Saturday, February 04, 2012

CINDYBIN'S VIDEO PICK OF THE WEEK: JUAN AND NORMA PASION DE GAVILANES





CINDYBIN'S VIDEO PICKS OF THE WEEK: JUAN AND NORMA OF PASION DE GAVILANES

Here is another "rerun" of one of my older posts from my old Yahoo blog that seems to have been discontinued. I thought this would be nice eye candy for a dreary winter day. Juan and Norma are my favorite couple! I wrote this blog several years ago after the series ended.

I still have numerous blogs I'd like to publish--some old, some never-before-seen! It's just hard to find time or energy to write them. (I'm still working on one blog that I started two years ago!) But I do hope to publish some more things soon. Meanwhile, enjoy reading all about the adventures of Juan and Norma!

JUAN AND NORMA OF PASION DE GAVILANES

Ah, the romantic couples we know and love: Romeo and Juliet…Aladdin and Jasmine…Luke and Laura…The mere mention of characters like these could ignite sparks of passion. But none of them holds a candle to Juan and Norma—at least not in my book. Sigh…This couple from “Pasion de Gavilanes” is just so good together. Young and gorgeous, their story is a precious one, and they have chemistry like you wouldn’t believe. Although there is nothing between them in real life, you’d never know it the way they interact. I could watch them forever.

You may remember my blog from September 9, 2008 entitled “Latin Lover” where I told of how I discovered a few Latin telenovelas, or long miniseries (like a soap opera only with a beginning and an end, and English captions). I first started watching “La Traicion” in the evening last year, a period piece set in the late 1800’s, starring Latin actors Mario Cimarro and Danna Garcia. I was absolutely mesmerized by this leading couple and the romantic, action-packed story. It was like nothing I had seen before.

Then before La Traicion had even ended, Telemundo reran “Pasion de Gavilanes” during the day, where Mario and Danna had first been paired together as a couple five years ago in a totally different, modern setting. This novella was so popular at the time that they showed it twice a day. I had never heard of it until last year, though, and then only through an Internet message board. I missed the first few weeks when they began reruns, but once I started watching, I was hooked. I do have a problem with the violence, drinking, and scantily-clad bar women, but for the most part it is totally compelling and enormous fun to watch. As one message-board poster commented after seeing it the second time, “It was another great ride.”

Mario was only in his early 30’s here, and played the lead character, Juan, the oldest of three brothers. What a guy. A face I can’t take my eyes off of (of which there are very few). Tall, dark and handsome, long dark hair, deep brown eyes—a sort of moody, rugged cowboy type with a short temper, who turns into a teddy bear with the woman he loves. I’m so in love with Juan—except that he drinks, I’m old enough to be his mother, and he is a fictional character. But other than those pesky little obstacles—oh my, my… drool… (Stop it, Cindy! You should be ashamed of yourself!). What’s more, he is a fantastic actor, easily expressing an intense range of emotion from anger to tenderness, shedding real tears at the drop of a hat. He plays his role so well that if I didn’t know better I’d think Juan was a real person. I am so spoiled after watching Mario, no other actor will do. I love Norma equally—in a different way, of course. Danna, the actress, was about 25 years old then, and I enjoy Norma’s every scene, with or without Juan. She is so gorgeous—a beautiful, sweet face, and real petite, only 5’1”, shorter than me, and weighs probably 95 pounds. Juan is always picking her up, sweeping her off her feet. It’s so cute! Together they make an amazing couple, just superb. You’d think they were meant for each other. All they have to do is LOOK at each other and the sparks fly.

Besides the actors, the story is downright compelling. It’s a bit hokey in parts, but I think it is meant to be that way. You can’t take all of it seriously. By far my favorite part is the Juan and Norma romance, but the show revolves around many others as well. Basically Pasion de Gavilanes is about three brothers who unexpectedly fall in love with three sisters. There is so much more to it than that, though!

I’m just going to rattle this off the top of my head, but the story begins with the three good brothers who lost their parents years ago and live together in humble but honest surroundings. Juan, who runs a bakery out of his home, kind of took over as the father figure, trying to keep his siblings in line. Their younger sister, Libia, is having an affair with a married, middle-aged wealthy ranch owner. She finds herself pregnant, and when the ranch owner dies in a sudden accident, Libia finds his family and goes to their hacienda to confront the widow, Gabriela. Gabriela refuses to believe her and sends the poor girl away heartbroken. Libia is so distraught that she kills herself by jumping off a bridge. The boys are devastated and make a pact on their sister’s grave vowing revenge against this Gabriela woman and her family, whoever they are. They don’t know how or when, but they’re determined to do something.

The brothers end up getting jobs as construction workers on Gabriela’s estate. It turns out that Gabriela’s longtime main housekeeper also has a vendetta against Gabriela (it’s a long story) and she takes sympathy on the boys and helps them secure this position so they can keep a close watch on Gabriela without raising suspicion and somehow put her in her place. What the boys don’t know, however, is that Gabriela has three beautiful daughters!

Let the fun begin!!!

One of the daughters, Norma, is married to Fernando, a real jerk of a man who she doesn’t love and has never even slept with (I think her mother, who adores Fernando, had forced the arrangement). Actually the brothers are hired to build a house for Norma and Fernando, at the request of Gabriela. They do their work out in the vast yard at her ranch, where everyone can watch them, including the girls and the maids who stand on their balconies and ogle these good-looking hunks as they dig holes, pound bricks, take off their shirts and pour water on themselves to cool off (a rather comical scene!).

Gabriela, Norma and Fernando are away on vacation at the time the housekeeper hires the brothers. When they return, Gabriela storms outside to reprimand Juan for working shirtless. She is so nasty to him, ordering him to cover up because they are a decent family and don’t run a nude beach! Juan is seething. He knows she had contributed to his beloved sister’s death, and now this woman is proving to be so horrible that he sees red. Gabriela turns to walk away and Juan starts to silently follow her, pickaxe in hand, killer look on his face. What is he going to do??? His brothers attempt to pull him back. The tension is mounting. Just then Norma comes out to ask her mother something, and her eyes meet Juan’s. It is love at first site. They both stand motionless, gazing at each other, until finally Gabriela, not noticing the instant connection, orders her daughter into the house. A very memorable scene.

Going over construction plans the next day, Juan and Norma continue discreetly gazing at each other, while Fernando remains oblivious (the beginning of episode 8 shows this; just type in “pdg 8-1” at YouTube, it’s worth the view). They can’t stop thinking about one another, and Norma is losing sleep. She tries to control her feelings. How could she, a rich society girl, a married woman, let herself fall for a lowly construction worker? She finds herself standing on her balcony watching Juan work. When he catches her eye, she looks away. She goes back and forth with her emotions, even being rather curt with Juan, yet she can’t deny how she feels. Juan cannot fight his attraction to Norma, either. How could this happen? If he fell for her, their revenge plans would be foiled! Worse yet, what if she discovered why they were really there in the first place? She would be mortified and he couldn’t bear to lose her!

But love and lust take over, and soon they have their first kiss. Still Norma is conflicted. In fact, she slaps him! When she sees how he reacts, however, she softens. She knows he couldn’t hurt her. Soon they are stealing kisses around corners and walls, and finally a hotel room. The above photo shows Juan and Norma after the housekeeper stumbled upon them. They stopped immediately and Norma ran off, terrified of being caught. The housekeeper never wanted the boys to get involved with the daughters, because she loved those girls and didn’t want them to get hurt. This was not part of the plan! But by this time it was too late. Everybody was falling for each other.

Are you hooked yet? If not, keep watching. It takes awhile for one set of siblings to get together, and they also don’t all have the right partners at first, but the wheels are in motion. The youngest sister elopes with one of the brothers, and Norma becomes pregnant by Juan and moves in with a friend, planning to marry Juan after she divorces Fernando. This is all MUCH to the chagrin of Gabriela and Fernando, of course.

THEN, through extenuating circumstances the girls discover the brothers’ huge secret—that they had originally planned to take revenge against Gabriela and her family. This of course frightens the girls because how can they be sure the boys are who they say they are? What if they are killers? What if they never loved them in the first place? What if they are only after their money? How could they be so dishonest? Can they ever forgive them???

These events lay the foundation for the story, but there is still SO MUCH MORE that follows, which you will have to watch and find out yourself. There are other characters and interconnected storylines as well, like the sleazy bar owner and his scantily-clad singer who also loves one of the brothers. There is also the evil Dinora who has the hots for Juan and will do anything to get him, including lying, kidnapping and murder. And then of course there’s the housekeeper’s daughter that she gave up for adoption but doesn’t want anybody to know about, and could this pretty young lady who looks exactly like Libia possibly be related to the brothers? Not to mention the crazy old lady who dies and leaves one of the brothers her fortune so that they all become multi-millionaires. And what about the evil maid and butler? Where do they get off being so mean?? And can the bar-owner’s inept henchmen finally carry off a simple kidnapping?? And will Juan, Gabriela, Fernando and Dinora EVER get out of the swamp alive??? Oh my gosh the suspense is killing me!!! Oh wait, I already know what happens. But that hasn’t stopped me from watching certain parts over and over, especially Juan and Norma. I also love the interaction between Norma and her sisters. I never had sisters so I’m intrigued by this relationship and think it would be so fun to have women like these to hang around and bond with. The links I’m giving you here include a variety of Juan and Norma scenes as well as a montage with just the sisters.

Also, you can buy the DVD of Pasion de Gavilanes, but as with all telenovela DVD sets, it is highly edited. The original show ran close to 200 hours but the DVD has only 13 chapters. They leave out so much good stuff! Take the clip below from early in the series, for instance, where Norma wanted to cool it with Juan until she figured out what to do about Fernando; none of it was included in the DVD. If it wasn’t crucial to the storyline, it was omitted. But the DVD set is well worth it to get the major story, captions, and good, clear footage. The behind the scenes and extras are fun, too. You can watch most 188 episodes on YouTube but you won’t get captions and in most cases it isn’t very good quality. Hopefully someday they’ll rerun the whole show.

There are SO many good links out there, but here are a few of my favorites:

Norma and her sisters montage

Norma sees her husband off to work and catches Juan's eye

Talking to Norma's mother about getting married

Juan and Norma montage

Talking at the fence with their baby

Talking outside at the hacienda

Tuesday, January 31, 2012



STRANGE POSITIONS

Those crazy cats and their strange sleeping positions. Here they are in the middle of the bed instead of their designated fur-covered kitty quilt. Bowler looks like he's got his brother in some kind of neck grip and doesn't even care. Yawn...