Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Corazón Salvaje: What went wrong in 2009?

I am watching the 1993 version of Corazón Salvaje, and as I’ve read viewer comments online, I’ve noticed people making jabs at the 2009 adaptation. Commenters would say that it’s a disaster, a disgrace, an unintentional parody of the classic… you get the picture. The consistency of negative sentiment made me curious, so I decided to take a look at the 2009 version.

Aracely Arámbula and Eduardo Yáñez star in the series. Arámbula plays the roles of both the antagonist, Aimee, and the protagonist, Regina. Yáñez portrays the famous Juan del Diablo. The telenovela’s 135 episodes began showing on October 12, 2009, and the last episode aired on April 16, 2010. The show also aired in the United States on Univisión, debuting on February 2, 2010. It began in the 9 p.m. primetime spot but on April 26 it was moved to the midnight slot. Obviously the network executives were not too pleased with the program’s performance and audience reception.

After reading a few message boards and reviews, I have collected the following explanations from viewers about why they did not like the adaptation:

This version combined the traditional Corazón Salvaje story with another story called Yo Compro Esa Mujer. It is likely that fans of past adaptations felt loyal to the original storyline and were offended by the changes. Although the viewers said they enjoyed the stories separately, they felt that the combination made the plot seem forced and rushed with character inconsistencies and unnecessary twists.

According to an Argentinean viewer, Yáñez’s depiction of Juan did not have the necessary depth. In his words, “hair extensions do not make a character.” Some also thought Yáñez was too old to be filling the male protagonist role.

Viewers were not satisfied with Arámbula’s acting performance either — at least not as the protagonist. She played both twin sisters, and while people seemed generally satisfied with her portrayal of the villain, Aimee, they felt that her Regina was flat and emotionless. Viewers sounded almost offended in their comments that the antagonist was more appealing than the protagonist — that’s not what telenovelas promise us!! In the telenovela’s debut to the press, the actress even appeared dressed as Aimee rather than as Regina.

A viewer in New York shared her sentiments on Arámbula’s performance, saying: “Her early episodes demonstrate that she has an obvious appetite for playing the bad girl, something she never previously had an opportunity to do. However, as the ‘nice’ sister she lacks the depth of Edith Gonzáles and Leticia Calderón, the stars of the 1990s series. Her Regina so far is a porcelain doll dressed and made up to look like the young Leticia Calderón.”

In general, viewers felt that the telenovela was cheesy and overacted. According to a Galician viewer, “The costumes looked like cheap fancy dress, while the actors kept shouting over one another and twirling around the set.” The things that most viewers praised were the scenery, hairstyles, makeup and the entrada song. But apparently these were not sufficient to redeem the telenovela, which left the 2010 Premios TVyNovelas without any awards.

The version I am watching, however, won several awards, including Best Telenovela of the Year in 1994. #eduardoandedithforever 


  1. This is so interesting to me, because Eduardo Yáñez is the protagonist in the telenovela I watched, Destilando Amor! I completely understand the comments about the lack of depth. I love him as Rodrigo, Destilando Amor's protagonist, but I think it's more that the character is made to be endearing regardless of who is portraying him. Yáñez's acting didn't blow me away. He said his lines, and that's about where it stopped. I think Destilando Amor was successful and the 2009 Corazón Salvaje was not because the role he played in Destilando Amor required a lot less immersion into the character. It's interesting to see differences in the same actor!

  2. I almost want to believe that part of this issue boils down to pride in the original. The people who watched the original likely became attached to the characters as they were portrayed in 1993. We've seen from our consumption presentations that audiences talk about these characters as if they're real people, and I think that might contribute to the negative attitudes toward the remake. I know that when I see a movie I love, then they make a sequel but one of the actors is replaced, I'm automatically negatively biased toward that sequel because it's just not the same with another actor. I can't speak to the acting abilities of those in the sequel, but I wouldn't doubt that they already had some people slightly against them just because those people loved the original so very much.

  3. I saw only a few episodes of the 2009 version and I could barely watch, the cheesy acting, the horrible costumes, and the whole twin thing just felt and looked horrible. It's very true when they say the acting was very forced.
    I keep seeing that people say these things because of the loyalty to the 1993 version, although my favorite Juan is Eduardo Palomo it's not just loyalty but it's the very obvious better acting and directing. The costumes are closer to the true form of the clothes worn in the mid to late 1800s Mexico.
    The passion in Eduardo Palomos acting just makes you feel everything! Edith Gonzales acting as well, they're love in the show feels real! Aimee's deceitfulness, her jealousy, her fatal attraction basically believable!
    And Sofia, I mean come on, she is evil incarnate.

    Overall the 1993 novela is the best version. I saw it as a kid then multiple times as an adult, even though I know what happens, I still feel every ounce of it. Even more watching Eduardo, because knowing he's passed so young, it was his best role, I feel like he is immortalized by his character.
    And every other director that tries to remake it, they have a very high bar to reach. And that was the 2009 version mistake.

    I feel a lot of the novelas now a days are not at the same caliber as the ones in the 80s, 90s.

  4. Does anyone know where I can watch the 2009 version with English subtitles? I could only find it in Spanish.