• Television Cuéntame's latest "miracle": "What this series has done is tremendous"

Tonight Tell Me How It Happened will say goodbye forever. The longest-running series in the history of television in Spain and the sixth in the world is leaving with a bang: 420 episodes, 23 seasons and 22 years on the air. More than two decades telling the story of Spain, but also the story of each one, the story of every family, of every father, of every grandfather, of every child. Cuéntame is the misunderstood daughter, the son who leaves home, the grandmother who sacrifices herself for her family until the end of her days, the parents who with a lot of effort manage to move forward... It's us.

During all this time, each episode of Cuéntame and each season has told key moments of the last 40 years of our country, but also suffering, effort, joys and sorrows that were and are lived in many homes. That has been the key to his success, according to members of his team. Each chapter was a tribute, an audiovisual newspaper library, a history book turned into a series. Dozens of actors, directors, screenwriters, documentary filmmakers have passed through it... A mammoth team that has always had to work like the machinery of a Swiss watch. Reliving the past and present is never easy.

Tell me how it happened became our The Sound of Music: the team behaved like another family and that's what had to be transferred to the other side of the screen. And what less than to say goodbye to the series that has marked three generations by giving voice to that family that was always behind it.

Choosing from more than 400 chapters which would be the episode without which Cuéntame would not have been the Cuéntame that accompanied us for 22 years is an almost impossible task. However, five members of the series have taken a risk and have chosen the chapter that for them is "essential" in the long history of this fiction.

Jacobo Delgado, Writer Coordinator for Season 23: Episode 60, Hitting Bottom

Jacobo Delgado, the show's longtime writer and writers' coordinator for the last season, would choose the most obvious ones: the first or the last. However, we pressed him to rummage through his memory and his heart and it took him two minutes to come up with a name: Hitting Bottom, the 60th episode of the series.

It was season 3 of Tell Me How It Happened. Jorge Lastra (Pepe Martín), Don Pablo's partner (Pepe Sancho), and the construction company's money still don't appear, much to the despair of Antonio (Imanol Arias) who doesn't understand how it is possible for Don Pablo to simply trust in waiting for his partner to show up. What Antonio still doesn't know exactly is the responsibility he has to assume after the disappearance of the money. Mercedes (Ana Duato) drops everything to help her husband and, as always, hides what is happening to her children in order to protect them.

Directed by Patrick Buckley, this episode is the most watched in the history of Cuéntame: a 51% share of the screen and more than 7 million viewers. For Delgado this is important, obviously, but what has led him to choose this one over another is that this chapter "has it all."

"On the one hand, it has the resolution of the plot that we dragged along for dozens of chapters of the rise and fall of Antonio, who went from orderly in the Ministry to managing director of a construction company in a very short time by the hand of Don Pablo. On the other hand, because it tells very well the corruption linked to the construction so typical of the Dictatorship and that continues to this day. And, thirdly, because it tells us about a family, the Alcántaras, who leave everything to help one of their members. In short, it's a chapter that has it all: dreams, picaresque and family that is one hundred percent Spanish," he explains.

Antonio Cano, director of Cuéntame: Chapter 401, Wild Daisies

Wild Daisies was the last recorded episode of the so-called "specials", those that departed from the main plot and the season in which they were broadcast. It was in season 22 and is for Antonio Cano, one of the directors of the series, the "essential". Of course, he confesses that "saying or highlighting" only one chapter out of many is "very difficult" for him: "It's like when they ask you which child you love the most. You can't answer because, even though they are very different from each other, you love them all equally. The same thing happens to me with the chapters of Cuéntame." For Cano, each chapter of Cuéntame "is an act of love."

When you ask him, many come to mind: Summer Vacation, Living, Martini with Vodka, Easter, which "we joined two chapters into one and it became an extraordinary film", First Evenings with Teresa, nominated for an Emmy, or Next stop in Perpignan, "which I am very fond of because they gave me the award for best director at the Seoul International Film Festival".

We force you to stick with one. He thinks about it. Doubt. And he answers: Wild daisies. In it. the appearance of some bones in a ditch in Sagrillas makes Herminia relive an episode of her life that she has had buried for years. A story that speaks of loyalty and betrayal, of memory and oblivion, but also of life and death. The remains found belong to Dr. Moreno, a former doctor from Sagrillas to whom Herminia (María Galiana) is eternally grateful. It was the first chapter in which Cuéntame made us believe that Herminia was leaving. But Herminia didn't leave, "Herminia clung to life." "It has all the ingredients that have made our series so special," Cano concludes.

Elena Rivera, Karina in the series: Chapter 348, Looking for

Ricardo Gómez and Elena Rivera, in the episode Buscando of Cuéntame.RTVE

Eres tú by Mocedades was playing and Carlos was reunited with Karina and her daughter on the other side of the Atlantic, in New York. It was the end of Ricardo Gómez and Elena Rivera in the series. It was the end of Carlos and Karina. For this reason and for all that it meant, the actress who for 14 years gave life to Karina, Carlitos' girlfriend, considers Buscando to be her chapter.

"I've lived many unique and magical moments in Cuéntame, but I'll stick with the episode in which Ricardo and I left the series," he says. Episode 348 of Cuéntame was the last episode of season 19 and marked the beginning of a new stage, not only for the two actors, but also for the series.

"For me it was like an early end to the series and for a lot of viewers as well," Rivera explains. "I think that's where the series started."

Elena Rivera only has words of gratitude for Cuéntame, "a series that transcends television", "a cultural phenomenon" that no matter how many years pass "it will continue to be a reference of our time".

In this episode "a stage of the most important television series in Spain came to an end". "It meant a lot to me, especially on a personal level, because I felt like I was going on the same journey as Karina," she adds. Karina and Carlos "took a chance" and "well, as an actress, I also took a chance and I didn't know what the future was going to hold for me". "Just remembering it makes me emotional," he confesses.

Carla Orete, Head of Makeup and Hairdressing. Chapter 232, Living

Vivir will go down in the history of Cuéntame as one of the hardest chapters in the 22 years of the series and it is no coincidence. It is the episode in which the series wants to show the harshness of breast cancer, those who suffer from it and those around them. And that's why, "because it deals with a universal issue that affects all types of women", it is the "essential" episode for Carla Orete, the head of makeup and hairstyling of the series for these 22 years.

The Alcántara family decides to spend a few days in Sagrillas so that Mercedes can rest and recover. Miguel (Juan Echanove) and Paquita (Ana Arias) are waiting for them there, who give them a hand with the house and food. The whole town is watching Mercedes' condition, something she doesn't like because they don't stop treating her like a sick person. A cold complicates her health and Antonio, who never leaves her side, tries by all means to find a solution for his wife to get better.

For Orete, that episode caused "a very special atmosphere during the filming in Sagrillas" on the part of the entire team. It was the thirteenth season of Cuéntame and, although the team was already a family after so many years, that filming, that script, that interpretation of Ana Duato, the meaning, what had to be conveyed with it, was a before and after.

Irene Visedo, Inés in the series. Chapter 346, Castaways in a Swimming Pool

In San Gennaro, several high school kids are organizing illegal races. Bruno (Óscar Casas) is present in one of them that doesn't end well. The car collides with another car that is going in the opposite direction and which, unfortunately, is driven by Carlos (Ricardo Gómez) with Karina (Elena Rivera) as co-pilot. In the aftermath of the accident, Mercedes and Antonio begin to suspect that something is wrong with Carlos.

Irene Visedo (Inés Alcántara) chooses, like Jacobo Delgado, a chapter in which it is once again shown how the Alcántaras abandon everything to support one of their own. The family is not living its best moments, but they all put aside their differences to unite in one of the most delicate moments of the Alcántaras.

But that's not all. This episode is where Carlos' cocaine addiction explodes and is loaded with mythical scenes from the series. The first of them, that of Karina and Carlos in the car minutes before the accident, and in which Karina tells Carlos that she has told her father what is happening to him with cocaine. But, above all, the choice of this episode is due to the final scene: the conversation between Antonio and Carlos in the hospital and the end of the episode with Carlos and Antonio in the planetarium watching the Milky Way while Ship to Venus by Mecano plays in the background.

While Carlos talks to his sister Maria on the phone, Antonio rolls up a 1,000 peseta bill and snorts a line of cocaine. "Son, I'm trying to understand you. What's good for you will be good for me, I say." Carlos first panics and then takes all his anger out on his father. "Be ashamed of what? What do you put all your paycheck up your nose about?" The scene is, once again, key to understanding the sacrifices and sufferings of a family at a time when cocaine was beginning to destroy many lives. And, above all, to show "the omnipresent role" of Antonio "as a father".

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