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Series / Da Cor do Pecado

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Da Cor do Pecado ("Shades of Sin") is a Brazilian telenovela produced and broadcast by Rede Globo in 2004.

It tells the story of Preta (Taís Araújo), a beautiful and poor black woman, who lives in São Luís and works at the local marketplace selling medicinal herbs. One day, she meets and falls in love with Paco (Reynaldo Gianecchini), a white botanist and son of the millionaire Afonso Lambertini (Lima Duarte). Paco also loves Preta, but is engaged to Bárbara (Giovanna Antonelli), a beautiful, racist and cruel woman who has a lover, photographer Kaíke, and is only interested in Paco for his family's fortune. Bárbara devises a plan to make Paco believe that Preta cheated on him with Dodô, Preta's ex-boyfriend. Although Paco ends up believing that Preta has betrayed him,, he also learns at the same time that Barbara has a lover and decides to break up with her. Bárbara manipulates Afonso and convinces him that Paco has lost his mind and should be admitted to an asylum. Failing to convince his father that Barbara is lying, Paco runs away, and after a chase, he tries to escape in a helicopter, but Barbara follows him and enters the helicopter with him. With no escape, Paco throws the helicopter into the sea, and Barbara attacks him and escapes. Everyone thinks Paco died.

It could end there, but Bárbara just so happens to be pregnant with Kaíke's child, passing it off as Paco's, and Preta herself finds out she's pregnant with Paco's child shortly after the accident. Eight years pass, and Preta remains in poverty as she lovingly raises her son Ra&iacute, with the help of her best friend Helinho, who works as a fake fortune teller, tricking people into believing he can communicate with the deceased. Meanwhile, in Rio, Bárbara remains in wealth, constantly abusing her own son Otávio while her relationship with Kaíke grows strained over their different points of view. Following her mother's death, Preta decides to head to Rio de Janeiro and introduce Raí to Afonso, and to convince him to recognize Raí as part of the family. Meanwhile, Bárbara is forced to marry unscrupulous Tony, who plans to steal Afonso's fortune and will do everything to prevent Preta from ruining his plans.

But there's still one last twist... Paco survived, having been rescued by Ulisses, the second-eldest of five siblings from a family of wrestlers, led by their tough but loving mother, Edilásia "Mamuska" Sardinha. Due to the striking resemblance between Paco and Ulisses' older brother Apolo, who also went missing at sea after an encounter with a group of gold smugglers, Paco ultimately agrees to live as Apolo for as long as he can, until he can find the courage to break it to Edilásia that Apolo is presumably dead. It is under these circumstances that Paco meets Preta, Barbara and Afonso, who think he is Apolo.

Da Cor do Pecado provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Tina is this to Abelardo. The other brothers find her attractive, but Edilásia despises her for causing discord within the family.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Bárbara's life becomes this when she is forced to marry the cruel Tony after he finds out all her secrets. He abuses her verbally and physically often.
  • Beneath the Mask: Deep down, Bárbara really loves Paco. Money is just a bonus.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't you dare insult Abelardo's mother in front of him.
    • Don't you dare insult Preta's son in front of her.
  • Big-Breast Pride: Tina is very proud of her attributes, and when she dates Abelardo, she loves to throw his face between her breasts (he doesn't like it very much).
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Abelardo, who is humiliated by his family because they suspect he is gay (something he never confirms). Also, while his dream is to be a professional makeup artist, everyone finds his work mediocre. And in the second half of the novela, Tina, a woman whom he only saw as a friend and felt nothing romantic or sexual towards, falls so madly in love with him that she rapes him. Constantly. With the support of the family. And it's all Played for Laughs.
    • Helinho, who pretends to be a "pai de santo" (a sorcerer / seer) to get money and tries to seduce a beautiful widow. Unfortunately for him, her dead husband is really a ghost who is not happy with a charlatan seducing his wife... and Helinho's life turns to hell until the end of the novela.
    • Ulisses becomes that in the second half of the novela, when he makes the huge mistake of romantically getting involved with Verinha, Bárbara's mother, a clumsy scammer who is still married. Everything that could go wrong for him goes wrong after this.
  • Circling Birdies: Especially in scenes involving the antics of Edilásia and her sons. Usually only the sound effects of birds are used, though Thor (Cauã Reymond), Dionísio (Pedro Neschling) and Abelardo (Caio Blat) also all get animated stars around their heads at one point after losing a match.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Paco is rescued by Ulisses, the half-brother of his twin brother, Apolo.
  • Creepy Changing Painting: The Sardinha household notably has a framed photograph of deceased patriarch Napoleão, which often changes expression depending on the situation, such as looking panicked or covering his eyes.
  • Description Cut: In the first episode, when Preta, smitten over Paco, goes to Helinho's place to tell him about it.
    Preta: There is no one in the world like [Paco].
    [Smash Cut to Apolo about to enter a wrestling match against Thor, with the crowd chanting his name]
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Tina, who had already had an affair with two of the Sardinha brothers, falls madly in love with Abelardo midway through the novela after he's revealed to have the best fighting skills in the family. The problem is that Abelardo feels no romantic or sexual attraction to Tina (the plot never makes it clear whether Abelard is homosexual or asexual). Tina has to get him drunk to have sex with him, and when Abelardo's family finds out, they decide to let Tina live with them, even forcing them to sleep together in the same locked room, where Tina forces Abelardo to have sex with her every night. Abelardo even screams for help when this happens, with expressions of fear and disgust. It's all Played for Laughs because Tina is a beautiful woman coveted by all the men around her.
    • In contrast, when Paco's helicopter crash and subsequent disappearance go public, it's revealed, through a conversation between Edilásia and Germana, that he and Apolo were conceived after Afonso drugged and raped Edilásia, who at the time worked for him as a maid. Because of this, Edilásia holds deep disdain towards Afonso and was hesitant in even giving up one of her twin sons.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Tony's crimes scare even Bárbara.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: Other than the main couple - each with their own plotline - there are various nucleuses: the Sardinha family, Barbara's parents, Preta's two friends, etc.
  • Foreshadowing: When Tina is thrown out of the house by Edilasia, Abelardo consoles her, and Tina briefly becomes interested in him and tries to seduce him... who runs away. After that, Tina forgets what happened and goes back to trying to seduce Thor and Dionisio for the next few episodes, but in retrospect, the scene not only already indicates that Tina may be lovingly interested in Abelard, but also the way Abelardo will react to her flirtations.
  • Funbag Airbag: Helinho nestles his head over his crush Tancinha's bosom a few times when they're together, and he even compares her breasts to pillows once.
  • Gold Digger:
    • Barbara, as well as her mother Verinha.
    • Tina is a variation in that she doesn't seek money; rather, she "only dates champions", launching herself into the arms of whichever man won the latest relevant wrestling match. This is one of the reasons that prompts Apolo to leave Rio and join Ulisses in heading out into the open sea.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kaíke, Bárbara's partner-in-crime and the real father of her son.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Afonso trusts Barbara and Tony, and distrusts Preta. Germana is the only one within his circle who's in on Bárbara's true intentions.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Between Raí and his grandfather Afonso later on. Despite the tension between Afonso and Preta, Raí is able to melt Afonso's frigid heart.
  • Love Triangle:
    • A love triangle with four people actually: Preta, Barbara and Moa fall in love and fight for Paco's heart at the same time, with him split only between Preta and Moa, knowing of Barbara's bad behavior (Tina also briefly tries to seduce him believing that he is Apolo, whom she was in a relationship with at the very start of the story).
    • Tina and the three Sardinha brothers: Thor, Dionisio and Abelardo.
  • Mama Bear: Edilásia Sardinha will do anything to protect her children, even if it means lying or hitting people.
  • Marshmallow Hell: When Tina and Abelardo start to "date", Tina's favorite seduction tactic is to throw his face between her huge breasts. She finds it fun, he (who is Ambiguously Gay) ... not so much.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whenever one or more of the Sardinha brothers are about to go into a wrestling match, Edilásia brews them a special soup recipe that serves as a source of power for them. The brewing of said soup requires an intricate, private ritual, not too dissimilar to a witch brewing a potion, and its effect will backfire should those who ingest it either prepare it incorrectly or get involved with a woman before the fight.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Tina, played by gorgeous actress and model Karina Bacchi, who spends most of the soap opera in bikinis or shorts and miniskirts. Same with Moa, and Preta also has her moments.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Bárbara makes racist comments about Preta and Raí all the time.
  • Religious and Mythological Theme Naming: The Sardinha brothers, except for Abelardo, are all named after characters from Greek or Norse mythology.
  • Scenery Porn: The novela really makes a beautiful use of the locations of Maranhão, due to Preta and her family living in São Luís during the first few weeks. Of course, Rio and its beaches aren't exempt of it either.
  • Shipper on Deck: Raí for Preta/Felipe. Preta isn't particularly pleased with this, as she's not completely over Paco and doesn't want to date anyone else after him.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Tina becomes this when she falls in love with Abelardo.
  • Time Skip: The first and second phases of the story take place eight years apart from each other.
  • You Can Leave Your Hat On: One night Abelardo and Tina are forced to sleep in the same room by his family. Abelardo tries to convince Tina to just sleep, and she seems to accept, even wearing a conservative robe that covers her entire body. A few minutes later, Tina gets out of bed, turns on a radio and takes off her robe in front of Abelardo, showing him that she is wearing a sexy costume and begins to perform a striptease. Abelardo is horrified, while his brothers cannot sleep with the screams that come out of the couple's room all night long.