Saturday, November 28, 2015

El Patron del Mal to La Reina del Sur

Several weeks ago, I began watching La Reina del Sur. I was initially hesitant to taking up another narconovela after becoming thoroughly disengaged with El Patron del Mal, however much to my surprise, this telenovela has captured and maintained my attention with no problem.

I have several theories as to why this is, but I think it is mostly owed to the strong female roles in La Reina del Sur versus the largely male-dominated El Patron del Mal. Sure, there are female characters in El Patron del Mal, but they lack the fervor of Kate del Castillo's Teresa Mendoza. It was honestly refreshing to go from the patriarchal Pablo Escobar to La Reina del Sur's awe-inspiring female lead. However, I realize that El Patron del Mal couldn't take the liberties of incorporating a more female-heavy cast into the series in an effort to reflect accurate depictions of history.

While both telenovelas deal with a topic of particular controversy, La Reina del Sur has much more emphasis on human emotion and does a noticeably better job of character development than El Patron del Mal. Additionally, the adventurous nature of La Reina del Sur and Mendoza's ongoing travel has encouraged me to consider the telenovela industry from a more global perspective, which I found previously difficult to fathom.

I initially began watching El Patron del Mal after reading the telenovela's rave reviews without taking into consideration my own personal preferences. This was definitely a mistake on my part. While I was able to appreciate the telenovela's high production value and acting performances, El Patron del Mal ultimately left me unsatisfied. My inability to relate on any level to the characters portrayed in the telenovela also contributed to my disengagement. Apart from lacking a female protagonist, the angle in which the story was being presented felt specifically tailored to Latin American audiences unlike Netflix's Narcos, which savors greatly of western perception.

Of course, this is just my personal opinion as I'm sure El Patron del Mal is a favorite amongst many. Moving forward, it's safe to say I know what to look for in telenovelas and will do my best to tune out outside reception and listen to my intuition.


  1. A lot of factors go into what makes a certain person like a t.v. show. However, I do think the (probably) most important aspect is if it is relatable or not. I think that you are right in saying that because your telenovela was not relatable, you lost interest rather quickly. My telenovela, Rubí, is not relatable to my life, but it has a lot of intriguing plot twists, which keep my interest. I think a lot also has to do with the main characters and their gender, like you said. My telenovela has a lot of strong female characters. If it was just a telenovela with equally intriguing plot twists but had males as the majority of the characters, I would not be as interested in my telenovela.

  2. Angela - I think it is funny you wrote about this topic because I am watching La Reina del Sur and have thought about starting El Patron del Mal. I got sucked into watching Narcos with my roommates and ended up loving it. However, I know I need to watch the true Latin American version of this historic story rather than the Americanized story. Also, after one of the consumption presentations in class I learned there are many benefits to watching El Patron del Mal over Narcos.

    With that being said, I am curious if I should start this new narconovela after your above discussion. I am worried that I will compare El Patron del Mal to La Reina del Sur and will continue to stay attached to my beloved Teresa Mendoza. I have become so attached to Kate del Castillo in real life as well as in the telenovela and I don't know if I could switch so easily to watching a major male-lead as you have said. I love watching the feisty Teresa Mendoza and I love watching how powerful this leading woman can be.

    In addition, I agree with you that personal preference and intuition is very important when deciding on a telenovela or any television program in general. I was about to watch El Patron del Mal because of all of the great reviews I read on Netflix but chose La Reina del Sur because of some of the great love stories I read about that would be in the show. Personally, I love the love scenes and need the "chick-flick" / romantic scenes that occur in La Reina del Sur. Have you gotten to the relationship of Teresa and Santiago yet? Their time together is the best! :)