Created by Cris Morena (creator of other popular mainstays like Chiquititas, Rebelde Way, and Alma Pirata), a popular Argentinian kid's telenovela novela. The series concerns the heroine, Flor, working as a governess for the affluent Fritzenwalden family, but is in love with the eldest son and parental figure, Federico aka Fede. Unfortunately, his conniving godmother "Malala" schemes to marry him off to one of her daughters, and the witch might have a dark secret with Flor's past.
The series title is a pun on the heroine's name, Florencia, and "Cenicienta" (the Spanish name for "Cinderella.") What does this have to do with Cinderella, you may ask? The dark secret about Flor's past is that the man she thinks is her father is actually her stepfather; her real father is Fede's godmother's dead husband... which makes her Flor's Wicked Stepmother and her daughters Flor's stepsisters... and the witches will stop at nothing to keep Flor's rightful estate (and "Fede," her prince and "his" fortune, for that matter) out of her hands. While Flor only learns the truth towards the end of the show, this is made an Open Secret to the audience in the first episode, to the point where the trailer for the Mexican remake explains this storyline before even getting into the nanny subplot, and references to this plot twist will go unmarked as spoilers.
The series has been remade in several countries: in Portugal, Chile, and Brazil as "Floribella." Originally, the name was changed since the "Cenicienta" pun would have been lost on Portugese-speakers, who call "Cinderella" by her English name; the Chilean remake was originally going to be called "Floricienta" but went with the Portugese name after it turned out the original was copyrighted. In Mexico, it was remade as "Lola, Erase Una Vez," (meaning "Lola, Once Upon a Time.") It also had a brief run in the United States.
An American remake is supposedly in the works by Disney, though with another "teenage-nanny" show on the schedule, Jessie, on their current line-up, this seems unlikely (Of course, there is speculation that "Jessie" originally WAS meant to be a remake of this show). Infamously, Flor's actress produced another similar show, "Nini," about another Magical Nanny (except the shtick here is that she disguises herself as a man to avoid the scheming fiancee); the second show was heavily criticized to the point that Cris Morena successfully sued for plagiarism.
The series provides examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Infamously, Federico dies at the end of the first season, although Flor ends up marrying a count and regaining her father's estate. She also adopts the surviving Fritzenwalden children, suggesting she takes over their estate as well. The Chilean and Mexican remake chose a more traditional Happily Ever After.
- Cool Aunt: Titina, who is Flor's godmother.
- Depending on the Writer: The Chilean version has a more snarky and Butt-Monkey-ish Malala than the original, even casting an actress (Graciela "Coca" Guazzini) who has been famous for her "Played for Laughs Rich Bitch" roles ever since The 80s.
- Disposable Fiancée: Fede and Delfina are a loveless match and Delfina secretly being married did not help matters. Technically, Fede dies before he can marry either Delfina or Flor.
- The Fair Folk: Flor's fairies.
- Evil Matriarch: Malala. Is both Fede's godmother/Flor's stepmother. She also clearly favors her daughter Delfina over Sofia.
- Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: Malala Vs. Titina; symbolically, they are the respective Wicked Stepmother and Fairy Godmother of our Cinderella story.
- HeelFace Turn: Delfina in the original eventually repents of her evil and reunites with her husband. The foreign remakes usually avoid this and punish her. The Mexican remake simply has her and her mother end up as maids.
- Magical Realism: Did we mention the fairies?
- Parental Abandonment: Flor's stepfather (who she believes to be her real father) took to sailing after the death of Flor's mother. The Fritzenwalden family is recently orphaned, explaining the need of a governess.
- Promotion to Parent: Federico gets one at his mid-20`s.
- Secret Relationship: Delfina already has a husband.
- Sibling Triangle: Technically, Flor and Delfina are stepsisters, so their rivalry for Fede/Max, can play off as this.
- Token Good Teammate: Sofia is much more pleasant than her wicked mother and sister. This is partially subverted, since Malala's sister is also a good person, though their mother is also an Evil Matriarch.
- Uptown Girl: Technically, Flor and Fede/Max are a gender-flip, except for Flor secretly being an heiress.
- Wicked Stepmother: Malala is the widow of Flor's real father, who left half his fortune to her, and so schemes to avoid Flor from finding out the truth. She also schemes to have Fede marry her daughter, Delfina, instead of Flor. Flor's stepfather (who to be clear, it not Malala's husband; he was married to Flor's mother, and Malala was married to Flor's real father) also borders on this trope, since he virtually abandoned Flor after the trauma of losing her mother.
- Witch with a Capital B: Delfina and her mother.