When I was researching telenovelas yesterday, I skipped over the Colombian tv series Los Briceños, somehow translated The Road to Love, because the icon showed a girl and her boyfriend. But the boyfriend is cute, and Episode 4 says "Dario pressures Peluche to hook up with Ramona so she will give them jobs." Why would Peluche need to be pressured, unless he is not into women? And why would they both get jobs, unless they are a couple?
Opening: Truckers singing and hugging in pairs and groups. It looks like they're copying the opening of That 70s Show, with the various groups driving and singing "Not a thing to do but talk to you....we're all all right!"
Scene 1: It's the National Semi-Truck Finals, and the three Briceno Brothers, Breiner (cute), Dario (scuzzy), and Toronja (responsible), are sure that their truck will win. Their assistant, Peluche (blond), brings them empanadas.
Breiner is played by Camilo Amores (top photo), and Toronja by Jose Daniel Cristancho (left).
Their sister Chiqui is wearing short-shorts and getting stared at. Toronja orders her to put on something more modest. They argue. "It's the 21st century!" "I'm a man, and you're a woman! You have to obey me!" Whew, sexist!
I think Peluche is gay. He flirts with all the women, but the brothers say he doesn't mean it. Plus two earrings.
Meanwhile, Evil Guy plans to repossess the truck, and old guy Armando's wife tries to talk him out of driving in the race: "Let one of the boys do it."
Scene 2: The brothers disagree with the way Chiqui has decorated the truck: too girly! She gets a phone call from her boyfriend Samuel (Mario Espitia): "My family can't know about us." Why not? Is he from a rival trucking company? Whoops, he has another girlfriend!
Scene 3: Evil Guy appears to tow the truck away, right before the big race! "Your dad owes me money. This was his collateral." Peluche flirts with him, but it doesn't work.
Chiqui: "Today's the deadline to pay. We'll win the race and get you your money."
Scene 4: They drive the truck to the festival, and arrive late. Dad yells at them. Rival trucker Florentino drives up, insults them, and makes a sleazy pass at Chiqui. The men all rush to protect her honor.
Scene 5: While the other competitors pose with hot babes, the Briceno family says the rosary and discusses how much they love each other. Dad still insists on driving, with Chiqui as his assistant.
The race begins. I thought it would be cross-country, but it's on a track. Thousands of spectators. Is this a real thing in Colombia? Are trucks even designed to go fast?
Final round: the Briceno Doll vs. the Florentino Diablo. The Bricenos win. That wasn't very suspenseful.
Uh-oh, Dario puts the prize money on the front seat of the truck, without locking it! A theft story arc coming up!
Scene 6: Dad discovers that Chiqui knows how to drive a truck, and turns on her. Weird -- hasn't he been saying "you're my co-pilot, you're my angel"? He demands to know which "insolent idiot" taught her. Peluche the Assistant confesses. Snarl, snarl, "betraying me!"
Chiqui: "Dad, I want to be a trucker."
Dad: Sputter, sputter, snarl, snarl. "you are the worst person who ever lived! You are not my daughter! I curse the day you were born! Now go home and cook my dinner!"
Scene 7: Sputtering with rage, Chiqui and Peluche get into their truck and drive away. Meanwhile Mom invites Evil Guy and his assistant/wife to dinner at an outdoor restaurant.
When they go off the road, Chiqui and Peluche have an almost romantic moment. He declares his love, she pretends not to notice. Uh-oh, I smell a will-they-or-won't-they story arc.
Chiqui collapses. Peluche carries her off to get help, leaving the truck (geez, she has a cell phone in her pocket. Call for an ambulance!) The money box has fallen into the mud, lost.
Scene 8: Driving around looking for them, Dad and two brothers have car trouble.
Meanwhile, a trucker named Octavio, who may have been in the race earlier, stops to help Peluche and Chiqui.
Meanwhile, at dinner, Mom reveals that the remaining brother, Toronja (the responsible one), can sing. He denies it -- too girly? -- but she insists. So he sings a love song, and the women at the diner all swoon. The lunch lady, Mrs. Amalfi, is gazing at him. I smell another romance plot arc. She says "You should become a professional singer!" No, I'm a trucker. Can't you do both? 10-4, good buddy.
Scene 9: Dad and the boys find the abandoned truck. They notice that the money box is missing, but not that it's lying in the mud beside them.
Scene 10: Chiqui wakes up in the hospital. She doesn't remember Peluche's profession of love. Mom and Toronja arrive. The doctor announces that she fainted due to low blood sugar, but she "and the baby" are fine. Gasp -- Chiqui is pregnant!
Beefcake: Lots of cute guys. No one takes anything off, not even at the beach.
Other Sights: Some exteriors, all coutryside.
Heterosexism: All of the guys make sleazy come-ons or respectful gestures of romantic interest. I don't think gay people exist.
Pacing: There were so many plot arcs beginning that it was hard to decide what to concentrate on.
Character Motivations: Dad has no problem with Chiqui helping him drive the truck, but when she wants to be a driver, he explodes into a thousand pieces of rage. Pelache keeps saying "Chiqui is like a sister. She's my sister. I treat her like a sister." Then suddenly he's in love with her?
Will I Keep Watching: 65 episodes, and no gay characters? I don't think so.