Telenovela? Check. Cowboys? Check. Mucho, mucho, mucho romance? Check, check, check. Tierra de Reyes is another Telemundo goodie that has landed on our Netflix watch-list, and this has easily become my favourite. Read ahead, to see why.
1. the plot
Without giving away too many spoilers, the basic premise is this: three (very attractive) brothers, the Gallardos, are devastated when their sister, Alma, is murdered. Alma was having an affair with rich businessman, Ignacio del Junco, who is also murdered. The brothers believe Ignacio’s family (namely matriarch/HBIC Cayetana), is behind the death of their sister, so they decide the best way to investigate, and wreak revenge, is to go work at Ignacio’s ranch, using a false surname. What they didn’t count on was Ignacio’s three beautiful daughters getting in the way. Or falling in love with them.
There are also other sub-plots providing extra suspense. To start with there’s Soledad, the del Junco housekeeper, who was forced to give her daughter up for adoption – who is the daughter and will she find out Soledad is her real mother? Then there’s singer, Patricia Rubio (aka La Reina de la Noche), who dreams of becoming a star but is stuck working at Palenque Night Club, under her controlling manager/boyfriend Ulises. Finally, there’s also a subplot involving illegal gun shipments, but really that’s all just there for the sake of moving along various romances and outing the villains of the story.
2. the chicos
There’s a whole selection of attractive men who make watching this telenovela very easy on the eye. The most obvious being the Gallardo brothers – Arturo, Flavio and Samuel. They’re the heroes of the telenovela, and all-round nice guys.
3. the chicas
The three del Junco sisters – Sofia, Andrea and Irina – are all good value to watch. Sofia is stuck in an abusive relationship with her husband Leonardo, and is scared to fall in love. Andrea is majorly stuck-up and serious and spends a lot of time yelling insults. Irina is the youngest, and the free spirit of the sisters – she’s hilarious.
4. the ships and the songs
There are so many romantic pairings in this show! And what I love most about this show is you don’t have to wait for a hundred episodes to pass before anyone gets together. I’m only going to reveal the three couples that are shown in the opening credits (which is full of spoilers, so it’s fair game), but the many others you’ll just have to watch (and wait) and see. And their songs are all super catchy! (Seriously, why can’t all shows have songs for their ships?)
Sofia and Arturo. Possibly my favourite pairing. If only because Arturo seems like a total grouch most of the time, but he’s completely smitten with Sofia right away. And Sofia is pretty much terrified of the male species, which is only natural given who she is married to. But she can’t resist Arturo’s charms. *sigh* There are rescues, and Arturo defending her against Leonardo, and both of them trying to fight how they feel. It’s great.
Where Sofia and Arturo are sweet, Flavio and Irina are spicy. They have the best chemistry. I can’t give away too much of their storyline, but let’s just say there are lots of secrets being kept between them, and between their families. They’re both very stubborn and fiery so they argue a lot, and play revenge pranks on each other a lot (all very entertaining!). Plus there’s a pretend marriage and a real marriage thrown in there to complicate things. Who, when and why? Watch and see!
And finally, according to the opening credits, Samuel and Andrea get together. Although this is definitely a slow burn! They have oodles of unresolved sexual tension – which they deal with by almost kissing, kissing as a form of punishment (eye roll) and calling each other names. Samuel calls her bruja (witch) and she switches between calling him imbecil (idiot), desgraciado (bastard) and infeliz (fool). And while Samuel has other relationships, Andrea laments her feelings for Samuel and keeps them well-hidden. It’s fun watching it play out, but enough is enough. By the halfway point in the series, you’ll be ready for this ship to get moving. But in the meantime, here’s Andrea’s reaction to a phone call from Samuel. Too. Cute.
Dario is “top, just top”. He’s a friend of the del Junco family and he’s in Houston to open a spa. He has great catchphrases like “not nice” for anything bad, and “top” for anything good. He’s one of the rare gay telenovela characters (at least in the telenovelas I’ve seen) and I find him so fun and so lovely! He’s a real nice guy, he’s up against his homophobic aunt, and I hope he gets a happy ending!
6. THE hats
Who knew there were so many ways to bend a cowboy hat? I can’t help but chuckle at Arturo’s and Pablo’s in particular. Arturo can barely see past his, and it makes things awkward as hell for Sofia to manoeuvre around when she wants to kiss him. Pablo looks like he’s about to take flight.
There’s also the ‘stack hat’ favoured by Samuel when he’s riding his motorbike. There’s something really unattractive about this hat. Sorry, Samuel. I love you. Just not in this hat.
7. the outfits
Every time I watch this show, I think the show is very Britney Spears in her “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” years. That is, there are a lot of midriffs, fringe, and large belt buckles. The show is set in Texas, so there are plaid shirts, cowboy hats and bolo ties galore. Sometimes it’s hot. Sometimes, it’s not.
He’s the numero uno villain. Not only does he abuse his wife, but he’s most likely behind the deaths of Ignacio and Alma, has ties to illegal gun traffickers, is a serial cheater, and is likely going to seduce Cayetana to have access to the del Junco fortune. He does this creepy whistle when he’s done something bad, and he cackles like nobody’s business. He’s pure evil and great to watch!
9. damsel in distress moments
Disclaimer: I might be a feminist, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good damsel in distress moment or twenty. There are several equestrian accidents, kidnappings, snake-related dramas, fainting spells, all manner of tripping over that immediately leads to the person falling unconscious, and much more. And there’s ALWAYS a Gallardo brother around to save the day, whisk the women up into their arms and carry them to safety. And I can’t help it. I swoon like an idiot every time.
10. whodunnit? And why?
We all suspect Leonardo is behind everything, but who knows? With telenovelas you can never be sure! So is it Leonardo all along? Or is it a long sought-after revenge on behalf of Emilio Valverde, the show’s other villain, who has another agenda related to the Gallardo brothers? Will they meet their sticky ends and who will be alive at the end?!