Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real (partially found Mexican anthology telenovela series; 1986-2007)
Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real (translated as Woman, Real Life Cases) was a Mexican TV show that aired on Canal de las Estrellas of Televisa between 1985 and 2007, created and presented by actress Silvia Pinal in response to the disasters caused by the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. The program featured episodic stories that, as the name suggests, were based on real situations in Mexican urban life. Although in its early years it told stories of the victims of the earthquake and optimistic stories, at its peak it talked about topics that, even by current standards, would be controversial for Mexican society. For example, domestic violence, homosexuality, sexism, child abuse, discrimination, poverty, incest, rape, etc.
The show has the notoriety of have been one of the first audiovisual products in Mexico to treat openly about this type of topics considered taboo, becoming a kind of social denunciation of the reality of many Mexicans. At the same tme, it would inspire the creation of other programs with the same self-concluding narrative such as La Rosa de Guadalupe or Lo que callamos las mujeres.
Despite its importance and have been broadcast for more than 20 years, the show has not been properly preserved and few episodes were re-edited in other formats. Although multiple episodes have been reuploaded over time, there is no consensus on how many episodes exist and how many of these are missing.
Production[edit | edit source]
Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real began its broadcasts on February 4, 1986 as a late-night show on El Canal de las Estrellas. The recurring format began with Silvia Pinal presenting two self-concluding stories, and at the end she gave her impressions and her opinions about them. During its first years, the program served as a method of helping to locate people who disappeared during the 1985 earthquake, but as the years went by, stories that claimed to be based on real events were included. Normally, these were about love conflicts or more cheerful situations.
Starting in the 1990s, the show made the risky decision to focus on controversial issues such as domestic violence, a situation that, although unfortunately common in some homes, was controverial to see on television. Gradually, other dark themes were addressed on show, sometimes with inconclusive endings that left a bitter feeling. Silvia Pinal, at the end of each story, gave a reflection and was sometimes accompanied by the actual protagonists of the stories who gave their testimonies.
The show underwent several format changes over the years, beginning with a half-hour Saturday series with two different stories, to change to a one-hour program with two stories during the 1990s. As of 2001, it was broadcast in the evening from Monday to Friday, with a later spin-off called Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real: La Miniserie that presented a story arc of five episodes told throughout the week. The series would be canceled in 2007 and replaced by the shows Central de Abastos and La Rosa de Guadalupe, who would continue with the same way of telling stories.
Availability[edit | edit source]
Over the years, Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real became a cult show for its controversial themes and the open way in which it talked about them. In this way, various episodes were recorded and re-uploaded by fans, with a moderate amount available on the internet. At the same time, the series has been broadcast on several occasions by channels such as Univisión or Galavisión.
However, since the show lasted 22 years on the air and had constant format changes, there is no exact knowledge of how many episodes were broadcast in total or how many of these are lost. According to IMBd, Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real had a total of 1,521 episodes, but it is not possible to verify if this is an exact or approximate amount. An official episode list has also not been released and is likely difficult to obtain due to the longevity and age of the show.
In a simple way, it can be concluded that the episodes aired between 1986 and the mid-90s are mostly lost or undiscovered. So far, the oldest known episode is the 1986 episode El Examen, performed by Mexican celebrity Lucerito.
It should be noted that there are collectors rings who exchange episodes with each other, and of which it is believed they were the main source of episodes uploaded to the internet. However, after conflicts with Televisa's copyright and pages that "stole" episodes from them, these collectors have preferred to keep the episodes for themselves.
Notable cases[edit | edit source]
In December 2018, Reddit user RatchetCvngh posted about three allegedly lost episodes. Although these are not the only lost episodes (because, as mentioned before, much of these are still unknown), they are the most notable for their disturbing themes creating the rumor that they may have been censored.
|La última sonrisa (The Last Smile)||Approx. 1999||A girl has the constant fear of a supposed werewolf, convincing herself that it does not exist. Her parents take her to a party where strange-looking and creepy people come, and in a dramatic and crude handling of the camera, it is noted that everyone is looking anxious at the girl. At some point, from a dark corner or behind some curtains, a hairy hand draws the girl and kidnaps her. After a while, a bloody garbage bag with a hand sticking out is found. The girl's father screams in horror and no one knows who or what killed her.||Lost|
|Un ángel sin luz (An Angel Without Light)||Approx. 1999||Formerly known as "Los colores del cielo" (The Colors of the Sky) or "El niño del globo" (The Balloon Boy).
A single mother and her children live in a poor situation. One morning, a man approaches one of her children, making him believe that he is a new neighbor and promises to give him a balloon. Later that day, her sister returns from school to break the news to her mother that her brother was kidnapped. The woman goes to the police where the incompetence of the authorities to solve the case is noted. The days go by and one morning they find the blindfolded child, a red balloon and a box with money. Although the police promise to find the culprits, the woman looks down on the situation and burns the money.
|Sangre contra dignidad (Blood Against Dignity) or La túnica (The Tunic)||Approx. 1996||A wealthy but rebellious teen must take care of his little sister while his parents are away on a business trip. The guy organizes a night meeting with his friends, and while he is drunk, he abuses his girlfriend and a gypsy woman. Meanwhile, his sister is playing alone at night when a hooded person calls her. She follows him and disappears. At dawn, the boy realizes that her sister is not there, so he goes out desperate to look for her. When leaving he sees a crowd that looks in horror at a lamppost where the corpse of his sister is hanging, next to a sign that says "Happy Birthday."
It is possible that this synopsis is not entirely correct as other testimonies indicate that the story is based on a mother who loses her daughter and begins a search for a witch. The lampost scene would not be as violent and was shown at the beginning of the episode for a few seconds.
According to RatchetCvngh, the episode was found in 2019 thanks to a VHS recorded by some fan girls. However, the VHS fell into possession of an "otaku guy" who showed it to him only once and refused to share it for absurd reasons. Although RatchetCvngh claims that the plot, cast, and some dialogue are known with certainty, the episode will likely not be seen publicly until another source is found.
Videos[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real article, on the Spanish Wikipedia Retrieved 11 May '21
- Mujer, Casos de la Vida Real's IMBd page Retrieved 11 May '21
- RatchetCvngh's post on Reddit Retrieved 11 May '21
- RatchetCvngh's comment about Sangre contra dignidad status Retrieved 11 May '21