Thursday, September 24, 2015

Social Commentary of Las Aparicios

As we have learned, telenovelas service a much greater purpose than just giving us an epic love story to follow.

As we know the best example of a telenovela making a social commentary is Leonardo Padron's Cosita Rica. The writer was able to comment on the political and social climate of the entire nation through the characters of Cosita Rica; from Patria Mia to Olegario. Olegario was written to directly imitate Hugo Chavez. Although never specifically said Olegario did a lot of the things Chavez liked to do. This satirical character based on the president settled well with some while others refused to believe that Olegario was Chavez.

Either way, Padron was able to get to the Venezuelan people through the use of his characters. What I have noticed as I watch more and more of Las Aparicios is that the women take on roles that serve to comment on a social issue. For example, Mercedes, the most recent sister to become a widow, has decided to take on a transgendered client even if that means she could loose everything. The way that the writer wrote it to show that transgenders have to go through a lot just to have a family, and through what Mercedes says is her reason behind helping her client despite the threat of loosing everything is that "Everyone deserves to have a family," Through this character we are able to see the stereotypes and also to see those stereotypes broken. In one scene, the transgender's wife comes to see Mercedes because she doesn't want her to be around her son because she might sexual abuse the child to which Mercedes responds that "Most sexual abuses are not committed by homosexuals and transgender people but by ordinary people". The writes wrote in such an exhausted notion of transgendered people being sexual deviants because society still views them in that light.

As I watch more and more of this telenovela I see more and more as a satirical novela. Sometimes the women are completely independent and sometimes they are made to rely on the help of a man, but I think that this is satirical because in the end the women really do not need a mans help. Another thing that I found interesting is how sexually liberal all the women are, except for the teenage daughter Isadora who wants to go back to "traditional" values. Isadora is mocked by the women in her family because she wants 'tradition'. I think this is a commentary as how there really aren't anymore 'traditonal' values anymore, especially among younger people in this day and age.

Another thing that always makes me laugh is that the novela centers on the power that a women can yield and that the Aparicios "no necesitan de hombres pero los tienen porque pueden" and girl power here and girl power everywhere etc etc etc. The opening credits juxapose that because they are a "Guide to the perfect wife: 11 rules to keep your husband happy" below is the opening credits and I think it is a smart choice because these were probably what would have been put in a 50s good house wife magazine.

https://vimeo.com/15613574

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