If 'My Life Is A Telenovela' Returns For Season 2, You Can Be An Expert In The Genre By Watching These Series
The WEtv series My Life is a Telenovela follows a group of telenovela stars living in Miami whose real lives each have something that makes them just as qualified to be a character in one of the incredibly popular Spanish-language soap operas as they are to star in them. There's nothing more fun than seeing what goes on behind the scenes of novela plot twists and since those series show no signs of stopping, there should be plenty of material if My Life is a Telenovela returns for Season 2. WEtv hasn't made a decision about the show's future yet, but ratings will likely be a factor.
On that front, I'm sorry to say that My Life Is a Telenovela has struggled. The series premiere didn't even make it to the top 150 cable series of its night, and a recent uptick in viewers only netted .06 million, according to Showbuzz Daily. That's pretty rough, and means it's definitely possible that My Life is a Telenovela won't make it to 2017. But if the show is renewed, chances are you can expect it to return again next fall, since most cable series operate on an annual schedule.
If you'd like to support the show in hopes of boosting renewal chances, you can stream the season on WEtv's website and, of course, watch the finale live on Dec. 2 at 11 p.m. And if you're interested in jumping into other shows that are inspired by or similar to the dramatic plot twists of typical telenovelas during the offseason, you have a surprising amount of English-language options. Of course, you could always just tune into Telemundo or head to Netflix, turn on the subtitles, and learn through immersion. But if you want to ease your way in, here are a few suggestions of other shows you can watch while waiting for a potential My Life is a Telenovela Season 2.
Jane The Virgin
Jane the Virgin isn't just inspired by telenovelas — it is one. The central premise, about a 20-something virgin being artificially inseminated with the baby of an attractive former fling, largely fades into the background by halfway through Season 1, but in its place, there are dueling true loves, scheming exes, long-lost gangsters, and lots and lots of fake identities and secret twin reveals. And, of course, in Season 3 — you know what, I won't spoil the show's latest twist. You'll have to just catch up with the series.
This series was cancelled in September 2016 after four seasons. Each of those seasons was filled with drama, twists, and telenovela-inspired turns. The show never really nailed the addictiveness of a primetime soap, but the story of how these maids managed to work their way into wealthy Beverly Hills can be entertaining, and a good introduction to some novela tropes.
Queen Of The South
For something a little darker, the border-bending drug drama also takes some inspiration from novelas and crosses them with American cable TV dramas. Alice Braga plays a woman who unwillingly becomes a cartel leader after the death of her drug dealer boyfriend. It's also an adaptation of La Reina del Sur, a Telemundo series.
It's been off the air for a few years now, but it's actually a direct adaptation of a popular Colombian comedy series, Yo soy Betty, la fea ("I am ugly Betty"), and it was such a likable, frequently unpredictable series that went for the same combination of alternately heartfelt and savagely dark humor that you'll see in most of the Betty la fea adaptations across Central and South America. It's also available for streaming on ABC Go, for a great marathon weekend.
The Real Housewives Of Miami
Before you recoil in horror, I'm not saying this is another series to watch because it stars a group of Latina women. I actually think it's the series' token middle-aged white woman Lea Black who best fits novela tropes, with her high-powered businesswoman meets eccentric millionaire characterization. Mama Elsa, too, is a delightfully demanding matriarch who feels like she should be a fictional character (and was always the iconic star of the series). And, of course, the hair, makeup, and obsession with secrets makes pretty much any Housewives series fair bait if you're looking for another reality TV series that will fill your telenovela needs.
If you want to get a little meta about it, you can watch Eva Longoria's one-season series Telenovela about the cast of a fictional series who are dealing with Longoria's self-centered star, who can't actually speak Spanish. She barely knows a thing about the genre, but by the end of watching these series, you will. And hopefully, by then there will be news of whether My Life is a Telenovela will get a second life of its own.
Images: Giphy (5); Bill Matlock/USA Network; Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix