Part II of The Evolution of Obsesión: A Crash Course to the Fantastic World of the Juliantina Fandom
In mid-February while the show was still airing, I wrote an article that could be construed as a love letter to Juliantina (it was), so I’m back to follow it up with another piece surrounding the fandom — which has evolved into its own little ecosystem that’s made a big impact in its short life. Although the show’s finished airing (I don’t wanna talk about it), the fandom hasn’t wavered. In fact — it’s only gaining momentum.
This new piece, to put it simply, is my love letter to the fandom. To everything we’ve done and continue to do to help the show gain visibility, work to secure a spin-off (seriously, please sign the petition!), and get every single unaired scene released — so help us God!
This article comes heavily through the lens of an English-only speaker based in the US, so apologies in advance if all the advice or video links don’t apply or work for you!
You can also scroll to the bottom of the page for a full list of links included within the article if you’re on the hunt for something specific to round out your own obsesión.
If you’re new to the fandom, check out this infographic post to give you a crash course on everything Juliantina + the overall Amar a Muerte plot.
*******SPOILERS AHEAD: PLEASE PROCEED WITH CAUTION*******
IT’S ONLY GOODBYE FOR NOW (WE HOPE)
IT HAPPENED. When the “Valdés” slipped out between Valentina’s lips as she professed her love on national television, you heard the hearts of thousands of other Julianas across Mexico breaking, mourning a loss they didn’t even know they could have considered. I was sitting on my couch in the same position as Juliana, shocked that she actually did it.+1 for gay rights and everyone falling even more in love with Valentina “I’ll fight with anyone for you” Carvajal.
The show ended successfully with neither character dying (most impressive because of the multiple kidnappings and shootouts and not the #buryyourgays trope), Valentina professed her love on television for Juliana, and the time jump shows our babies happy together, living out their fashionista dreams. I am also assuming that although Jacobo/Leon may be around, the gays have fully taken over the Carvajal mansion and are living their best lives together with many, many private swimming lessons.
Valentina and Juliana were just two girls who met at the park, their destinies intertwined and connected as surely as the stars that make up the constellations. Besides the fantastic portrayals of Valentina and Juliana by Macarena Achaga and Bárbara López, respectively, the show took us on a complex, messy, and (sometimes) frustrating journey, but that made the happy ending all the more satisfying.
As a plot device, it’s called angst — and it exists for a reason. It heightens all of your emotions so that the resolution feels more intense and gratifying — because the characters have truly struggled and grown to achieve the moment you’re watching play out before you. It’s like dumping sand into a jar filled with rocks. It pours through every little nook and cranny and makes this dense, solid feeling that becomes inescapable as you follow the characters on their journey. That thing — that weird feeling in your chest that wells up when Val and Juls are close to one another or how your stomach drops low when Valentina starts to cry again (seriously give that woman another award) — you need those feelings.
Those feelings are why this fandom is what it is. Because people felt something when they watched, and they needed to know more. Because the stories of the characters have taken up residence in our hearts, and we’re not ready to let them go yet. Bigger than themselves, Juliana and Valentina were meant to find one another, and I truly believe that worthwhile and fulfilled lives mean so much because of the struggle, not in spite of it. God, I love them. I’m going to try not to get too gooey while I write this, but this show seriously gives me all the feels.
A FANDOM’S WORK IS NEVER DONE
While the show‘s’ finished its run, things are only just beginning for the Juliantina fandom. It’s been — to put it mildly — wild. Spurred by the actresses’ (Macarena Achaga as Valentina and Bárbara López as Juliana) willingness to engage with fans, famous lesbian vloggers reacting to the storyline on their social media pages, and the actresses’ lives continuing to intersect after the show’s completion with a movie premiere as well as the TVyNovela Awards, there’s been almost no downtime — with new and extremely gif-able content emerging every day. This is great for existing fans who are having trouble (myself included) accepting the show has finished its run, but also fantastic news for people just finding the fandom now.
In the last week, three new English-language pieces from Autostraddle, and Bella Books, and Pink News, have been published about Juliantina, helping the fandom gain momentum as the audience continues to grow. It’s great, but it means there are a lot of new people, wondering how they can see what we’ve seen considering the show’s already over and isn’t readily available to stream anywhere.
I’ll get into that below, but first, I want to fangirl out about the fandom a bit more.
LESBIANS GET SH*T DONE
Just a week after Amar a Muerte ended in Mexico, the TVyNovela Awards aired. I was given a third-party link to watch the show by someone who used to stream Amar a Muerte live on Twitch but wouldn’t be doing so for the awards. It’s that kind of situation. It’s international, crosses language barriers, and most importantly, everyone helps one another out to ensure content isn’t missed and that all audiences can participate in spite of the language barrier for non-Spanish speakers. (See the list at the bottom for Twitter users happy to take all of your Spanish to English Juliantina translation requests).
Amar A Muerte broke the record for previous wins (12 by a single show), earning a staggering 14 awards with 15 overall nominations. It’s likely that pretty much everyone but the cast was very over listening to Me Muero (the Amar a Muerte theme song) on repeat the entire night as each cast member took the stage to receive their award.
Most actors have thanked the Juliantina fandom for help in securing their awards, the impact of voting on Instagram and on the TVyNovela’s website obvious when numbers were released. Over 1.5 million votes were cast on Instagram alone for Bárbara López, earning her a second (well deserved) TVyNovela award for her portrayal as Juliana Valdés.
Seriously, I just want to talk about this for a second: there was a coordinated effort, discussed across Twitter and Tumblr, with unwavering commitment until the voting closed. If you’re just joining the fandom, you may wonder why everyone already seems so close considering you’re just hearing about it now. It’s because we had goals, and we’ve been working together tirelessly to accomplish them. It. Did. Not. Quit. And you know what we have to show for that? FOURTEEN GODDAMN TVyNovela awards for a show that brought immense visibility to queer women in Mexico and across the world.
If you’re based in the US, voting hasn’t gone exactly well for us the past few years, so to see everyone work so hard and then get the end result we did, damn…it felt good.
IF YOU WANT THAT GOOD GOOD, WHERE CAN YOU GET IT?
But I know why you’re here. You want to know how to watch Juliantina with fewer interruptions than Juliana and Valentina faced every time they tried to kiss or share a moment. (GUILLE AND CHIVIS AND ALIRIO AND LUCHO AND SERGIO AND LUPITA…GO AWAY!)
If you can’t tell, I’m still not over the interruptions, especially that their day of playing house was ruined by Lucho (RIP I guess…)
Side note: I don’t know if they rushed to give Lucho a redemption story arc at the end to make the whole thing more palatable, but you aren’t going to tell my bb Valentina you’re glad her father died, cheat on her, lay hands on her, narc to her sister, stalk her phone, and continue showing up at her house and have me be okay with it. Did I miss anything? Please @ me if I did because I’m what they call on Criminal Minds an “Injustice Collector,” and I’ve been keeping score. No me gusta.
Step 1: Dropbox link with English subtitles and/or Twitter
Jael (who is my new favorite person in the world) has put together all the Juliantina scenes with English subtitles through Dropbox (you don’t need an account to view the links) up to episode 63 with future episodes coming. This is Juliantina gold. It exists on a private account, so it’s unlikely to be removed which takes the stress of trying to cobble the scenes together across multiple YouTube channels or Twitter accounts faster than they’re being blocked.
If Twitter is your thing, JuliantinaFans has a thread with all of the scenes (and there are hundreds of them) which is goddamn impressive considering I can barely reply to anything on Twitter properly most days.
Step 1.5: YouTube channels with English subtitles + alternate links
All the Lilies (with subtitles by AK) and Zeroty are the two largest channels (that I’ve found) with subtitled content for the Juliantina scenes. Unfortunately, about half of all the videos are now blocked on YouTube. For Zeroty, if you subscribe, you can click the Community tab on their profile to view the scenes via GoogleDrive. Similarly, All the Lilies has a Community tab with alternate links where the scenes have been uploaded.
Booasaur also has some great VPN tips and tricks posted on her tumblr, so check them out here if you’re still having trouble finding the content you want to watch.
Deleted scenes. Okay, this is a big one. There are specifically two deleted/cut scenes that are canon and need to be viewed. The first is an extended scene in the car together, available here. The second is an extended shower scene, available here.
Step 2: Twitter — In House Valdés, we make sh*t happen
Come for the daily hashtags, stay for the conversation. This is where in-the-moment content is evolving including hashtags for current happenings and a lot of requests to vote in online polls. They change every day due to Twitter’s algorithms, with most being set by the largest fan accounts. When the show was still live, they were typically based on what was happening with the characters in the new episodes, but now they tend to follow the actresses and support whatever interviews they have or new projects they’re working on.
Step 3: Tumblr — In House Carvajal, we process our feelings
Once you’ve watched the scenes in their entirety and have all the feels, the next step (like any good lesbian) is processing them. If you’re looking for deeply profound analysis of everything Juliantina-related you could ever imagine, the Juliantina hashtag on Tumblr is the place for you. I have read some of the most beautiful, poetic, vulnerable takes on the characters’ actions, especially regarding Juliana Valdés.
Tumblr is a crazy intersection of fanfic, gifs, subtitled content, fan-generated content (like Justqueerious’s AMAZING magazine covers), and as mentioned above, thoughtful and nuanced exploration of the characters. Seriously, the things I have learned that I missed while reading those Tumblr posts is astounding.
Step 4: Reaction Videos — Because lesbians love talking about other lesbians
Famous queer vloggers are also beginning to put out reaction videos to Juliantina, most notably, Rose & Rosie, whose video has 380k views in less than a week, and to the delight of fangirls everywhere, was already reacted to by Macarena Achaga, the actress who plays Valentina Carvajal.
Cammie Scott also just released her reaction video, which is an update since this article was originally published. It’s been up for about 4 hours as of 3/23/19 and has already amassed over 40k views. Bonus points to calling out how good their hair looks the next morning, since that’s literally the only thing that’s even slightly wrong with the sex scene. Joanna has an excellent explanation though, which is definitely canon in my mind from here on out.
Another update from the originally published article is GayWomenChannel, the great minds that brought us Almost Adults, and who boast over 425k subscribers on YouTube, released their response video after over 5k votes on Twitter in favor of making one. Looks like a lot of new fans, especially these two below:
Bonus: Where/how to watch the finale episode scenes
The last episode, broadcast as a 2-hour special and encompassing episodes 86 & 87 of the show, seems to have already been blocked on all major YouTube channels. To watch the last scenes from the finale with subtitles, you can check out unpanditaazul’s Juliantina tumblr tag. Or, as mentioned above, you can watch the scenes as part of the larger thread by JuliantinaFans on Twitter. Lastly, you can check out the “Community” tabs on the previously mentioned YouTube accounts to find alternate links.
I know, this is all crazy. I wish we could watch all the content streaming, but that’s not where we’re at people, and damn if I’m going to let that stop us.
OTHER CONTENT AND HOW TO CONSUME IT
If reading is your thing too, there’s a lot of great fanfiction popping up surrounding the characters. Some are posted on Tumblr that you’ll randomly stumble across in the Juliantina tag, but you should go to Archive of our Own directly find all the stories. You’ll get sucked in, so you’ve been forewarned.
This Lesbian Shit Is Intense released a podcast on 3/15/19 covering “the iconic TvyNovela awards, overshare about how much we love Maca and Barbara, and break down how Valentina convinces Juliana go let herself be loved in the wake of her mother’s kidnapping.” I mean, I’m sold.
While this section falls into the larger umbrella of Twitter and Tumblr content, I wanted to give it a special plug. This show is so effing gif-able it’s not even funny. There is truly a gif for every conceivable emotion, mostly because Juliana and Valentina experienced them all during the series. You can check out Margeum’s amazing gifset on Twitter, although there are a bunch of great accounts posting fantastic gifs.
Also, huge shoutout to Booasaur on Tumblr for some amazing Juliantina content that I used for this article as well as a host of other wlw fandoms!
Full Episodes with Subtitles
So you want to go there? As in, you’ve consumed all Juliantina content available on the internet and you still need something else? The transmigration, other storylines (there are other people on the show?), and lots of grown men trying to come to terms with their lives and the decisions they’ve made? I’ve got you covered for that, too! You can check out WLNEXT for fully English-subtitled episodes.
ME, JUST RAMBLING ABOUT THE AMAZING FANDOM
The part that I love most about the explosion of the Juliantina fandom is the evolution of how many other fandoms have gravitated toward Juliantina. We’re pretty much Alice Pieszecki’s The Chart at this point. We’re all connected. No (wo)man is an island. Six degrees of separation. Whatever platitude gets you going, the point is: there’s a fantastic overlap and camaraderie that’s crossing social media platforms, languages, and how we all ended up here together.
My own YouTube channel for fan videos originally happened because I wanted to make a #Wayhaught video, and it’s awesome to see so many usernames featuring #Clexa, #Supercorp, #Avalance, and a number of other zealous ships getting into the fray.
We love to love, and given the recent, unsure nature of many shows featuring wlw pairings (see: Cancellation of ODAAT and Wynonna Earp’s production issues), understandably, we’ve grown wary of investing in shows that are still newly exploring lesbian storylines.
To me, it makes so much sense as to why the fandom is picking up after the show has already ended. As the first lesbian pairing on a Las Estrellas show, people didn’t know what to expect. It’s also a show literally called Love to Death, so hopes weren’t high that both would make it out alive. We were all delightfully proven wrong and even further validated by the idea that the show happened because the two characters were destined to meet, however that needed to happen.
Maybe Death just needed to have a few people transmigrate bodies so that the lives of Valentina Carvajal and Juliana Valdés could finally intersect. Classic.
But now that we know what to expect from the writers of Amar a Muerte, we can’t help but want more.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The most pressing goal is for a spin-off for Juliana and Valentina. Although likely not as long as a full run of a telenovela (Aristemo, a gay male pairing on Mexican television, has been green lit for a 20-episode spin-off series), it’s clear there’s a significant amount of momentum behind the show, and fans are clamoring to make it happen.
Hoy (similar to The Today Show for those US-based) teased a Juliantina announcement at an unspecified time, but hopefully very, very soon.
And there’s a kiss scene out there that didn’t air. We know it exists. We want it. And we’re gonna get it.
But with that being said, the fandom is alive and well, whether it’s getting Amar a Muerte available on streaming services, advocating for a second season of the show, or getting a Juliantina spin-off, the number of shippers continues to grow along with more amazing content than I know what to do with!
Goddamn, this article was fun to write! Thanks for coming along on the adventure with me. Come talk with us on Twitter about Juliantina, or feel free to tag us if we missed any content so that we can plug it!
FULL LIST OF INCLUDED LINKS
HOW TO WATCH SCENES WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES
- Twitter thread with all subtitled scenes by JuliantinaFans
- Dropbox with English subtitles through episode 63/Translations and uploads by Jael
- Unpanditaazul’s Juliantina tumblr tag for finale scenes (eps 86 & 87)
- Extended car scene on YouTube
- Extended shower scene on YouTube
- All the Lilies Youtube Channel (All eps/scenes, some blocked). Subscribe & click “Community” tab for alternate links.
- Zeroty Youtube Channel (All eps/scenes, some blocked). Subscribe & click “Community” tab for alternate links.
- WLEXT has full episodes of Amar a Muerte with English subtitles.
- Sign the Juliantina Spin-off Petition
RECENT ARTICLES ON JULIANTINA
- Original GayBae article: “The Evolution of Obsesión: How a Mexican Telenovela is Taking Over the Lesbian World” (Published 2/13/19)
- Autostraddle article: “Amar a Muerte’s Juliantina Is Your New Favorite Queer Couple” (Published 3/13/19)
- Bella Books article: “FOR THE LOVE OF JULIANTINA: HOW “AMAR A MUERTE” GAVE FANS SOMETHING TRULY SPECIAL” (Published 3/15/19)
- Pink News article: “Amar a Muerte: Fans call for lesbian couple Juliana and Valentina spin-off” (Published 3/15/19)
- Macarena Achaga
- Bárbara López
- Juliantina tag
- JuliantinaFans account
- Petition creator’s account
- All the Lilies for updates on videos/alternate download options
- Justqueerious magazine covers
- JTranslated (for translation requests)
- Maverick for Juliantina content and translations
- AK for Juliantina content and translations
- Margeum’s amazing gifset
- JuliantinaINTL for translation requests
- Juliantina tag
- Justqueerious magazine covers
- Booasaur for awesome gifs/discussion
- Crash course in all things Juliantina + overall Amar a Muerte plot
- Juliantina fan account
- JuliantinaDaily fan account
- Rose & Rosie Reaction Video (Twitter handles also linked on names)
- Cammie Scott/Joanna Simon Reaction Video (Accounts also linked on names)
- GayWomenChannel Reaction Video (Account also linked on name)
- Juliantina Netflix Trailer (fan-made)
- GayBae’s Juliantina Fan Video channel
This Lesbian Shit Is Intense podcast
Archive of our Own fanfiction
OTHER WLW ARTICLES REFERENCED
And one last thanks to the other half of the GayBae team for not killing me while I went down this rabbit hole, and to @EricaLeeAuthor for overanalyzing the sh*it out of everything Juliantina-related with me on Twitter.