Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Importance of a Strong Love Story

I have to confess: I'm not as hooked on my telenovela as I originally imagined.

I've been trying to figure out why this is. Narconovelas in general are riveting, action-filled plots––so where is my disconnect with Pablo Escobar: El Patron de Mal coming from? All the actors and actresses are incredibly talented, and Andrés Parra is the most convincing Escobar there is––and probably ever will be. The characters are developing, the plot is thickening, yet I have to convince myself to watch.

I think it boils down to one thing: the love story. Although there's a triangle with Paty and Regina and Escobar, I think sometimes I just want a classic, rosa love story. I think it may be tied to what many of the de ruptura consumption presentations discussed: with these sorts of novelas, the audience wants a powerful love story to latch onto. The main themes of drugs, violence and corruption are key; they're also expected. I knew going into the telenovela that I would be consuming and grappling with real issues that happened to real Colombians. But to keep my interest piqued, I need the ups and downs of a telenovela love story.

Paty and Escobar go from zero to 100; we see them as kids, then they're married, then she's pregnant, then there's turmoil––but minor. I want more from Paty, and I'm hoping I will. She's shown herself as a strong woman who won't merely accept her husband's behavior. But, she's also easily fooled and tends to believe the lies Escobar tells her so quickly that the audience has little time to actually worry about their relationship.

His relationship with Regina is interesting, and I think this will prove to be a more captivating story––if only because Regina is more outspoken, bold and clever. She isn't afraid to challenge him––or any man.

Overall, I am hoping that as I continue along, I will experience more of that melodrama that I need. Perhaps it's me: I want an escape when I watch TV, and Escobar doesn't provide that relatable escape for me. Even other similar shows I've watched (where I would never want to escape to) like Lost or Breaking Bad have had one relatable element or character that keeps me engaged.

Hopefully, I will find that one aspect that even I can connect and engage with, so that I can better consume the important, real story the writers intended.

7 comments:

  1. Callie, I do not blame you at all for wanting a more central love story to consume - I don't think I could watch a telenovela without it. De ruptura novelas usually do have love stories, but in the case of Escobar, the narco theme takes precedent over romance. I believe that the conflict of interest you have had when watching the telenovela reflects the general population. There's a reason that Rosa novelas are more popular and much more often produced; the people love it!

    It's interesting how adding a love story into the plot might actually generate more interest toward the other parts of Escobar, as if telenovelas cannot succeed in the ratings without a love story. This issue that De ruptura and narconovelas struggle with is definitely something to be considered by writers and producers of telenovelas. De rupture novelas are relatively newer than Rosas, so perhaps the genre will adapt to the needs of viewers.

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  2. Same. We discussed this a bit before our Consumption Presentation. In retrospect, I think I should have considered my preferences more than just reviews and ratings. I started watching La Reina del Sur recently and I like it SO much more. In particular, I appreciate that there's equal emphasis on the love story in addition to supporting plot lines. It keeps me from getting bored.

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    1. I'm going to have to check out Reina del Sur! I like the idea of a de ruptura novela, but I think I just need that good love story to go along with it.

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  3. I have a de ruptura novela and I agree with you that the lack of a powerful love story is what sometimes made me disengage from my novela Las Aparicio. Don't get me wrong there is plenty of love triangles and love interests, but I think that because this novela isn't a traditional rosa, but has elements, I sometimes wish to see more of that rosa aspect.
    The relative newness of de rupturas and the long tradition viewing telenovelas as rosas is what conflicts viewers in what they want to get from a telenovela.

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  4. I completely agree with you all! If I remember correctly, Dr. A was talking about how her husband completely loved Avenida Brazil's last episode because it was a soccer game- something quite macho and something completely opposite of a rosa ending with the classic wedding at a catholic church. I think we are always looking for the drama of a love story to know that it will end up ok. With de ruptura plot lines, I feel like there is more of a risk that the love story we invest in won't end up ok in the end- that the couple will split or one of the lovers will die or maybe just simply the love will fade out. That small sliver of possibility that the versatility of a de ruptura can offer makes the love story less appealing and less attention-getting. I think that without a rosa theme, writes have to balance those love stories so that we totally don't lose hope in love.

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    1. That's really good insight about our desire to know the ending. I hadn't considered that! Especially because I feel like with other novelas, even though you know the ending will be good, you can't be certain how that ending will play out. With Escobar, I don't feel the pressure because I know the ending––Escobar is going down. I think I need to watch a rosa to really understand how the two interact with each other as genres.

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    2. That's really good insight about our desire to know the ending. I hadn't considered that! Especially because I feel like with other novelas, even though you know the ending will be good, you can't be certain how that ending will play out. With Escobar, I don't feel the pressure because I know the ending––Escobar is going down. I think I need to watch a rosa to really understand how the two interact with each other as genres.

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