En Otra Piel. A fantastic gem of a Spanish telenovela currently airing on SBS (as Part of Me and/or In Her Skin) with all the previous episodes available at SBS On Demand. Produced by Telemundo (an American Spanish-language television network) the basic plot centres around two women – 53-year-old famous pianist Monica from LA and 20-something waitress Adriana from Mexico City. Both die and somehow, through a bunch of bizarre circumstances involving a ‘talisman’, Monica’s soul ends up taking over Adriana’s body (while Adriana’s soul is wandering around lost apparently).
Monica is (was?) married to creepy ‘gigolo’ Gerardo who is basically a gold digger and is having an affair with villain Elena (Monica’s niece). Adriana has the lucky fortune of being the girlfriend of Diego – a super attractive mechanic who worships the ground she walks on. Long story short – will Adriana’s soul be reunited with her body, and therefore, will she be reunited with Diego?! Or will Monica, in Adriana’s body, continue to lay claim so she can get close to her daughters and save them from an unknown threat?
Throw in a few murders, stints in jail, various other romances, a paranormal talk show host and a psychic dog and you have all the ingredients for a highly addictive show. The added bonus is, getting hooked will be relatively short term – unlike American and Australian soaps that can go on forever, this one has (only) 154 episodes. And I am hoping that means we will get to the end with some closure.
Still not convinced? Here are our top ten reasons to watch:
1. Diego and his abs
Diego is numero uno love interest. He’s attractive, he’s manly, he will do absolutely anything for the woman he loves. Plus he has an amazing six pack. And he spends a lot of the first 20 or so episodes sans shirt. Which is great for all of us. (Note, at the time of writing we are only a third of the way through the season, so there’s hope there’s many more shirtless episodes to come.)
2. Pacho and the necklace
This telenovela has a slight paranormal twist (and I say slight because 99 per cent of the time you can easily forget!). And what’s a telenovela with a paranormal twist without a psychic dog? Pacho is super awesome (if you’re a dog person anyway). He loves Monica so much he goes into mourning, running away from home and sleeping on her grave. And psychic he is. He’s not fooled by Adriana’s face – he knows Monica is there! Then of course, there’s the ‘log’ necklace, the “talisman”, the thing that is linking Monica’s soul to Adriana’s body. Who knows how that is going to play out?
3. The SPANISH
It’s actually impossible not to pick up a few Spanish words here and there (despite the excellent English subtitles). Especially because this is soppy-central so every second conversation involves mi amor, or mi corazon. Plus, if you’re overly dramatic when you speak, like I can tend to be, you will be able to flesh out your vocab with all sorts of dramatic exclamations, like ¿qué paso? So, you know, it’s practically an ‘educational experience’ if you’re studying Spanish.
4. ridiculousLY Twisted (read: amazing) storylines
What’s great about this show is, unlike other soap operas where the same conversation is still happening six weeks later, the plot moves along quite quickly so there’s always something to pique your interest. A third of the way in, there have been five murders (literally, as I work on this post, I have to keep updating this tally!), a jail sentence, a corrupt Judge, a failed relationship, a new relationship, a fake will, another affair, endless blackmail, the list goes on. Plus, what IS going to happen to the characters by the finale? Does Gerardo really love Adriana/Monica and will he turn against Elena? Will Valeria overcome her demons? Will Selma and Esteban finally shack up?
5. the “opening credits”
I say this with some hesitation as sometimes they ‘open’ 30 minutes into the episode and go for about 5 minutes themselves. But the song is catchy as hell. And Diego looks amazing. There’s a few little sneak peaks throughout that make me go, ooh I wonder what’s happening there?!
Look, she’s the villain and she’s great value. She has an amazing mane of hair and she is fully eye-lined and lipsticked at all times – even when she’s just waking up in the morning. She doesn’t hold back, she wears the pants in her relationship with Gerardo and she can be sickeningly sarcastic, almost caustic. Listening to her call her mother ‘mamita’ is so condescendingly perfect you just want to cringe and laugh and slap her all at the same time.
7. mrs lupe
She cracks me up. She’s the comic character that all these dramas need to have and owns a sort of motel/boarding house in LA. She’s loud and at times vulgar, has been married six times and makes me laugh. She’s also loyal and extremely sweet and takes care of Diego, Valeria and Maite. I hope she finds love (again) before the show ends.
8. ships with songs
SPOILER ALERT. There are so many couples, and potential couples to ship. You’ve got Adriana and Diego, Monica and Gerardo, Monica/Adriana (when we are talking about Monica’s soul in Adriana’s body) and Gerardo, Camilla and Ricardo, Gabriel and Jennifer, Eileen and Ricardo, Maite and Anselmo and lately, I’m starting to think Diego and Valeria. But the big name couples (whether I ship them or not) – Monica/Adriana and Gerardo, and Camilla and Ricardo even get their own song that plays every single time they are together. I’m not sure how long this will last. Even I have to say, as much as I love the theme song (En Otra Piel sung by none other than Laura Flores, who stars in the show as Monica), I’m getting a little bit tired of hearing it played over and over every time Monica/Adriana has sexy time with Gerardo. I do love the Camilla and Ricardo ship song (Para Olvidarte by Ender Thomas) so I am hoping I am not going to end up hating the sound of it. I haven’t quite been able to catch the song they keep playing with Jennifer and Gabriel but it’s upbeat and fun-sounding so I need to figure that one out asap.
9. The hair envy
Everyone on this show has fabulous long luscious locks. And as someone who has recently chopped their hair, I have serious hair envy. There’s a lot of hair flipping and, to be honest, I’m surprised there hasn’t been any hair pulling given the amount of arguing in this show. Elena probably has the best hair – black and voluminous (and maybe aided by a few well-placed extensions?). Emiliana has the best natural-looking hair and for an 11 year old, she flips it around like a pro.
10. good budget
This show has seriously good production values. There’s plenty of sets from the Serrano mansion complete with a secret room hidden behind a bookcase (what good is a house without one?!), to the accompanying vineyard. Then there’s the tv studio, the bar, the Larrea offices, the cabin, the Serrano guest house, Mrs Lupe’s, the beach…there’s no shortage of locations and all are fair game for any number of romantic rendezvous. And there’s plenty of characters being introduced as you go along, creating new storylines (read: romances) to keep you entertained.
In Her Skin/Part of Me has aired its finale on SBS Two. For now at least, you can watch from the start and enjoy every addictive episode at SBS On Demand.
Check out our finale predictions, as the show gets closer to the finish line.
NEW: Watched EOP and suffering withdrawals now it’s over? Check out the telenovela selection on Netflix!
Read our recaps here: Episode 121; Episode 122; Episode 123; Episode 124; Episode 125; Episode 126; Episode 127; Episode 128; Episode 129; Episode 130; Episode 131; Episode 132; Episode 133; Episode 134; Episode 135; Episode 136; Episode 137; Episode 138; Episode 139; Episode 140; Episode 141; Episode 142; Episode 143; Episode 144; Episode 145; Episode 146; Episode 147; Episode 148; Episode 149; Episode 150; Episode 151; Episode 152; Episode 153; Episode 154 (Finale)
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