|Created by||Arturo Moya Grau|
|Written by||Arturo Moya Grau (original)
Liliana Abud (adaptation)
|Directed by||Eric Morales
Guillermo García Cantú
and Margarita Isabel
|Theme music composer||Laura Pausini|
"Amar Completamente" (Años después special)
|Country of origin||Mexico|
|No. of episodes||120
+ 1 after-finale special
|Executive producer(s)||Salvador Mejía Alejandre|
|Editor(s)||Marco Antonio Rocha
|Location(s)||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Cinematography||Jesús Nájera Saro
Lino Adrián Gama Esquinca (on location)
|Running time||approx. 44 minutes (episodes 1-115)
approx. 22 minutes (episodes 116-125)
|Original channel||El Canal de las Estrellas|
|Original run||February 7, 2005– July 29, 2005|
|Preceded by||Mujer de madera|
|Followed by||La esposa virgen|
|Related shows||La Madrastra
Vivir un poco
Para toda la vida
La Madrastra (English: The Stepmother) is a Mexican telenovela. It was produced by Televisa and broadcast on Canal de las Estrellas in Mexico from 7 February 2005 through 29 July 2005. The program became an unexpected success, garnering ratings in excess of 30 points. Starring Victoria Ruffo and César Évora, who last appeared together in 2000's Abrázame muy fuerte, La madrastra tells the story of María, a woman who lost twenty years of her life after being falsely accused of murder and who returns to Mexico to exact revenge on her husband and friends who abandoned her and to see her beloved children once more.
La Madrastra is fourth in a series of remakes of the 1981 Chilean production of the same name. The program aired five nights a week, Monday through Friday, at 9 pm for 25 weeks. A follow-up special, La madrastra: años después, aired shortly after the finale on 30 July 2005.
A terrible tragedy puts an end to a group of friends' vacation in Aruba. María (Victoria Ruffo) hears a gunshot and finds her friend Patricia (Montserrat Olivier) dead; in the confusion of the moment, she picks up the gun. María is thus found guilty of murder and is sentenced to life in jail. Her husband, Esteban (César Évora), an important businessman, does not believe her proclamations of innocence, and when he returns to Mexico he divorces her, buys the silence of all who were with them on the trip, and tells his young children that their mother died in an accident. He then erects a painting of another woman, whom he names Montserrat, above the fireplace
Twenty years later, María is freed from prison as a result of her good conduct and returns to Mexico City in search of vengeance. She wants to find Patricia's real killer and confront Esteban, whom she now hates for abandoning her, but what she wishes for most is to have her children, Héctor (Mauricio Aspe) and Estrella (Ana Layevska), back. The first thing that María does when she arrives is to confront everyone who was with her on the trip: Esteban; Servando (Lorenzo de Rodas), one of Esteban's business associates at the Empresas San Román; Demetrio (Guillermo García Cantú), Esteban's corporate lawyer; Daniela (Cecilia Gabriela), Demetrio's wife and the aunt of Esteban's fiancée, Ana Rosa (Martha Julia); Bruno (René Casados), another of Esteban's business associates; Fabiola (Sabine Moussier), Bruno's wife who is nonetheless in love with Esteban; and Alba (Jacqueline Andere) and Carmela (Margarita Isabel), Esteban's two aunts. Everyone is horrified to see María, and she puts fear and doubt into them when she tells them that she did not kill Patricia, and that the real murderer has lived among them for the past twenty years.
In the course of her investigation, María finds a portion of Patricia's diary and learns that her friend was not the good person whom she appeared to be: Patricia knew the secrets and weaknesses of everyone in their group and purposefully made María believe that Esteban had made sexual advances toward her. Furthermore, María learns that Patricia never loved her own son, Leonel (Eduardo Capetillo), and María resolves to prevent Leonel from learning this terrible truth.
María remarries Esteban so that she can win back her children's love; however, Héctor and Estrella are unaware that María is their real mother and loathe her, believing that María has come to usurp the rightful place of their mother, whom they have idealized. Plus, María must deal with the intrigues of her former friends, most notably Alba, who secretly harbors an incestuous love for her own nephew and hates all of the women who grow close to him, and Fabiola, who was once engaged to Esteban and resents María for winning his heart despite her low socioeconomic background.
María is also stunned to learn that Esteban has a third child, Ángel (Miguel Ángel Biaggio), whose mother Esteban refuses to name. Ángel is a frequently ill and insecure young man, and María accepts him immediately and treats him with love, and vice versa. Thanks to María's support, Ángel grows into a self-confident and optimistic man. Little by little, María wins her own children's love without revealing the true ties that unite them. She helps Estrella to mature and leave behind her life as a superficial and capricious youth, and helps her to understand that of her two suitors, Carlos (Sergio Mayer) and Greco (José Luis Reséndez), it is the latter who truly cares for her. Héctor is also immature and arrogant, and María helps him to accept responsibility when he falls in love with and impregnantes Vivian (Michelle Vieth), María's former cellmate.
However, María's biggest problem is Esteban. María finds herself at a crossroads when she realizes that she still loves her husband, and that he still loves her. Now, her heart hardened by twenty years of suffering, loneliness, and abandonment, María must find the strength to choose between vengeance and forgiveness.
Two endings to the novela currently exist: following the original airing in 2005, La madrastra was rerun in 2007 in the 6pm time slot on Televisa. Producer Salvador Mejía Alejandre arranged to reunite most of the cast in order to re-film the ending so that viewers could once again eagerly anticipate discovering the killer's identity. The two versions thus diverge at the point when Esteban is let out of prison after the Aruban authorities discover the killer's identity, though some new scenes were added in earlier episodes. A notable difference is that the first version consists of 120 one hour episodes, but the second version was compressed into 115. Many scenes from the original broadcast were either edited out or tweaked during the second broadcast, such as the deaths of Ana Rosa, Carlos, Alba, Rebecca, and Servando.
In the original ending, Demetrio is revealed to be Patricia's murderer immediately after he shoots Ana Rosa in the abandoned warehouse; it is also revealed that Demetrio is a crossdresser, and that he was able to cast suspicion on his wife, Daniela, because he committed the murders while wearing her clothing and a hairpiece identical to hers. Demetrio is soon seen to be slightly unhinged, and he sets out to murder Esteban, Bruno, Fabiola, and Carmela for having abandoned him after claiming to be his friends. He is ultimately arrested after attempting to kill María in the final episode, and he is sent to prison, where it is strongly implied that he is raped by the other inmates.
In the alternate ending, the killer is not revealed to the audience until the penultimate episode, at which point Bruno discovers the videotape of Fabiola murdering Patricia. In a fit of insanity, Fabiola stabs Bruno to death and then psychotically runs through the streets of Mexico City, alternately searching for María and hiding behind lampposts. She eventually corners María in the San Román home with a gun, but the police arrive and she is arrested and sent to a mental institution. In this version Demetrio has a happy ending in which he is reunited with Ángel and Carmela at Alma (Ximena Herrera) and Ángel's wedding; in the original version Fabiola, too, has a happy ending in which she and Bruno abandon their glamorous personalities and devote themselves to one another.
The alternate ending has only ever aired in Mexico; the 2009 re-run of La madrastra on Telefutura in the United States used the original ending in which Demetrio is the killer. The DVD set of La madrastra, which was released in 2006, also features the Demetrio ending. Furthermore, there exists no alternate version of the follow-up special to the novela, Años después, for the Fabiola ending; Demetrio is Patricia's killer in this special.
A follow-up special to La madrastra entitled La madrastra: años después (English: The Stepmother: Years Later) aired on El Canal de las Estrellas on 30 July 2005, the day after the series finale. Set ten years after the finale's quintuple wedding, the special portrays the happily reunited San Román family, including four new grandchildren, as well as the Xochimilco residents (reformed villains Bruno, Fabiola, and Daniela do not appear in the special; Daniela is said to have happily married an older man, while Bruno and Fabiola have devoted themselves to helping sick children). The San Románs go to Patricia's lake cabin in order to celebrate their shared ten-year wedding anniversary, unaware that Demetrio, whom they believe died after escaping from prison a year prior, is actually alive and well and is conspiring with his grandson, Ángel and Alma (Ximena Herrera)'s young son Angelito, and the San Román grandchildren's nanny, Diana, to kill the entire family. After numerous failed plots to kill his family members, Angelito lures María to a shack in the woods where Demetrio is holding Estrella hostage. Esteban comes to their rescue, but while fighting with Demetrio a candle is knocked over and sets the structure on fire, killing Demetrio and Diana. Angelito is left near death after the event, but María's prayers to the Virgin Mary save the child, and his grandmother gives him the silver figurine of the Virgin that she made in prison in order to remind him to always be good.
- Victoria Ruffo - María Fernández Acuña de San Román
- César Évora - Esteban San Román
- Jacqueline Andere - Alba San Román
- Margarita Isabel - Carmela San Román
- Guillermo García Cantú - Demetrio Rivero
- Cecilia Gabriela - Daniela Márquez de Rivero
- Sabine Moussier - Fabiola Morán de Mendizabal
- René Casados - Bruno Mendizábal
- Lorenzo de Rodas - Servando Maldonado
- Eduardo Capetillo - Leonel Ibáñez
- Mauricio Aspe - Héctor San Román
- Ana Layevska - Estrella San Román
- Miguel Ángel Biaggio - Ángel San Román / Ángel Rivero San Román
- Martha Julia - Ana Rosa Márquez
- José Luis Reséndez - Greco Montes
- Mariana Ríos - Guadalupe "Lupita" Montes
- Sergio Mayer - Carlos Sánchez
- Michelle Vieth - Vivian Sousa
- Ximena Herrera - Alma Muñoz
- Joaquín Cordero - Padre Belisario
- Ana Martín - Socorro de Montes
- Arturo García Tenorio - Leonardo "Da Vinci" Montes
- Carlos Bonavides - Rufino "Pulpo" Sánchez
- Patricia Reyes Spíndola - Venturina García
- Irma Serrano - La Duquesa de Walterrama y San Calixto
- Liza Willert - Rebeca Robles
- Laura Pausini - herself
La madrastra premiered on Televisa's El Canal de las Estrellas (XEW-TV) on 7 February 2005 at 9:00 PM, replacing Mujer de madera. The program aired weeknights at this time for one hour until 15 July 2005, when the telenovela was originally scheduled to end after a 115-episode run. However, after La madrastra became such a ratings success, Televisa ordered an additional ten episodes, bringing the episode total to 125. These final episodes were reduced from the normal hour length to thirty minutes each, ceding the latter portion of the hour to La esposa virgen. The series finale aired on 29 July 2005, with the Años después special airing the following evening. The novela was then replaced with La esposa virgen, which expanded to take up the entire hour. Televisa later re-aired the program, with a new ending, in 2007.
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||PINK BH|
|Chile||Red Televisiva Megavisión
Televisión Nacional de Chile
|Hungary||Prizma TV||— 13 March 2012|
|Armenia Armenian second channel h2|
|Philippines||Telenovela Channel||November 14, 2011 - May 4, 2012 (dubbed in Tagalog and original Spanish with English subtitles)
August 6, 2012 - January 25, 2013 (dubbed in Tagalog and original Spanish with English subtitles)
September 9, 2013 - present
|Morocco||2M Monde (Dubbed in Modern Standard Arabic)|
|Slovenia||POP TV||17 August 2005 - 31 January 2006|
|United States||Univisión (2005)
|21 March—5 September 2005[A]|
- A ^ The original airing of La madrastra in the United States consisted of only 120 episodes, as Univisión combined the final ten half-hour episodes into five hour-long broadcasts.
La madrastra is a remake and is the fifth version of this telenovela to be broadcast. The four previous versions are:
- La madrastra (1981), produced by Canal 13 in Chile with Jael Unger as Marcia (María) and Walter Kliche as Esteban.
- Vivir un poco (English: To Live a Little; 1985), produced by Televisa in Mexico with Angélica Aragón as Andrea (María) and Rogelio Guerra as Gregorio (Esteban).
- Para toda la vida (English: For All of Life; 1996), produced by Televisa in Mexico in conjunction with Megavisión in Chile, with Ofelia Medina as Elena (María) and Ezequiel Lavandero as Fernando (Esteban).
- Forever (1996), produced by Fox Television in the United States in conjunction with Televisa, with Maria Mayenzet as Susan (María) and James Richer as Stephan (Esteban).
La madrastra was released to region 1 DVD on 21 March 2006. The series was considerably abridged in order to fit on the three double-sided DVD set, which contains 710 minutes of material. In addition to the abridged novela, the release also features the post-finale Años después special, as well as the original trailer for the novela, bloopers, and promotional photographs. The DVD release also has optional English subtitles.
In popular culture
La madrastra was featured in Mexican sketch comedy show La Parodia, which spoofed the program in a parody called La madre ésta. The character of María was portrayed by Gaby Ruffo, younger sister of Victoria Ruffo, who plays María in the novela.
The telenovela gained notice in the English-speaking United States in 2005 after being featured on numerous episodes of E! network's The Soup. Host Joel McHale often singled out Bruno for the amount of eyeliner that the character wore and "that bitch Alba" for what McHale described as her "crazy eye" that appeared to bulge noticeably larger than the other during particularly intense scenes. The Soup also mocked particular scenes of the novela, such as when Alba poisoned Rebeca with rat poison, causing the latter to flail and foam at the mouth before dramatically dying on the floor. McHale at one point emphatically stated that "I can think of fifteen network shows I understand that aren't this good!"
|Best Telenovela||Salvador Mejía Alejandre||Nominated|
|Best Actress in the Role of a Protagonist||Victoria Ruffo||Nominated|
|Best Actor in the Role of a Protagonist||César Évora||Nominated|
|Best Actress in the Role of an Antagonist||Jacqueline Andere||Nominated|
|Best Actor in the Role of an Antagonist||Guillermo García Cantú||Nominated|
|Best Lead Actress||Ana Martín||Nominated|
|Best Lead Actor||Joaquín Cordero||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actress||Margarita Isabel||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||René Casados||Nominated|
|Best Younger Actress||Ana Layevska||Nominated|
|Best Younger Actor||Mauricio Aspe||Won|
|Best Younger Actor||José Luis Reséndez||Nominated|
|Best Telenovela Theme Song||"Víveme" by Laura Pausini||Nominated|
|Best Direction||Edgar Ramírez and Eric Morales||Won|
|Best Scenic Program||Won|
|Best Actress||Jacqueline Andere||Won|
|Outstanding Character Actress||Sabine Moussier||Won|