For those who enjoy a soap opera, Brazil is fertile ground, as the overwhelming majority of general TV channels in the country transmit, on average, four soap operas daily. Invariably, much of this material eventually goes around the world, being bought and broadcast in other countries. One of the most permeable markets for Brazilian teledramaturgy is, of course, my country, due to its cultural and linguistic proximity. I watched "Cobras e Lagartos" just for once, about two years ago when it was reprised.
This is one of the most successful cases of a Brazilian soap opera with totally comic content. Its name comes from the popular expression "speaking snakes and lizards", which means that someone is speaking ill of something or someone else. The plot is simple: Omar Pasquim is the CEO of Luxus, a department store specializing in selling high luxury items. But he knows he's dying and he's afraid his millionaire inheritance will fall into the hands of the leeches that live around him, especially his sister or his nephews. Only her niece Bel deserves the fortune, as she is the one for whom money does not matter. She was engaged to the ambitious Estêvão but she falls in love with Daniel Miranda, a poor but honest employee whom Omar decides to leave his fortune, certain of their future marriage. But, by an irony of fate, there is another Daniel Miranda working in the company: called Foguinho by all people, he's lazy and mischievous but he has a good heart and has a friendship with Omar without even knowing that the old man with whom he talks a lot was, in fact, his own boss. So the confusion is total when, in the sequence of Omar's death, Foguinho is revealed as the most unlikely of the universal heirs, to the hatred of the family of the late millionaire.
The soap opera is really funny and the plot unfolds well. Despite being clearly humorous, there are also several dramatic moments to spice things up and please other tastes. Among the various actors, I highlight the positive Francisco Cuoco, who gave life to the millionaire, Lázaro Ramos, who was excellent in the role of Foguinho and toasted the audience with his best performance to date, and Carolina Dieckmann, who was a compelling villain like Leona, one of Omar Pasquim's nieces. Equally noteworthy were the participation of Marília Pêra, Mariana Ximenes, Henri Castelli, Daniel de Oliveira and Taís Araújo.
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