15 New & Classic Telenovelas to Binge In Cuarantena

Telenovelas give us drama, but the kind we like

Screen Shot 2020-05-20 at 8.45.35 AM

Telenovelas give us drama, but the kind we like. The frivolous drama that serves an escape from the real mess we are experiencing right now (on top of the stresses of everyday life). Since we seem to have more extra time on our hands in the midst of coronavirus, what better time than to finally binge watch that great novela you’ve always wondered about?!

We did the homework for you and found some wonderful classics as well as newer novelas you’ll totally want to binge-watch on the couch with a cobija San Marcos. Consider this time to chill, practice some self-care, and dip into Latin American culture!

Maria la del Barrio

One of the Thalia “Maria” triology novelas, Maria la del barrio might be the best one. We have Thalia playing the rags-to-riches story, in a remake of the Veronica Castro hit, Los ricos tambien lloran. But the real star of this show is the villain: Soraya Montenegro. Played by the legendary Itati Cantoral, this character has become iconic on her own. Because she’s legit crazy. Her infamous “judges you in Spanish/cries in Spanish/everything in Spanish” is emblazoned on everything now, from memes to shirts, to pins. It’s just the over-the-top drama we need on TV right now.

Where to watch: YouTube

Nicky Jam: El Ganador

Today, Nicky Jam is one of the biggest names in reggaeton. But, to truly appreciate his meteoric rise to stardom, it’s important to know where he came from and the struggles he had to overcome. Nicky Jam: El Ganador tells the story of how Nicky went through it and came out the other side a winner.

Where to watch: Netflix

Silvana Sin Lana

Not all novelas have to be dramatic — although we love a good dramatic novela, or 10. There are plenty of hilarious ones, like Silvana Sin Lana. The rom-com story follows Silvana, a fancy woman used to the glamorous life. When her husband is outed as a criminal, she loses it all and has to join the working class and move her family to another neighborhood.

Where to watch: Netflix

La Ursurpadora

There are those iconic, melodramatic — usually ’90s novelas that we will come back to and reference time and time again. La Ursurpadora is one of those telenovelas. Based on the original Venezuelan novelas La Ursurpadora (1971) and La Intrusa (1986), the hit show has a crazy, but totally watchable plot. Twins separated at birth stumble upon each other. Evil twin convinces good twin to pretend to be her, while she travels with her lover. Good twin tries to right all of the evil twin’s wrongs. So seeing this. (Random fact: Gaby Spanic, who played both twins, actually is an identical twin herself.).

Where to watch: YouTube and Amazon Prime Video (2019 remake)

Dos Mujeres Un Camino


Dos mujeres, un camino had all the elements of a novela you’d want to watch. Laura Leon singing the theme song (which gets stuck in your head), her and Bibi Gaytan playing rivals in love, Erik Estrada of Chips fame as their man, and a cameo by la reina Selena herself. In the telenovela, Estrada plays truck driver Johnny, who is married to Laura Leon’s character, Ana Maria, but falls for Bibi’s character, Tanya. He is also blamed for a death he didn’t cause. It sounds like a bunch of drama, Latinx-style. According to Wikipedia, Dos mujeres, un camino was a hit show that aired in a whopping 47 countries.

Where to watch: YouTube

La Casa de las Flores/The House of Flowers

If you want to watch a novela that isn’t super long but that is totally binge-watchable, then check out La Casa de las Flores. The dark Mexican comedy follows the dysfunctional De la Mora family and their attempts to hide their dirty laundry. Added bonus? The matriarch of this familia is played by none other than the icon Veronica Castro.

Where to watch: Netflix


History buffs, especially those who are interested in Latinx/Colombian history, will want to check out Bolívar. The novels is a historical drama and retells the life of Venezuelan Simon Bolivar, known as El Libertador, who liberated Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia from Spanish rule.

Where to watch: Netflix

Las Chicas del Cable/Cable Girls

We are all for feminism and are even for seeing examples of it during the 1920s. Las chicas del cable, a.k.a. Cable Girls follow four friends who work at the National Telephone Company in 1920s Madrid. One has a secret identity, but together, they help each other get through life in a man’s world.

Where to watch: Netflix

Maria Mercedes

Mexicana Thalia is the Queen of the Novela. The singer and actress was the star we turned to during the 1990s, when we wanted to see a dramatic, must-see novela, with a cool soundtrack to match (she always sang the lead song to the telenovelas she starred in, among other songs on the show’s CD/tape). Thalia starred in a trio of telenovelas with her as the Maria-named protagonist: Maria Mercedes (1992), MariMar (1994), and Maria la del Barrio (1995). In Maria Mercedes, Thalia plays out the rags-to-riches story, which has become a common theme in many Mexican novelas. These roles helped to make her an international star.

Where to watch: YouTube

El Clon

El clon, which aired in 2010 and starred Mauricio Ochmann and Sandra Echeverria, is a remake of the 2000-2001 Brazilian novela, O Clone. The story goes like this: Lucas, the son of a rich businessman, is on vacation in Morocco. There, he meets Jade, who has just moved to Morocco after her mother’s death, and the two fall in love. The differences between their cultures keep them apart, which is a common theme in novelas. What isn’t common, is that Lucas’ brother gets cloned at some point during the novela, and Jade falls for him too. The result of El clon is a love story, with a sci-fi twist.

Where to watch: Netflix

La Casa de Papel/Money Heist

Don’t sleep on novelas from Spain. They’re really good! La Casa de Papel/Money Heist is a crime drama that has garnered major attention. In it, a team of eight people hit up the Royal Mint of Spain for its money. 67 people are taken hostage, and the vast amount of money is successfully stolen–but the criminals aren’t done. They’re just getting started.

Where to watch: Netflix

Avenida Brasil

Brazil is known for producing great, highly watchable telenovelas that focus on everyday people living everyday life. Avenida Brasil is one of Brazil’s most successful novelas. Spanning the globe, the show has been broadcast in over 106 countries. The storyline follows Rita, a woman who was left at a dump as a child by her greedy stepmother. She is later adopted, moves to Argentina, and grows up to be a successful chef. Her life improves but Rita always has the idea of revenge on her mind. Later in life, as an adult, she returns to Brazil, with a new name and a new job — at her stepmother’s home. The suspense!

Where to watch: 

Cuna de Lobos

There are telenovela villains who become icons, bigger than the show itself. Catalina Creel is one of those legendary characters. She, of the eye patch, is the bad woman of Cuna de lobos. Played by Maria Rubio, Catalina will do anything to protect her son and his inheritance, and we mean anything. This includes murdering a bunch of people, kidnapping a baby, and all kinds of other evil deeds. The overprotective, overbearing, vindictive mother is another common thread in novelas. In general, we are all here for super dramatic plots, that have us grabbing the phone to make sure our friends watched the episode too.

Where to watch: YouTube and Amazon Prime Video (2019 remake)

Maria Isabel

Maria Isabel was a 1997 novela, starring Adela Noriega and Fernando Carrillo. It revolved around the love story between an indigenous woman, and the rich man she works for. It is a remake of the novela of the same name that aired in 1966, starring the legendary Silvia Derbez, and Raul Ramirez, and the 1960s film, starring the iconic Silvia Pinal. Maria Isabel is credited as the first novela whose focus is on an indigenous female protagonist and her community. Not only was it a great novela, but Maria Isabel also spawned one of the best telenovela theme songs ever —”Si Tu Supieras,” by Alejandro Fernandez.

Where to watch: YouTube

Pasion de Gavilanes


Telenovelas can become predictable — rich families, rags-to-riches, rural to city life, etc. It’s nice when the scenery and plot changes a bit, or a lot. Pasion de gavilanes is a Colombian novela set on two family ranches. On one, we have the Reyes brothers, set on revenge after the death of their sister. On the other, the Elizondo sisters, whose family is the target of this revenge. Love changes everyone’s plans, however. Pasion de gavilanes is a remake of the 1994 novela Las Aguas mansas; the 2014 show Tierra de reyes (also great to watch) is also a version of Las aguas.

Where to watch: YouTube

In this Article

Amazon Prime video bingewatching Featured Latino pop culture netflix novelas telenovelas tv shows youtube
More on this topic