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Was ‘Carita de Angel’ The Most Bonkers Telenovela Ever?

Let’s face it. There is some weird stuff on the Spanish channels. Old men dressed like children, 5-hour blocks of variety show weirdness, and novelas about pirates are all par for the course. In our opinion, however, the creepiest show we’ve ever seen is the children’s telenovela Carita de Angel.

Why did this weird us out? Let us refresh your memory. This trippy show centered around a little girl named Dulce Maria who lived with her widower father. Her mom, despite having died while giving birth to the titular character, regularly made appearances and just hung out. There are only three ways to look at this: a) This child was regularly snuggling with a corpse, b) She kept seeing ghosts, or c) She was schizophrenic. Either way it’s not good.

It gets better/worse. Dulce attended an all-girls school run by nuns. Early on in the telenovela, she sets out to get her favorite nun, Cecilia, together with her dad. We guess no one told this precocious scamp about the whole chastity thing. The rules of the church be damned! A tiny necromancer in a pink beret has willed it so!

But wait! There’s more! In between the dead mom and the fallen nun, Dulce Maria had her aunt Tia Peluca to take care of her. She is called Tia Peluca because she wore several colored wigs that matched her monochromatic outfits. Oh, and Dulce Maria’s dog could talk. The best we can tell, they locked 5 novela writers in a Gymboree with only a bag of psychedelic mushrooms and a case of bathtub gin for food. It’s the only logical explanation.

Carita de Angel was hugely popular when it was first broadcast on Televisa in 2000. It was equally well received in the US the following year, quickly becoming a cult classic. Hispanic drag queens were soon adopting the Tia Peluca look. This author and his then girlfriend dressed up as Dulce Maria and Tia Peluca for Halloween. It is a strange show, for sure, but a fun one.

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