How do you survive being single? According to Amazon Prime’s first global release of a Spanish-language scripted comedy series, Cómo Sobrevivir Soltero (How to Survive Being Single), all you need is a dating app and a good group of friends.
Much like the streaming service, this is my first venture into a Spanish comedy (my portfolio extends to a few episodes of Netflix’s Elite that I started while in quarantine and the anxiety-inducing Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), so I didn’t know what to expect. Don’t worry, there are subtitles!
Based on the first four episodes, the series has all the makings of a comedy and delivers on its promise of being a show that highlights how much “the dating world has changed in modern Mexico.”
The series is aimed at the millennial crowd with a plethora of references about the hook-up culture, Tinder, and a character developed dating + ride-sharing app called “Love Ride” (how is that not a thing yet?), but most importantly, it centers around the framework of friendship and how necessary a good support group is following a breakup with the person you thought was “the one.”
The 13-episode series centers on Sebastián (nickname Seba). Sebastián Zurita plays his fictional self and draws inspiration from his real-life dating experiences for a series that’s part fiction and part autobiographical. It’s unclear which parts happened in real life, but in the short timeframe, Sebastián’s journey takes many unexpected turns and seems to be wildly exaggerated for the TV landscape.
At first glance, Sebastián has it made. He’s on his way to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the cult classic film “Dumped” with longtime girlfriend and co-star, Lucia (Pamela Almanza). It’s a love-story ripped straight from the headlines.
When we meet couples so early into a series, things can go one of two ways — their relationship flourishes and takes us on a romantic journey or they break up usually because someone cheated. Considering the series is titled “How to Survive Being Single,” I’ll let you decide which avenue we’re going down.
Sebastián has no idea that the title of the film — dumped — is about to become his reality until his proposal is botched in front of the public when a reporter shows him a video of his cheating girlfriend while he’s down on one knee. Ouch.
Since the breakup happens in the pilot episode, we don’t get to see much of Sebastián’s relationship with Lucia prior to the movie premiere, and all we can really rely on are pieces of information given to us throughout the episodes mainly that they stayed together out of comfort and familiarity.
The series hopes that the audience will connect with the material and with Seba’s experiences because of our own personal long-term relationships and breakups.
And thus, it intentionally makes Lucia a side-character that Sebastián doesn’t give much energy to because she’s out of the picture. After the breakup, he’s hurt, but he’s not interested in talking things through, finding out what went wrong, or getting back together.
He’s over it, and he’s Mr. Moving On. And for the audience, it’s easier to side with and focus on Seba’s journey if we don’t have any connection to Lucia.
Being out of the game for 10-years means Seba, a self-described romantic, is out of his depth as he plunges into the dating world. He gets a lot of (bad and unwanted) dating advice from his friends, which includes getting over Lucia by getting under someone one.
Not only is Seba broken from being cheated on, but he’s also feeling sorry for himself and his diminishing career (he’s been typecast in a role that hasn’t allowed him much other success, which was a huge ding to his ego while dating Lucia).
As Seba deals with his sorrow and grief, his adventure takes some pretty odd turns, and maybe they’re simply odd and unexpected to me because again, I have no idea what to expect from a Spanish-language comedy.
One of those weird storylines is joining a cult leader Christian Chavez, a well-known Mexican singer, songwriter, and actor. Zuritas has been open about giving newcomers and celebrity guests an equal seat at the table, so you can expect plenty of cameo appearances even if the storylines are slightly unconventional.
Chavez runs the cult that aims to make people happy by any means possible, and though it’s a strange storyline, it’s also reflective of how cult’s thrive on vulnerable and impressionable people. All things aside, it was nice to see Sebastián normalize the idea of seeking help, even from this kind of “therapy group,” which allowed him to understand the importance of feeling whatever you need to feel in the moment. Sometimes, faking it till you make it just doesn’t work. The grief lets you know you’re alive.
He then gives into using technology to find love, but navigating the new dating-world proves tricky when his date is a complete nightmare. It’s Seba’s first date post-breakup and he tries desperately to make it work, but here’s the lesson: not every date is going to be perfect, and you won’t vibe with every person you meet. That’s okay. Once Seba learns that, he’s able to open up himself to new opportunities including the beautiful biker woman named Julieta.
It’s a real-life “missed connection,” and instead of leaving it up to fate and/or coincidence, he prints posters to find her because that’s how all great love stories start. Seba is admittedly a bit naive, but the point is, he’s relying on dated forms of connecting with someone when the world is trying so hard to usher him into this “new wave” of dating through an app.
The effort that goes into trying to locate Julieta shows that Seba is exactly the kind of guy you’re looking for when you go on a dating app. They do exist.
Again, the search for Julieta is an unexpected twist, but the series proves that there is no right or wrong formula here — anything goes in Seba’s world, and the sooner the audience accepts that, the more they will enjoy the series.
As previously mentioned, Seba has a group of friends that stand by his side no matter, and it would be unfair to only focus on him when they’re such a principal part of the series and his life.
In a sea of single folks looking for love or the occasional hook-up, Daniel (Roberto Flores) and Mafer (Lucía Gómez-Robledo) are the show’s only (and strongest) couple, proving that when you find the one, you don’t need anything else.
Gonzalo (Octavio Hinojosa)is thirsting over Fabiana (Tato Alexander), the spunkiest of the crew, and it’s evident that as she plays hard to get, eventually, she’ll give into Gonzalo’s efforts.
And then there’s Fish (Fabrizio Santini), the recently dumped (off-screen) who seems to understand the single world and his place in it way better than Seba.
Through the initial four 30-minute episodes, Seba proves that while life may not always go your way, it always happens for the right reasons. And being single is better than being with someone who lies and betrays you.
The comedy doesn’t seem to be altered to entice an American audience but seeing the successes of other Spanish-language shows, it shouldn’t matter.
Love is a universal language… but so are getting your heartbroken and swiping right.
Cómo Sobrevivir Soltero (How to Survive Being Single) debuts on June 26 on Amazon Prime.
Virgin River Review – Blown Away (2×10)
What will it take for Mel and Jack to get a moment of happiness around here?
The Virgin River Season 2 finale gave fans everything they wanted in terms of the Mel and Jack relationship before ripping it all away.
After Mel told Jack she loved him, the two decided that it was time that they pursued a relationship.
And, of course, that meant a lot happy scenes between the couple, which, in TV land can only mean one thing — something terrible is about to happen.
We were all just as naive as Jack when we thought that messing with Calvin and his business would be without real consequences.
In the final scene of the episode, Mel found Jack bleeding out behind the bar after being shot, likely by Calvin or one of his men.
While he was losing a lot of blood, I can’t imagine that the show will willingly kill off Jack-freaking-Sheridan or force Mel to deal with the death of yet another man she allowed herself to love.
But it hits too close to home, and the timing couldn’t have been worse either. Throughout most of the second season, Mel refused to pursue a relationship with Jack because she was scared of getting hurt again.And finally, when she mustered up enough courage to let those fears go and opened herself up again, pain and suffering followed! This woman will never be able to trust ever again.
Of course, this would have happened regardless of whether or not Mel got involved with Jack. And it would’ve hurt just the same because she’s always cared about him deeply.
The good things is that Mel likely found Jack in time and will be the reason he survives. She couldn’t save Mark, but maybe she’ll be able to save Jack. Jack truly is her second chance.
This begs the question whether or not Mel’s decision to pay Brady a public visit at Emerald Lumber played a role in the attack on Jack.
Obviously, we know Calvin has men everywhere, and if they suspected that Mel was there on behalf of Jack, they could have interpreted it as Jack continuing to mess with his business and come after him.
However, Mel went rogue in an attempt to ease Jack’s guilt and confronted Brady about what really happened to Spencer.
It was bit irrational of her to just waltz right in there and scream her demands, but at least she was able to confirm what I believed to be the case the whole time — Brady did not kill Spencer.
Instead, Spencer and his family made it safely out of town and he was cooperating with Mike from the LAPD to bring Calvin down. Who knew that Brady’s shady involvement would eventually be the reason that Calvin’s operation may be shut down?
What do you think? Will Jack survive? What motivated the attack?
Doc and Hope are engaged! Things ended a bit rocky between the couple in the previous episode as Hope accused him of cheating, but turns out, when you don’t jump to conclusions immediately, there are logical explanations.
Muriel helped Doc connect with a vintage jeweler in Seattle to get Hope’s engagement ring reset. As a thank you, he took her out to lunch. Easy peasy.
Once Hope realized that she’d overreacted and Doc was willing to go above and beyond to make her a happy woman for the rest of their lives, she said yes to getting re-married and they even talked about a ceremony and reception.
But again, the joy was short-lived as something is seriously wrong with Doc’s health.
He tried to tell her what it was but was interrupted by a surprise engagement party by the town, which is cute, but also frustrating for fans because it means we have to wait until season 3 to find out what it is.
Will a season 3 even happen? It has to now so that we can find out what’s ailing our good doctor and learn about Jack’s fate. And did Doc only propose cause he’s sick? Will Hope rethink the vow renewal once she learns she might have to care for Vernon?
In B-level storylines, Preacher finally learned that the man who looks just like Wes is his twin, Vince, also a detective, who is hellbent on finding Paige and making her pay for hurting his brother.
I’d say that I’m concerned with this storyline, however, the fact that Wes was revealed to be a monster makes me think that Paige now has a fighting chance of telling the truth and getting away without being unfairly punished.
After Jack denied Preacher’s request of becoming a managing partner in the bar, he decided to take the gig in San Francisco. But what does that mean for Paige? Will Preacher actually go through with it? Did seeing Christopher change his mind?
Connie’s whole spiel about Ricky and Lizzie having sex was ridiculous. She knows how “free spirited” Lizzie is and still had the nerve to blame Ricky for “deflowering” her niece. Get a grip, Connie. The fact that these two are almost 18 is even crazier.
Connie should’ve listened to Lydie, the voice of reason, who seemed to understand that times have changed and young adults are going to have sex. As long as they are being safe, that’s all that mattered.
Charmaine continued to get on everyone’s last nerve. After telling Mel that she was giving up on wanting to make a relationship with Jack work, she basically threw herself at him when he said that he was going to buy a house for the twins that was halfway between the salon and the bar.
Her attitude changed from sour to completely ecstatic, but she obviously got the wrong idea. Jack simply told her he was getting a house, not that he was getting a house for them all to live in so they could be a family.
Charmaine continues to live in a fantasy world when Jack has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to be with her romantically. She hears what she wants to hear and then blames him for leading her on.
When he shot her down for the umpteenth time, she kicked the crazy into high gear and basically told him that he wouldn’t actually be the twins’ father. In short, she’s punishing him for being honest with her.
This is obviously the worst case scenario because we know that Charmaine loves to spin a good story. If she commits to keeping Jack away from the kids, she’ll do and say anything to win custody.
I said all season long that I wasn’t a fan of Charmaine’s, but now, I’m really not a fan.
With so many cliffhangers and open-ended storylines, Netflix has to renew Virgin River for a third season! They can’t leave us hanging in the balance like they did with Jack!
What did you think of the season? Let us know in the comments.
Virgin River Review – Hazards Ahead (2×09)
The penultimate episode of Virgin River Season 2 found Jack in some hot water with Calvin.
First off, why are there so many people in the woods running around willy nilly? This should not be a normal occurrence for Virgin River.
Second off, will this Adrian guy play a bigger role or was he simply there so that Mel would find out that Jack’s been visiting Spencer? It’s unclear, and it’s one of the more infuriating things about Virgin River Season 2.
Jack eventually made it to Spencer’s trailer and realized that something terrible has happened. I still don’t know how he thought he was going to protect Spencer’s family from Calvin or why he was so surprised Calvin figured it out. He clearly underestimates him and doesn’t understand the mess he’s involved in.
And that’s even after he was knocked out and brought to Calvin’s pot farm for a little face-to-face.
Jack thinks he’s doing the right thing, but he’s outnumbered here. And if he keeps meddling in Calvin’s business, he’s going to get himself killed. At this point, he has to start thinking about his children, Charmaine, and even Mel before making these reckless decisions.
I’m still holding out hope that Brady is playing some long game to bring Calvin down. I don’t think he killed Spencer and instead, helped him get out of town. That may just be my wishful thinking, but I just don’t see him as the kind of person to kill another just because the gig guaranteed him money.
Jack needs to be better at answering his phone. I swear, Mel could’ve put herself in real danger trying to find him!
Thankfully, it didn’t come to that, and instead, she realized just how much she cares about him. Sometimes, we don’t realize how much we love someone until they’re almost taken from us. Of course, she’s already lost one man she loves, and she was letting fear get in the way of finding love again. But almost losing Jack showed her that her feelings are deep and true.
Maybe this will finally be the push that Mel needs to appreciate what she has now. After all, it helped her finally come clean about her feelings and tell Jack that she loves him!
Of course, it helped that Charmaine finally let go of the fairytale that she’s been spinning about her life with Jack. She finally realized that waiting for Jack to feel something for her would just mean that she’d be with a man who didn’t love her. No one deserves that.
They can still respect each other and be good co-parents to the twins. And without unrealistic expectations, I think it’ll allow them to have a much better relationship.
That is if Charmaine doesn’t take the kids to Portland. It’s one thing to think about your family and security, it’s another to contemplate a big move without even telling the baby daddy, who has be supportive through the whole process. It almost seemed like she was doing it out of a spite, which is not a good look.
Charmaine has to put herself first, but she also has to consider that Jack is involved in this too and has a say in what happens to his children.
And Mel made a great point — Charmaine would want to know if the roles were reversed. Keeping this from Jack isn’t fair.
Hope and Doc… I’m just out of words here.
I don’t necessarily understand why Doc met up with Muriel in Seattle. Did he really go for a medical conference? Did he simply want to have a nice lunch date while he was out there? Does he think they could be friends?
Did he not think Hope would jump to conclusions? His judgment was so very questionable here.
As was the decision to re-propose to Hope. They’ve only just begun seeing each other, despite being married for years, and it was pretty dramatic to get Hope on board with being out in the open with their relationship.
They had a massive fight about Hope’s gossip, so what made him think that plopping down on one knee — even if it was uber romantic — was a good idea?
And Hope, man, she simply cannot just have a conversation without throwing fits and accusing people. Instead of playing Doc the voicemail, why couldn’t she simply ask him why he met up with Muriel and see what he said first?
Preacher seems to have caught a lucky break in Wes’ disappearance. While they may have found the car, the Sheriff hasn’t connected Wes to Paige. And apparently, his partner flipped on him, so Wes is now being revealed for the monster that he was. Technically, this means that if they were to launch an investigation, Paige’s self-defense explanation would hold up in court.
The Sheriff said they wouldn’t be pursuing it any further because they don’t have the manpower, so again, it seemed like great news for everyone involved except for the fact that Preacher saw Wes walk into his bar! Is Preacher losing it? Does Wes have a twin? If the latter is the case, that would prove to be very messy for Preacher.
Maybe Preacher should just take the job offer in San Francisco and leave all of this behind him! Though, I still don’t trust Jamie. Why is she hanging around this small town for so long? Why is she so determined to get Preacher to leave?
And then there’s Ricky and Lizzie, who gave into temptation and enjoyed their first time together. They were being safe, which is good news, but the bad news is that they were terrible at sneaking around.
Connie came home earlier and found Ricky walking around the house in boxers. Yikes.
Virgin River Review – An Outbreak Caused by Jack’s (2×08)
Jack has beef with Calvin!
Calvin is the type of guy who doesn’t like when other people meddle in his business, but that’s never seemed to stop Jack.
He knows that if he doesn’t step up, no one will be able to stop Calvin from destroying Virgin River. He feels like it’s his duty, but the way he went about trying to get to Calvin was troublesome. Jack couldn’t guarantee Spencer’s safety, and yet, he told him that he could so that he could get information on Calvin.
How was he planning on keeping Spencer safe? At this point, Jack throws his word around without being able to back it up. He has a hero complex, which unfortunately, may have cost Spencer his life because Calvin and his men were aware that he was a “rat” amongst them. They don’t lie when they say Calvin has men everywhere.
Of course, it’s in Brady’s hands, and by the looks of that scene, it doesn’t seem like Brady will have the guts to pull the trigger.
Brady has consistently been motivated by money, and while he’s made some questionable decisions, deep down, he knows that what he’s doing is a mistake.
My guess is that since he now has a target on his back, he’s going to spare Spencer and turn to Jack for help.
Since Spencer can now testify against Calvin, it may be enough to put him away for good, but there’s also Calvin’s people that they need to worry about.
The fact that Jack’s new employee, George, was behind the outbreak shows just how much power Calvin wields. George only took the job so he could sabotage Jack’s business to send a warning about keeping his nose out of Calvin’s.
How do you think Jack will stop Calvin?
This is on top of all of Jack’s other mounting worries and anxieties, the main one being a good father to the twins and a support system to Charmaine while also following his heart.
It does seem like he’s given up on the idea of romance with Mel, and it makes sense after seeing her breakdown about Mark’s death. She’s clearly going to need some time to heal and it’s not fair to ask him to wait.
For now, his main focus is finding a family-friendly place for him and the twins to live. I’d love to see Jack with his own place. Living right above your bar is convenient, but it isn’t exactly ideal for raising children.
Of course, that’s the least of his worries as Charmaine is quite literally considering moving to Portland after the twins are born to live with her aunt. And he doesn’t even know about it yet!
I can understand where she’s coming from since she has no family in Virgin River or Clear Water, but it’s also a selfish decision. Jack has always considered Charmaine and the “family” when making decision, despite not wanting to be with her, but it doesn’t seem like she’s considered how this would affect Jack at all.
Do I smell a custody battle? Is she doing this to punish Jack for not wanting to be with her?
As I’ve said before, Charmaine’s character is so inconsistent. Even the way she was behaving while spilling the tea to Hope was so different from her attitude while she was living in her home.
Hope truly tried to avoid getting involved in the rumor mill. Despite her flaws, she’s actively trying to change and cherishes that she’s finally getting her friendship with Jack back on track and reestablishing trust.
Having Doc blame Hope for something that was totally beyond her control, and as she was telling the truth, was upsetting.
Hope needs to stop listening to the other women in town who think they have some authority over weighing in on her relationship/marriage. I can see why she wanted to keep things a secret between her and Doc since she’s unable to ignore the outside gossip and not let it affect how she thinks and acts.
Of course, Doc’s behavior is also problematic, but I think that’s part of a bigger issue that we’re going to uncover in the final two episodes of the season.
Doc’s agitation, especially towards Mel, seems to have come from nowhere. Why is he suddenly treating her the way he did when she first started? It’s a stark contrast from the support and love he showed her just a few episodes ago as she was mourning her late husband.
Hopefully, it’s nothing serious because honestly, Doc has become one of my favorite parts of the show.
Preacher and Connie are Bonnie and Clyde 2.0. She’s willing to go out on a limb for him and give him a solid alibi because she’s right, no one would ever think she’s covering for him.
However, Preacher doesn’t strike me as the kind of man who could live with the lie. The guilt is eating him up, especially now that he’s learned that they found the abandoned car in the woods.
And then there’s the surprising turn with Ricky and Lizzie’s relationship. Dare I say, it’s actually kind of sweet. She seemed to be a bad influence on Ricky, but now I think that he might turn out to have a positive affect on her as he teaches her to take things slow and maybe become a bit more serious in life.
There’s still something about her that I don’t fully trust, so I’m not letting my guard down just yet, but their no-sex date night was cute.
What did you think of the episode?
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