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.