your mother when you try to get up. For example:
Would you rather get poisoned by a witch, go through two fires in less than 24 hours, or have your firstborn stolen by a woman who sells sausages on the street? Because in this ’90s Mexican novela all those things happened to one person. And why is that?
Maria ‘s life is straight up diarrhea. She ‘s poor as dirt, she makes money picking trash from the ground, and her entire family is dead, except for her godmother who looks like a frog, and eventually dies in Maria ‘s arms on her 15th birthday after choking on a piece of ham. Depressed yet? Don ‘t go anywhere, it ‘s not over (if you need to feel better enjoy a quick workout montage to get back in the game). There ‘s more:
Maria is left homeless and alone, until one of the richest dudes in Mexico sees her, and is like, “Hey Maria, you ‘re a hot vulnerable teen, and I ‘m gonna adopt you and be your daddy now. ‘ He takes her to live in his mansion, where she meets his wife, who ‘s like, “If you touch me with those gross dirty fingers, I will call the police. ‘ And that ‘s not even the worst part.
Watch all episodes of Mar ‘a la del Barrio on ‘Direct TV
Binge all episodes of “Telenovelas Are Hell ‘ on the FOD website
Narrated By: Tamara Yajia
Writer/ Editor: Tamara Yajia
Assistant Editor: Paul Smith