Monday, November 30, 2015

Telenovelas Bonding the World

A whole semester has gone by, and I know have a solid understanding of what telenovelas are all about. I thought I was losing interest in my telenovela and thought it couldn’t possibly get any better, but I was wrong. With a lot of it left to watch, Rubí continues to impress me, adding more and more plot twists with each episode. However, now is the time to start thinking about what I’m supposed to write about in my final paper. I can’t keep using Rubí as a distraction from work as finals are quickly arriving. But, what do I write about? Culture and telenovelas? World history and telenovelas? Production with telenovelas?

Throughout learning all there is to know about telenovelas, I have come to realize a trend. No matter what aspect of telenovelas is being talked about, each aspect brings people together. It’s more than just regional culture but world culture too. Although there are many types of telenovelas, every one brings different demographics together. There are family-friendly telenovelas, comedic telenovelas, dramatic telenovelas, and many more categories. All of these different categories bring different people together. The family-friendly ones bring families together and allow them to have something to bond over and watch together. The dramatic ones present issues that may hit close to home for some people, which also brings people together through tragedy and struggles.

On the other hand, there is also a cultural bonding aspect of telenovelas. Throughout the world, everyone is watching their own country’s telenovelas as well as other countries. Through those telenovelas, we learn about other people’s cultures and learn to relate to different culture’s norms and problems. A Mexican watching a Venezuelan telenovela might not have known about their country’s problems until watching a telenovela about political issues. As well as this affecting Latin Americans, it also affects Americans. Just by the fact that this telenovela class is taught at a public, American university proves that other cultures matter and that it is important to learn about them. Learning about other cultures provides perspective and appreciation for the world around you.

With all of this being said, telenovelas are not just about entertainment or a good way to learn Spanish. They are about bringing people together across the world.

But how does this relate to what I’m going to write about in my paper? Maybe it has to do with everything, and maybe nothing. I would like to incorporate this concept into my final paper, whether it is all about telenovelas bringing people together through culture or just has a little that incorporates this aspect. I guess only time will tell!

The semester has flown by. I started this class thinking I wouldn’t really learn anything, and the class would just consist of watching telenovelas.  However, a semester later and over 70 episodes in, I can confidently say telenovelas are more than I thought. They are more than a bunch of bad actresses speaking Spanish too quickly to understand and being overly dramatic. It’s a culture that I now understand after taking this class. I am more than happy that I chose to take this class despite my preconceived notions.


  1. Taylor, insightful post! I enjoyed reading how the class has affected you and changed your preconceived notions of telenovelas. I am really involved on campus with international students and am interning with International Student Life, and through those experiences and conversations I've had with people from other cultures, I have gained so much and truly broadened my limited perspective. Being globally-minded is crucial in being culturally aware and sensitive to those who are different from us, so I definitely agree that telenovelas providing that bond and connection is a very positive result of their production. And telenovelas have given me a new way to relate to others! As we've seen, they are popular in countries all over the world. I went to a Thanksgiving dinner for international students before break, and I met a student from Brazil and got to ask him a little bit about telenovelas and "Avenida Brasil". It's fascinating what we can learn when we're open-minded and approach people humbly.

  2. Bringing people together is one of the best things an industry can do! telenovelas are a source of community, whether that community is people gathering to watch a telenovela together or it is an online community discussing the telenovelas plot and implications. The globalization of telenovelas is not a well-publicized fact in US culture and for me it is a particularly interesting topic.Telenovelas existence throughout society's development and its portrayal of life in a certain country is representative of a combination of ideas. First you have the main writer and the script writers, what they think will best represent their idea in words. Then you have the executives idea of how a particular representation will bring in revenue and success. Additionally, directors, costume designers, casting directors, all give their own insights into the best possible representation of a telenovela. In just the production, a variety of communities come together to put a telenovela together, which in turn brings viewers together.