But this isn’t goodbye!! Only a bid “farewell”!! *read in dramatic voice and visualize right hand on my heart and left hand is reaching out into the far distance*
That was my attempt at “dramatic” in honor of the drama-filled semester we had! And WOW what a semester it was! It flew by, but I learned SO much about something that has been so prevalent in my life, for my ENTIRE life…
I grew up with my parents watching telenovelas. Actually some background on this- sometimes they would leave work early to come finish their episode, othertimes I have been SHUSHED and repeatedly told to leave the room in the most hostile way to finish their novela! It is really quite comical, especially considering the fact that my DAD is the one doing these things!! (My mom is very good at 1-multitasking and 2-tuning anything/anyone out). Sadly, I never cared for watching them… even the summers I spent at my grandparents house in Colombia where the ONLY thing we would do past 8pm was watch their novelas- I would simply go to sleep on their couch.
Choosing to take this class was a really a way for me to get in touch with my hispanic side, as I have been feeling lately, that at this stage in my life I don’t have much of that! Of course I have family friends of my parents, and we speak Spanish at home, and my family will visit us, or we will visit them in Colombia, but sadly I felt like I was missing something.
I am SO thankful I took this class! Because of this class I was able to fill part of a huge void I was feeling… maybe my “void” was a delayed reaction to moving to this country 15 years ago? Whatever it could be, I felt a sense of belonging while taking this class. Although ironically I chose a brazilian novela and watched it dubbed in Spanish, I felt at home with it! I think that’s one of the things that so many people say they love about telenovelas- they are “real”, they make people feel like they belong because the novela covers their specific situation. When watching clips of other novelas, I kept thinking “oh that’s something we do at home,” or “that’s exactly what my grandma’s house looks like”! (Haven’t you ever noticed latino’s like to decorate their houses with glass things and a lot of patterns and color?)
Anyway, I must sadly report that Avenida Brasil BORED me… I also must admit that I have not even finished it! I think it was difficult for me to get into it, maybe because it wasn’t what I excepted…. Unlike American shows, the plot takes a lot longer to get to- also: no it doesn’t. As someone that is accustomed to American television, I THOUGHT it took forever to reach the main plot, but I was wrong. As we learned in our class with Dr. A, as well as skyping with actors and writers and literally everyone because Dr. A has ALL the connections in the world- I remembered telenovals are all about juicy plots and subplots and crazy things are happening in EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. My fault was that I KNEW Nina and Jorgito were getting married sometime towards the end, so the ENTIRE time, I waited and waited for that.. and got bored and ANNOYED that it was taking so long to get there!
I was so wrong in doing this because it did not let me fully enjoy what Avenida Brasil had to offer… It obviously was so successful in Brasil, and it did well for SOME reason! So I thought I was crazy for not really liking it all that much… I just think if it wasn’t for class, and Dr. A guiding us through the world of telenovelas, I would’ve never learned to appreciate the small stuff, and to truly learn how to watch a telenovela and get the most out of it! I feel like now whatever novela I watch (which I had an ongoing list throughout the semester of novelas I wanted to watch based on clips from class).
I will be picking at everything they do! Checking for consistency in wardrobe and nail color polish, as well as the accents, who was casted with who, the looks, the production value, the writers, the network, and most importantly- the REAL stories they are telling, engaging a world wide audience and capturing the hearts of everyone. Like Dr. A always mentions, that NO ONE is exempt from telenovelas. Everyone manages to fall in love!