Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Final Episode

I did it. I jumped ahead and watched the final episode of El Secretario, the telenovela I have been watching throughout the semester although I haven't quite finished the 122 episodes before the finale; I will admit it's been a struggle for me to get through my telenovela throughout the course of the semester. I intend on watching every episode, but it won't be possible to do that in the next couple days. Our class lesson on Final Episodes inspired me to jump ahead and see how my telenovela ending compared to our discussion and viewing of the final episodes of many different telenovelas.

It has always been clear, and I have pointed out before, that my telenovela is more de ruptura than it is rosa, but it definitely falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Today Dr. A told us telenovelas rosas always end with a Catholic wedding -- this is something I was not aware of, but it totally makes sense! Ever since I noticed the chemistry between Antonia and Emilio in my telenovela, I knew they were destined to get married but I had no idea it wouldn't be until the 123rd episode that this would finally happen! I can't even imagine what kind of crazy plot lines I have missed in my jump to the end, but I look forward to watching them eventually play out. I feel as though the ending wasn't a spoiler , because like I said, I always wanted them to get married and it's no surprise that they did. Even though I have technically seen the final episode, I still have no clue what I missed out on in those 50+ episodes (please don't hate me for not reaching the end, Dr. A), so I don't feel as though much has been spoiled.

Before going to Dr. A's to finish our lecture on Final Episodes, I thought the final 10 minutes with the scene of Antonia and Emilio's wedding was screaming "THIS IS NOT A TRADITIONAL TELENOVELA ENDING." However, after finishing the lesson, I realize that many de ruptura telenovela endings do not include weddings at all, so in this case, the final episode of El Secretario falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, just like I would expect. I thought it was very interesting with Dr. A told us Leonardo Padrón, a very successful telenovela writer whose works include, but are not limited to, Cosita Rica, Ciudad Bendita, La Mujer Perfecta, and La Vida Entera, does not like to marry his characters on the final episode because then you can't see how they're doing after, so he marries them 20-30 episodes before. I completely agree with this! As much as I love Emilio and Antonia getting married and living happily ever after, I really would like to know what there life is like as a cute little family with Emilio's daughter, Valentina. 

So, this finale episode fell in the middle of the rosa-de ruptura spectrum because it ended with a wedding, but there was nothing traditional about it. The wedding took place on a carnival ground -- maybe this is something I would have predicted from clues throughout the novela, but it was nothing like a classic church wedding. Antonia's dress was about as far from traditional as you can imagine -- it was tight with skinny halter straps and the front was a mini dress (and I mean "mini" in the most descriptive way possible; it was almost too short to be tasteful, but of course she looked amazing because she has a stunning figure) and then the long, thin, flowy train attached to her hips. (I know it's a bit blurry, but below is a screenshot of Antonia and Emilio dancing with some of the cast at the very end of the episode, at their wedding). Everything was very fun and beautiful and I enjoyed the episode.
I think this final episode lecture helped me realize what I find to be so fascinating about studying telenovelas, which is the fact that Dr. A teaches us about the structure and what to expect, and then in our own studies, we actually see elements of exactly what she has explained! I know that sounds so obvious and basic, but I have never had the opportunity to study something like a television genre such as telenovelas. Studying film is somewhat similar, but there are so many different genres of film, so this class was definitely more specialized. I think this class has taught me so much about how telenovelas impact and reflect culture and society and I look forward to watching more telenovelas over time. Dr. A told us that "you can't understand telenovelas if you don't acknowledge that emotions are involved," and I agree that this is vital for our studies and this perspective helps me understand the true essence of telenovelas.

3 comments:

  1. What an interesting combination of traditional and de ruptura aspects! I loved seeing all of the different ways that Leonardo used to change up the endings of his novelas at Dr. A's house the other day and I love that you described the ending of your telenovela here. I think you're right in saying that it's definitely the middle of the road. I think that, like many other telenovelas we have studied, this scene does a good job of holding on to the things that traditional viewers of telenovelas love, like the final scene wedding, while also modernizing the circumstances by having it in a carnival setting with a non-traditional dress.

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  2. I completely agree with you about Leonardo Padrón's method! We see time and time again where movies and TV shows end with weddings, even in the U.S. and we feel satisfied that they're together––but really, how do we know what happens to them? I love that he ended his novelas in such unique ways, breaking or blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

    I also agree with you about analyzing television in this way. It's so clear to me now that every genre has a model, though there are obviously also some variations. Yet, I have never really looked into all the different aspects––I just took them at face value. I think it's so interesting the way you were able to analyze where your telenovela fell on the spectrum!

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  3. I completely agree with you about Leonardo Padrón's method! We see time and time again where movies and TV shows end with weddings, even in the U.S. and we feel satisfied that they're together––but really, how do we know what happens to them? I love that he ended his novelas in such unique ways, breaking or blurring the lines between reality and fiction.

    I also agree with you about analyzing television in this way. It's so clear to me now that every genre has a model, though there are obviously also some variations. Yet, I have never really looked into all the different aspects––I just took them at face value. I think it's so interesting the way you were able to analyze where your telenovela fell on the spectrum!

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