The biggest failures of Mexican soap opera adaptations

10/04/2020

The history of Mexican television has been built on successes and failures, and sometimes in the quest to repeat successes, soap opera productions become big mistakes or unexpected successes.

Mexican soap opera reruns have been a major failure. Photo: Televisa promo material
Mexican soap opera reruns have been a major failure. Photo: Televisa promo material

The most common cases are telenovelas, one of the most popular television genres among Mexican audiences and which has crossed borders in the world.

There are several factors that make such productions successful or fail outright. Whether it's the lack of chemistry between the characters, the validity of the theme or the fact that the audience is reluctant to let go of a well-known version that they appreciated.

However, new attempts have the same chance of overcoming the success of the previous ones as of running with the minimum luck and, in the worst case, losing the prime time and falling into oblivion.

A very wild heart

In 1993, Edith González and Eduardo Palomo made the world fall in love with the soap opera 'Corazón Salvaje'. Although the story had been told twice before in the 1960s and 1970s respectively, the success that Gonzalez and Palomo's version achieved had never been fully appreciated.

However, there was a fourth attempt to capitalize on the popular love story of Juan del Diablo and Countess Monica, starring Eduardo Yanez and Aracely Arámbula, which was a complete failure.

The strong criticism in Mexico was immediate, and during its broadcast, in the United States, the ratings were so low that it soon said goodbye to the prime time slot with which it had begun.

The unrepeatable success of 'Rebel'

Since 'Rebelde', few youth productions have been successful on screen. Despite the fact that the series starring Anahí, Dulce María, and Maite Perroni was not original, as it was based on 'Rebelde Way' from Argentina, the Mexican soap opera became a worldwide phenomenon.

That is why more than 10 years later, the producer of 'Rebelde', Pedro Damian, presented 'Like, the legend', a story similar to the version broadcast in 2004 that did not have the same fate, because it failed to connect with young people and was also dropped from the schedule.

Unsuccessful soap opera remakes

The story starring Pablo Lyle and Michelle Renaud, 'The Shadow of the Past' (La Sombra del Pasado, 2014), has been one of the biggest mistakes, as the intention to remake 'The Spring' (El manantial, 2001) brought about great comparisons between Lyle and Renaud with Adela Noriega and Mauricio Islas, doing honor to the title of the 2014 version.

Another of the most recent cases was the renewed version of the popular telenovela from the 1980s 'Cuna de Lobos', which is part of a Televisa project with which they sought to remake the great hits of the small screen - such as 'La Usurpadora' (1998) or 'Rubí' (2004) - with a fresher vision and in a television series format to attract young audiences.

In the 2019 version of 'Cuna de Lobos', not even with an international star like Paz Vega as the famous villain Catalina Creel at the helm, were they able to raise the audience rating.

This occurred because the changes in the story so dear to the Mexican public caused the audience, which began with high numbers, to gradually drop and not have the expected result.

Finally, one of the most controversial cases is that of 'La fea más Bella' (2006), starring Angélica Vale and Jaime Camil, because although it was successful among the public, the Mexican version of 'Yo soy Betty la fea' was widely criticized for the way in which they had caricatured the protagonist.

Source: EFE