Choosing the telenovela that I wanted to independently view and analyze for our course was not a task I found easy. Before our class, my knowledge on telenovelas was slim to none. I have always been proud of my love for the Spanish language and culture, but find it disappointing that all of my studies up until this point in my academic career have been telenovela-free. I am the typical girly-girl. So naturally, when thinking about my choice, I was infatuated with the idea of romantic elements being tied together with a "great love story." I wanted to have the opportunity to witness my greatest love fantasy play out on screen. With this in mind, I figured that the traditional telenovela rosa would be the best choice for me. However, to my surprise, after researching different telenovelas of interest, I became hooked on La Reina del Sur.
La Reina del Sur does not contain the classic love story that most telenovelas encompass. Instead, it obtains various small-scale love stories that are surrounded by dramatic scenes of action, violence, lust, and suspense. Although these elements are not ones that I am usually drawn to, el planteamiento, or the setup of the telenovela in the beginning episodes, is what most attracted me to the story of protagonist Teresa Mendoza.
As a viewer, it is difficult to understand Teresa's character in the beginning episodes. Her personality, grouped with her thoughts and feelings, can only be inferred by the frequent flashbacks that attempt to "catch up" the viewer. The opening scene sets the dramatic and quick pace that is continued and stretched into the following telenovela episodes. All typical components in el planteamiento are present, but are exaggerated in their display, such as the introduction of major characters and major plot conflicts. As a viewer, this technique allowed me to have a "first-person view" of the side plots that work together to create the larger, overarching plot of the story. This radical production decision by Telemundo is what hooked me and left me wanting more as a viewer.
Experiencing La Reina del Sur in this light allowed me to realize just how important el planteamiento of a story can be. On its face, the type of story, classified as a narconovela, did not appeal to my preconceived perceptions of where my telenovela interests lied. Nonetheless, after watching the first few episodes, I realized that what really interested me was not what was displayed in a telenovela, but how it was displayed. The development of Teresa Mendoza's story is what peaked my enthusiasm about her story. Without el planteamiento of La Reina del Sur, I would still be searching for the "perfect love story."
Estoy contenta con mi elección de telenovela y me siento muy emocionada de ver lo que sucede a continuación en la vida de Teresa Mendoza. Estoy disfrutando este clase hasta el momento y estoy deseando que llegue el resto del semestre.