Reviews

Telenovela (2016) TV Pilot Review

Telenovela centres around Ana Sofia, the star of a telenovela who finds out that her ex- husband is her new co-star.

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It’s been a long time since Eva Longoria graced our screens, too long. But now she’s back, better than ever, as lead character Ana Sofia in Telenovela. As an added bonus she’s also serving as executive producer for the show. Having been without Desperate Housewives’ Gabrielle Solis for so long I had forgotten how great Longoria is at comedy. But Telenovela is the perfect platform for her to showcase how talented she is. Right from the get-go we see how in her element she is and the result is a loveable and hilarious character. Yes, she’s dramatic and a little neurotic but that only amps up the laughs.

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And there are a lot of laughs to be had. The setting for the show demands it. Behind the scenes on a telenovela? Of course there’s more drama off screen than on. In fact, the actors seem to go through more mayhem than their characters. There’s Gael (Jose Moreno Brooks) who thinks that his abs are key to his job security, Roxie (Jadyn Douglas) who is not a fan of learning her lines, Xavier (Jencarlos Canela) the ex-husband of Ana Sofia who likes to cause a little chaos, Isabella (Alex Meneses) whose diva antics are infamous and Rodrigo (Amaury Nolasco) who has only just managed to cut down his one man play down to 4 hours. After Prison Break it’s especially nice to Nolasco take on a comedy role and he does a fantastic job with it.

Members of the crew include Mimi (Diana- Maria Riva) the show’s seamstress/clothes designer and Ana Sofia’s best friend, and Isaac (Izzy Diaz) the show’s head writer who writes the episodes whilst drunk and as a result has no clue what’s going on. We didn’t see much of Isaac in the pilot but whenever he was on screen I was laughing which is a good sign. Hopefully we will get more of him in future episodes. Mimi is also a brilliant character balancing out Ana Sofia’s sometimes crazy antics. Riva and Longoria share great chemistry and the scenes between them are very enjoyable to watch.

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Rounding up the cast in a recurring role is Zachary Levi who plays new head of the network James. Levi is a very charming guy and certainly brings that to this character. There’s already some sexual tension between James and Ana Sofia, and he promises to be an excellent romantic interest for her. I’m already rooting for him to be upgraded to main cast.

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These wonderful mix of characters are Telenovela’s biggest strength. Each one of them is so different and yet each one has something you can relate to or find endearing. They are also all very funny which makes for good viewing. Yes, there are times when they and the show as a whole can be a little over the top but isn’t that the point? It is a telenovela after all.

When I saw the trailer for Telenovela I was expecting big things. It seemed fun, exciting and very entertaining. The pilot proved to be all of those things and more. The characters were great and the writing sharp and witty. And having seen the next few episodes I can safely say that it gets even better!

Pilot Rating – 4.5/5

Categories: Reviews, TV

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