"Y aquí me tienes... en esta celda donde pasaron los últimos años de mi vida, lejos de mis dos hijos, lejos de mi tierra, de mi casa, pagando por un crimen que yo no cometí mientras que el verdadero asesino debe estar entre ellos. (And here, you have me... in this cellar where I've spent the last years of my life, away from my two children, away from my land, of my home, paying for a crime that I never commited, whereas the true murderer... must be among them.)"La Madrastra
—María Fernández Acuña, Episode 2
is a 2005 Mexican telenovela
, based actually on a Chilean one from The Eighties
. It stars Victoria Ruffo as María Fernández Acuña, an ingenue young woman
who, due to a gross Miscarriage of Justice
, is incarcerated for twenty years for the murder of her friend Patricia, which she did not commit.
After being released from jail, María returns to Mexico City with three purposes: to exact revenge
on her husband and friends who abandoned her to the Aruban justice system, to find Patricia's real murderer, and to be reunited with her children, who believe her to be deceased and, once she marries their father, think she is their stepmother.
This show provides examples of:
- Alternate Ending: In the AE it was not Demetrio the mureder, but Fabiola, who had been blackmailed by Patricia, who was about to tell everyone about the existence of Fabiola and Bruno's retarded son. In this ending, Fabiola is sent into a asylum and Demetrio is able to live a happy life reunited with his son.
- Caught On Tape: Patricia's murder.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Shockingly not Bruno, but Demetrio
- Deus ex Machina: The convenient video tape of Patricia's murder, which despite ostensibly being home footage and not from a security camera, somehow involves numerous camera angles and cuts between the principle actors. Let's not even start on who is supposed to have recorded the footage...
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: Ángel grows up believing that the entirely fictional "Montserrat" is his mother before learning that his great-aunt Alba is his mother, only to finally discover that his other great-aunt Carmela gave him life.
- Guyliner: Bruno. And how...
- Monochrome Casting: Despite the fact that the vast majority of the Mexican population is mestiz@, the entire main cast is noticeably paler than average.
- Miscarriage of Justice
- Parental Abandonment: Bruno and Fabiola abandon their newborn son after he is born with severe physical deformities. Demetrio and Carmela/Alba also abandon their son Ángel and allow Esteban to raise him as his own.
- Redemption Equals Death: Carlos and Ana Rosa.
- Rich Bitch: Especially Fabiola, Patricia, and Alba, but also Daniela and Ana Rosa to a lesser degree.
- Serial Killer
- The Unfavorite: El Pulpo, whose Wicked Stepmother favored her natural son Servando.
- Villainous Incest: Alba's burning love for her nephew, Esteban, whom she raised following the deaths of his parents when he was young, brings this trope disturbingly close to Parental Incest, too.
- Wakeup Makeup: Largely subverted. Fabiola, for example, is featured in a number of episodes sans her normally heavy make-up after emerging from the shower or before going to bed (cf. episodes 41 and 90, especially).
- What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The final ten or fifteen episodes in particular, in which Esteban and Daniela are tried jointly in Aruba for Patricia's murder, despite there being no assumption or implication that the two committed the crime together. The red high-heeled killer is eventually revealed to be none other than Demetrio, whose masculinity had been so badly battered by the women in his life that he became a Creepy Crossdresser who worships la Santa Muerte and is generally crazy. WTF.
- In the Alternate Ending, it was not Demetrio, but Fabiola, who had been blackmailed by Patricia about the secret of her retarded son.