VENENO

wurst

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FUCK The Sopranos* the actual GREATEST TV show of ALL TIME has arrived :disco:

Anybody else been watching?

Veneno.jpg


An episodic biopic of Spanish trans icon La Veneno (AKA Cristina Ortiz), that also goes much deeper than a straightforward life to death tale.
It weaves in the story of journalist Valeria Vegas who wrote La Veneno's memoirs that form the basis of the show, and features Veneno's ACTUAL real life best friend Paca La Piraña cast in the role of herself, in what is really quite a substantial role played FABULOUSLY too. :disco:
paca.jpg


I've still the last episode to watch, but it's amazing, amazing TV. Beautifully shot and written, hilarious and tender in equal measure - and very little lost for me in translation as much as I can tell.
It should be an instant watch for any fans of Almodóvar, as it covers similar themes to some of his Madrid-based work, All About My Mother being the obvious comparison - even though they are not the same thing (obviously!).

You can't watch it LEGALLY in the UK at the moment, and I'm sure the BBC and Channel 4 are in some sort of bidding WAR for the rights as it's been critically lauded across the board.
https://www.vulture.com/2020/12/veneno-is-a-knockout.html

If you DO want to watch...
I've been watching it here, where it has all episodes on a quick streaming speed with very little adverts to sift through to get playing. It also has really good English subtitles if you click CC "English" bottom right > https://bflix.watch/tvshow/veneno-2020/

If this is ILLEGAL to share this hot info by all means please REMOVE.

Anyway, a total 11/10. I don't even know which episode is my favourite :D Although the one based mainly around the WHORES in the park was amazing, as was the TV FAME deep dive. I need the memoir translated into English, and I need it NOW! :disco:

*I really love The Sopranos
 
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Peekaboo

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I enjoyed this for what it was but I'm a bit in two minds about it because having grown up as a teenager with the original Cristina on telly, what I see on film does not match who she really was. She really was an ignorant soul that was chewed and spat out by the same people who now claim to have "discovered" her and be her friends. She didn't help herself though - she kept coming back with controversy after controversy and stunt after stunt because she didn't know any better.

Believe it or not the series glosses over a lot of the ugly truth and romantisises her figure when she really was mocked and reviled as a trashier Spanish Katie Price all around.

The last episode
shamelessly lifting the funeral thing from Big Finish
is just a BIG FANTASY, the whole thing with
her family
is nowhere near the truth of what happened, the
rape accusations in prison were never proven
and she actually was sued for them etc.

It just feels like the directors chose to conveniently embellish a story of a well-know liar and fantasist to feed the myth for narrative reasons rather than being faithful to who she really was.
 

Peekaboo

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KUDOS however to the main actresses who play her, especially Jedet (the sex bomb years) who I think is SPECTACULAR and I hope she goes onto have a long acting career.
 

wurst

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I enjoyed this for what it was but I'm a bit in two minds about it because having grown up as a teenager with the original Cristina on telly, what I see on film does not match who she really was. She really was an ignorant soul that was chewed and spat out by the same people who now claim to have "discovered" her and be her friends. She didn't help herself though - she kept coming back with controversy after controversy and stunt after stunt because she didn't know any better.

Believe it or not the series glosses over a lot of the ugly truth and romantisises her figure when she really was mocked and reviled as a trashier Spanish Katie Price all around.

The last episode
shamelessly lifting the funeral thing from Big Finish
is just a BIG FANTASY, the whole thing with
her family
is nowhere near the truth of what happened, the
rape accusations in prison were never proven
and she actually was sued for them etc.

It just feels like the directors chose to conveniently embellish a story of a well-know liar and fantasist to feed the myth for narrative reasons rather than being faithful to who she really was.

I intend to do a proper deep-dive into the truth once I've finished episode 8. Having not known of La Veneno before this show I really just am incredibly thirsty for MORE - and if you have further musings I'd be more than happy to hear them.

HOWEVER the show is quite explicitly clear that it's based upon Cristina's own story as told by Cristina - the main hook of the plot is literally Cristina telling her story to Valeria :D I didn't take the show as a historical document at all, and I think the show does a really good job of signposting to the viewer that it's Cristina's point of view of her life that is being told on screen, not a documentary on what actually happened - and she's frequently called a liar and fantasist on screen in every episode also.

I'm sure there will be a documentary made in the next couple of years covering La Veneno: The Truth, as there's clearly another story to be told here, I also think the TV show (Mississippi?) and Valeria's OWN story are ripe for the picking also, albeit in a few years for Valeria. However on account of the show telling Cristina's story as she told it herself, true or not, I think it does a phenomenal job and is an absolute landmark TV show.
 

Peekaboo

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You're right that the show signposts that this is the story "as told by" her but even in the last episode after her death when she is no longer the narrator the degree of truth is questionable.

And to be honest my gripe is less about the tall tales she tells about herself and more about how the show presents her as received as likeable and charismatic with the general public and especially to the tabloid trash that were 90s Spanish late night talk shows. The scene where some lovely middle-class family watches her on TV and they say "haha she's so funny and off the cuff" is such FANTASY :D people like her (and trust me there were MANY, and lots of them with clear mental issues) were paraded on TV for cheap laughs, exploited and then tossed aside. She was seen and treated as a FREAK

Since her death though, all these VERMINS have started to crawl out of their holes to pat themselves in the back for contributing to the visibility of trans people on TV and breaking boundaries etc. Pepe Navarro (the late-night show presenter) wrote this PATHETIC eulogy about her trying to exonerate himself from the way he knows he used her. FUCK OFF.

This romantisation of who she was and how she was treated for NARRATIVE reasons is disingenuous. But of course she would have LOVED it :D
 

wurst

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So I've FINALLY watched the final episode...

And a lot of your above frustrations make a lot of sense now :D What a complete mess of an episode, especially the family stuff. They really should have left it with Cristina spinning around to Always On My Own at the end of episode 7 with a text update of the conclusion OR SOMETHING - perhaps a rewrite of ep 7 that successfully ended the show with the AOMM scene.

I certainly got the sense from the show however that she was treated as a freak on Spanish TV throughout. I guess the closest comparison we had in the UK was Eurotrash and Lola Ferrari - somebody else with clear mental health problems that was wheeled out late-night for Brits to titter at that ended in tragic circumstances.

Anyway, I'm interested to learn more now - wringing out what was actually true from the show in particular. I also have The Alcàsser Murders to watch too, which apparently delves into similar themes about how exploitive Spanish 90s TV was.
 
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Watched the first five episodes this weekend. This is really a show Ryan Murphy wishes he could make :o We need a Lauren Harries mini-series origin story along the same lines.
 

Peekaboo

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So I've FINALLY watched the final episode...

And a lot of your above frustrations make a lot of sense now :D What a complete mess of an episode, especially the family stuff. They really should have left it with Cristina spinning around to Always On My Own at the end of episode 7 with a text update of the conclusion OR SOMETHING - perhaps a rewrite of ep 7 that successfully ended the show with the AOMM scene.

I certainly got the sense from the show however that she was treated as a freak on Spanish TV throughout. I guess the closest comparison we had in the UK was Eurotrash and Lola Ferrari - somebody else with clear mental health problems that was wheeled out late-night for Brits to titter at that ended in tragic circumstances.

Anyway, I'm interested to learn more now - wringing out what was actually true from the show in particular. I also have The Alcàsser Murders to watch too, which apparently delves into similar themes about how exploitive Spanish 90s TV was.

There are a lot of stories and videos about Cristina out there although I don't know how much of it you will be able to ascertain if you don't understand Spanish. There are some videos of her late appearances on reality TV shows that are truly heartbreaking.

And yeah, the family have all predictably disavowed the TV show completely and her sister maintains that Cristina was murdered.
 

Peekaboo

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Oh and the Alcasser case is REALLY GRIM :zombie: There are similarities in how trash TV was at the forefront of turning the whole thing into a national trauma, but if you watch don't go in expecting it to be anything like Veneno! It's a horrific story.
 

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