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'Mas Sabe El Diablo': Be careful what you wish for

March 12, 2010 |  7:26 am

MassabeFind the dramas at 10 p.m. a little stale lately? Spanglish network mun2 recently introduced a "remixed version" of Telemundo's highly successful telenovela, "Mas Sabe El Diablo," to an English audience. If you're like me, you've no doubt seen billboards of muy guapo Jencarlos and company plastered around town.

I didn't give the show a whirl during its initial run -- no me gusta coming into a show late. So when I heard it would be re-airing from the beginning on mun2, I thought I'd give it a try.

The remix version includes English subtitles -- para nosotros who aren't totally fluent in Spanish -- tu sabes who you are! -- and has whittled down from 180 episodes to 120. I'll be tuning in and providing a weekly recap of the show, which airs Monday through Thursday, with a little bit of Spanglish in between.

Let's begin:

It's 1986 and we're introduced to a muy joven Esperanza. She's a maid who works in the Acero household in Mexico. She has sex with a young Martin and becomes pregnant. But he's off to New York after graduation and she's determined to follow him. But before she's able to find him in the Gran Manzana, she gives birth! At the train station! Aye Dios mio! And what was up with the muchacho crouching nearby? Muevete! La mujer necessita her privacy! With the help of a stranger, she gives birth and names the baby Angel.

Cut to present day. Manuela, an attorney with a flashy wardrobe, helps Angel get released from prison. In an attempt to avoid a return visit to the clinker, Angel vows to turn things around and live a crime-free life. When he returns home he learns that while he was in jail, his mother's arthritis got worse. The pain got so bad she had to stop working and relied on Leon, el jefe of the gang Angel is involved with, to pay for her medicine -- that's a lot of dinero. And that's when reality sets in.

If Angel wants to pay Leon back, he'll have to resort to his troubled ways to pay back the money. The job: steal jewelry from an auction benefiting a foundation. But once Angel reports for duty -- disguised as a waiter -- he spots Manuela at the event. It was, after all, organized by her mother. Y otro 'aye dios mio!' -- there's Martin! Seems the sleazeball has grown into a gray-haired sleazeball ... he's now about to marry Manuela, but still has a wandering ojo. Meanwhile, the robbery is going well but the police arrive -- after receiving a tip from Cachorro (Leon's son) who's jealous of all of Angel's glory. Y luego "Boom!" shots are fired and a just-retired police officer is shot. Talk about bad luck, verdad?

The next day, Manuela decides to meet with Angel after the robbery. A part of her questions whether he had something to do with the heist, but after he persuades her into believing otherwise she offers him a job out of guilt. He accepts and starts his work as a messenger ... who can also fix a file cabinet and ward off assistant Nina -- is it just me, or se ve como an older version of "Ugly Betty?" But that's the least of his problems. The media has reported on the jewelry theft and the officer in critical condition. It doesn't help that the retired officer's son is also a policeman, now out to seek justice. Leon tells Angel that he has to go to the hospital to kill the officer -- orders from El Heirra, a mysterious figure ... until later on. A reluctant Angel goes through with it, but luck is on his side -- si tu creas. The officer dies of a heart attack as Angel is about to go through with it.

In other news, Manuela's father Anibal learns he has cancer and has only one year to live. But rather than leave his daughter Virginia in charge of the business, he chooses Martin to take over. Que lastima! Virginia is less than happy with the decision. She feels that she should take over -- and she kind of hates Martin. OK, really hates him. Like Manuela's business partner Horacio (how precioso is he? Love those suits!), she's suspicious of Martin. With good reason. The audience soon discovers that Martin is "El Hierro." Dun dun DUN!

Things for Martin, meanwhile, are about to get more complicated. After reading an article mentioning his name as part of the robbery she suspects her son to be involved with, Esperanza decides to search for Martin to tell him he Angel is his son. No puedo esperar to see how that goes down!

So Show Trackers, what do you think of this novela? Did you watch it the first time around? Don't spoil it for me, por favor!

-- Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Jencarlos Canela (Angel), Gaby Espino (Manuela), Miguel Varoni (Martin). Credit: Telemundo