Thursday, December 3, 2015

La caída de Escobar- O Todo Cambio

Todas las cosas buenas deben terminar.

Por Escobar no fue la excepción. Su caída fue largo y prolongada, pero ya viene. Cuando trabajas con  cientos de compañeros, hay otros quien estan listo a reportar sus marchas malas. En las ultimas episodios, una nueva trabajador por Escobar cumple con policía, y ya viene para salvar los periodistas que son los rehenes de Escobar.

Este fue el comienzo de la caída de Pablo Escoba. Y miramos entre su caracter y su personaje, los resultos del tiempo y el estrés de ser narcotraficante. Por que a pesar de sus regalos a Medellín y el resto de Colombia, a pesar de su trabajo como filántropo, el peso de sus crímenes estaba en su espalda. Ya viene el gobierno y la policia. Ya habla contra el narcotrafico los ciudadanos y otros politicos. Ya llega los Estados Unidos. Todo por Pablo Escobar y parar sus traficos.

Todas las cosas buenes deben llegar a un final. Y este telenovela cambia mucha. Por Colombia, por la historia de Pablo Escobar, por la industria y la conciencia de la industria entre Colombia, y por mi, todo cambio.

Entiendo la historia de Pablo Escobar. Entiendo las peñas de Colombia. Entiendo los partes diferented sobres este series y este telenovela de Colombia. Me alegria que entiendo un parte de la cultura que describe la vida Colombiana.

El Patrón Del Mal fue una experiencia perfecta del consumo. No veo mucho la televisión en mi vida, pero la industria muestra mucha que la clase no puede comunicar, como la vida cotidiana, los cárceles, escuela y el valor del dinero. Pues este forma de consumar televisión tiene lo mas beneficios.

Tengo confianza que con telenovelas podemos entender la cultura y el ambiente tráves de oceanos. Espero que cuando visitar é otros países latinoamericanos, puedo usar mi conocimiento de telenovelas a entender mas sobre comunidades y culturas diferentes.

Creo que la simple verdad de la historia de Pablo Escobar es que la realidad de comprensión de las diferentes culturas es muy claro; ¡Se necesitarían millones de episodios a comprender la vida de alguien!


Ahora me encantan las telenovelas


Este semestre ha sido increíble! He aprendido mucho sobre la cultura hispana y, por supuesto, las telenovelas. Antes de esta clase sólo sabía los estereotipos que rodean a las telenovelas. Pensé que eran una forma más dramática de los opers jabón estadounidenses, que ya es bastante dramática. Pronto aprendí que yo estaba equivocado. Esta clase me enseñó eso! He llegado a comprender el complejo trabajo que va a crear una telenovela exitosa y valoro el duro trabajo del escritor, productor, actor y todo el mundo pone involucrados demás en el espectáculo cada día. Yo estaba muy interesado en ver la conexión que las telenovelas tienen a la cultura latinoamericana. No puedo pensar en un solo género televisivo o espectáculo que cautiva la gente como telenovelas hacen todos los días. Esto es un testimonio del poder cultural y la potencia de las telenovelas. La telenovela incorpora aspectos del estilo de vida de cada espectador, sino que también proporciona un escape de la realidad. Esto es especialmente importante en países como Brasil, donde el nivel de vida es muy pobre y la mayoría de las personas viven en favelas o barrios marginales. La oportunidad de escapar de la dura vida que llevan todos los días durante al menos una hora cada día es precioso. Esto le da a las telenovelas mucho poder para influir en la opinión pública. En el transcurso de este semestre hemos aprendido del comentario social que una gran cantidad de telenovelas ofrecen a los espectadores. Disfruté cuando el escritor se dio cuenta con el apoyo de su argumento estaba reuniendo y lo utilizó para hacer un cambio positivo en el mundo. Un ejemplo fue "Mujer Perfecta".  Mónica Spears es la personaje,  Michaela y tenía asbergers y los escritores utilizó su historia como una plataforma para construir conciencia asbergers en Venezuela. Este fue un maravilloso ejemplo la creación de un verdadero movimiento de la vida de una historia de ficción.



Sobre todo he disfrutado inmensamente esta clase y sin duda en busca de alguna más telenovelas en el futuro!

Final Fates of the Villains

First off, muchas gracias a Dr. A for teaching such an interesting and informative course! It's really a shame that it is only taught once every two years. I learned so much about culture, production, and how lucky I am live in this country. Thank you!

After viewing the final episode of my telenovela, Juana La Virgen, I was appalled at how extremely the circumstances of the villains changed. In addition, the two main villains were dealt with completely differently. For Carlota, even after attempting to kidnap the protagonists' baby, she was able to undergo some personal changes and stop her selfish, obsessive behavior. Her transformation into a forgiving, understanding woman happened practically overnight. I actually felt a little happy for her despite her dark past - after all, her actions were simply fueled by jealousy and insecurity, which she was able to ultimately overcome.

Carlota's father Rogelio, on the other hand, paid for his bad deeds. The voice of his dead victim haunted him as he wallowed in a crowded, unsanitary jail cell. And you know what, I don't feel bad for him at all. He essentially killed several people, whether directly or by accomplice. Rogelio instigated Carlota's demonic behavior and he never showed regret for what he did to gain power.

This telenovela's termination had the best of both worlds in the end: we got to see Carlota forgive and be forgiven, yet her father took the heat so that viewers' sense of vengeance and karma could be satiated. I loved the ending of the novela and can't wait to start watching the spin-off, Jane the Virgin.

El Final

Like Jessie, I couldn't wait. After hearing about all the elements that can go into a finale, I felt like I was ready to watch the finale of La Usurpadora. I haven't made it through all 101 of the previous episodes, but I've actually grown more and more invested in the show as the semester has gone on. I've stopped rolling my eyes and pretending I don't love the dramatic music and the melodrama and all the yelling (so much yelling ...) and embraced the rosa nature of this show. As invested as I am, though, I thought I might have an idea how the finale would go and I wanted to see if I was right. Besides, as Dr. A told us once, sometimes the fun isn't in finding out what happens, it's in seeing how they get there. With finals coming up, and after our discussion the other night, I wasn't sure I could wait to see that.

So. Every telenovela rosa ends with a Catholic wedding, huh? Well ...

Okay, fair enough.
But let me rewind a little. So, I thought I knew what was coming. Paola, the evil twin, would get her comeuppance, maybe die a dramatic death. Somehow, some way, Paulina and Carlos Daniel would be together and have a beautiful wedding (none of that Padrón business of dealing with the couple post-wedding), and they would become the perfect family. And I've known since probably the second episode that Fidelina is Estefanía's mother, so obviously that needed to come out. As for the rest? The slimy Willy had always given me my doubts, but I thought maybe Paulina had managed to fix him and Estefanía for good. After all, babies fix everything, right?

Oh, if only. 

So maybe I should have seen this coming. When you're married to this ...


... you generally don't escape unscathed.

Poor Estefanía.
As it turns out, Willie tried to burn down the factory, and that was the last straw for Estefanía. She has a fit, and the other characters determine that she has gone crazy. As in, this appears to be the official diagnosis: "ella ha perdido la razón." Because, as it turns out, I underestimated the power of karma. As the other Brachos realize, she is being punished for her arrogance. Willie, of course, is punished for being a giant slimeball.

But it doesn't stop there. It only gets more rosa from here on out, so hold on. The karma is almost too strong.

The evil twin dies. But on her deathbed, with her last breath, she wishes her sister happiness with her husband. A redemption? Maybe, but more importantly, for Paulina it's a blessing. Now she can marry her true love -- and we knew he was her true love from the moment she laid eyes on him -- without losing an ounce of her goodness. And speaking of redemption (as we sort of were), guess who else gets his own little happy ending? None other than Osvaldo, Paulina's cheating ex-fiancé. I'll admit, for a while I thought we'd never hear from him again. But when he came back, I knew it wouldn't be that easy to get rid of him. So, in maybe the ultimate case of "pair the spares" mentality, he ends up with Carlos Daniel's brief lover, Verónica. And Carlos Daniel's brother, Rodrigo, at first suspicious and misogynistic (I guess that second one is fixed too?) has come to see Paulina as family. And he and his wife even end up with a baby, although I guess I'll leave that one unspoiled, just to keep a little mystery. Meanwhile, Estefanía is committed and now believes she is a nun ... although perhaps this is for the better. And then, finally, Paulina gets her perfect wedding. Everyone comes together, everyone oohs and ahhs at the bride, and everyone gets their closing camera shot.

WHEW.

Y'all, I love this show, I really do. I love its crazy melodramatics and its unbelievable plot twists and its enthusiastic overacting. And the finale is exactly what this ridiculous, amazing show deserves. I can't really explain it except to remind you that, as we learned, telenovelas cannot be understood without understanding the emotions involved. It got me. I love these characters -- or, in a few instances, love to hate them -- and I want (or need) them to have their happy endings. Even more than that, I get to leave this class with the knowledge that people all over the world watched this episode and this show just like I did, clutching their faces or yelling at the TV or maybe even wiping their eyes every once in a while. What a way to bring millions of people together.

So I got to see all the neat little storylines tied up like bows, and now I get to keep watching to see how they all get there. There's a long road ahead paved with telenovelas, and I can't wait to go down it.

New Eyes

As I write this final blog post, I realize that I'm looking at the world of telenovelas with new eyes, a fresh perspective, and greater understanding of their enormous impact on Latin American culture and society. I think many of us who really had no prior exposure to telenovelas--except learning once in a Spanish class that telenovela translated to "Spanish soap opera"--came into this course with false assumptions, stereotypical portrayals, or just no idea of what novelas actually are.

I now want to be someone who accurately explains and defines telenovelas. As we well-know, they aren't the same thing as American soap operas, and they aren't even viewed in the same light in Latin America as soaps are in the States. They are complex, draw out emotions, and involve a tremendous amount of work on behalf of the writers, production team, and the rest of the crew.

Going forward, my goal is to keep watching them. I can learn so much Spanish and so much culturally by taking the time to keep up with one. And it's fun! I've been studying Spanish for a while academically, but I feel like, especially in college, my classes focused on Spain. I studied abroad this summer in Seville, Spain as well, so the Spanish culture, history, and dialect is what I'm familiar with. I didn't know as much about Latin American culture, which is a shame because it is diverse, beautiful, and interesting. I would love to travel to many Spanish-speaking countries, and I now have more insight into the struggles, interests, and victories of Latin Americans from watching telenovelas and hearing what Dr. A shared with us.

I wrote this in one of my comments, but being culturally aware and globally-minded are such important attributes and allow us to have deeper connections and understanding with people from other backgrounds than our own. I am super passionate about this and want to keep growing in my ability to relate and be open-minded. Especially as a journalism major, that is key in prompting easier, more authentic discussions and giving subjects the freedom to be comfortable when sharing their stories.

Thank you guys for an awesome semester, and thank you Dr. A for all you taught us! We all are leaving here with new eyes.

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -Thoreau

A Good Reminder

I think one of the biggest takeaways for me in this course has been recognizing just how important it is to keep up with my Spanish-speaking, listening and writing skills. As a Spanish minor, once I finished my classes, I didn't have a way to continue practicing. While my brother is fluent (he studied Spanish in school as well) and extremely gifted with language, we rarely (read: never) practice together. Sometimes, I speak to my boyfriend in Spanish when he watches my telenovela with me, but he mostly just gets upset because he doesn't really know what I'm saying. And then, he starts speaking in German...and we just lose each other.

I didn't grow up with the influences of other languages, although we've always loved to travel as a family and I've always desired to be able to speak multiple languages. I've been to Spain several times for vacation and I studied abroad in Valencia, Spain last summer, and it will always have a special place in my heart. 

Dr. A's closing remarks sparked this in me once again; she reminded me how important it is to pursue knowledge. It's amazing to be able to speak to someone else in a language that isn't native to you. It requires critical thinking unlike any other task. I'm constantly amazed by people who can quickly switch back and forth between the two. I want to be one of those people––and I think that I could be, if I just set my mind to it.

Perhaps, I just need to watch more telenovelas––sin subtítulos. I really do believe telenovelas are a practical way to practice listening skills that can translate to speaking skills with more practice. And I think they offer such a unique view into culture and society that no other medium can emulate. 

Overall, I have felt empowered and inspired by this class to not only consume media, but to dissect it, analyze it and learn from it. 

Mi reflejo

Este semestre está llegando a su fin, y quiero reflexionar sobre cómo esta clase me ha iluminado con todos los diferentes aspectos de las telenovelas. Antes de tomar esta clase, no tenía ni idea de que las telenovelas tuvieron tanto impacto en las culturas de otros países. Por supuesto, sabía que las telenovelas eran muy populares, pero yo no entendía totalmente o comprender su impacto.

Los puntos de vista de diferentes telenovelas tienen tanta pasión por los diferentes protagonistas y personajes. La gente realmente puede relacionarse con ellos y construir conexiones a los diferentes temas que se presentan en las telenovelas. El éxito de estas telenovelas se basan en varias cosas, pero creo que sin una fuerte base de fans, las telenovelas fallarían miserablemente. Los actores y actrices, ropa, paisajes, y los otros factores son muy importantes para hacer una telenovela interesante. Sin embargo, si los espectadores no pueden relacionarse con la historia y el desarrollo de las relaciones con los personajes, la telenovela no tiene futuro en tener éxito dentro de la industria.

Además de aprender acerca de los aspectos importantes de telenovelas durante todo el semestre, también me gustó mucho escuchar a las diferentes personas que hablamos a través de Skype. Fue interesante escuchar lo que dijeron acerca de sus propias experiencias en la industria de la telenovela. Personalmente me gustó escuchar a la actriz de telenovelas nos hablan en el primer día que usamos Skype. Ella parecía muy auténtico y tenía una pasión por la industria. Ella fue capaz de capturar sus espectadores y construir relaciones con ellos retratando historia de su personaje con precisión. Si un actor o actriz no tiene una pasión por el personaje que desempeñan, que es evidente en la telenovela.

No sólo los actores y actrices tienen un papel importante en el éxito de las telenovelas, sino también a los productores y directores. Los productores y directores contribuyen tanto tiempo y esfuerzo para asegurarse de que el guiones, vestuario, escenografía, la música y la historia es perfecta. Un episodio se muestra todos los días en la televisión, por lo que los productores y directores siempre debe estar trabajando para asegurarse de que la telenovela es cohesivo y transiciones sin problemas todos los días.


Disfruté ser capaz de aprender mucho sobre la industria de la telenovela, porque ahora entiendo lo grande un impacto las telenovelas tienen en diferentes personas. Una de mis tías son de Brasil, y quiero hablar de su experiencia con las telenovelas ya que ahora tengo más conocimiento sobre el tema. Esta clase me ha ayudado a entender la industria y seguirá teniendo un interés en las telenovelas.

Telenovela with Eva Longoria and Jencarlos Canela

Dr. A gave us the final wrap-up lecture in which she stated that all telenovelas are braided together with the three strands: media, culture, and society. It has been a beautiful journey in this class and it definitely has deepened my relationships with telenovelas and it has catapulted me to a point where I know I can understand the layers and the amount of people that contribute all this work into bringing these to life.

I know this class has re-confirmed my obsession with these love stories but more so, this class has given me the gift to see the depth and layers of emotions, work, history, and love that goes into these works. I believe I have seen reflections of my culture and the cultures I wish to take part and share in. Telenovelas have allowed for people of different walks of life to understand others and they see reflections of their own life experiences in these stories. It is through the underlying stories or the little moments in episodes that tie onto people who then in turn are turned around and see the world in the eyes of the writer and characters. It allows for an interconnected-ness and feeling of unity to flow through the viewers. It has made me feel like I have been able to connect with Patria Mia from Cosita Rica, Bendita Sanchez from Cuidad Bendita, and even with Rtia from Avenida Brazil- my stepmother is not that evil though.

This journey has truly made me grateful to come from a culture that so creatively shows who we are. Though I know my journey with telenovlas will never be over- thankfully- I'm grateful that through telenovelas we are able to see how we are and how others are in their ways of life and their beliefs...what their culture values are...and even what their latest celebrity gossip is.

Speaking of rumors, incase you all were wondering, they are all true!!
Come January 4th, NBC will be putting on a new show…..called….TELENOVELA
**all calling Dr. A, we need to interview Eva Longoria and Jencarlos Canela ASAP**

Okay, so I won’t make you all watch the first trailer because I think it may give too much of the plot away but I think that Eva Longoria and Jencarlos Canela are going to rock NBC’s new show telenovela.


this will surround a telenovela star -eva longoria- who cannot speak spanish. the comedy series will surround changes in her life as her ex husband comes back into her life as a co-star and as she has to deal with some scary and pressuring executives.

Once I saw this video, I immediately went back to see it again because I wanted to double check and cross check that all of their production portrayals are correct!! I was so pleasantly surprised to see someone who looked like a pauta, the director, the executive were all present characters- but a part of me wanted to see more of the behind the scenes of the telenovela-I am one of those people who will watch all of the bonus material for a movie with the directors comments. Granted,  this is a show about people who are filming a telenovela so there are several steps away from the actual skeleton it may fit and what this show might be compared to. I am nervous about how the show will do, and if it will just put out false perceptions of telenovelas. I was able to look on NBC's website and I saw all the head shots for the main actors...I'm not entirely sure that stereotypes will be fought in this series. Alas, I saw the Univision is producing this series, so there may be hope! I am very protective over how americans and those who aren’t exposed to this genre will perceive it so I think I will be walking on eggshells until the season is well underway. There is a special preview next Monday at 7pm so I hope you all can check it out!!

Final Thoughts

     I think that our last class was my favorite of the whole semester. First off, thank you Dr. A for exposing us to new things and pushing us to go beyond surface level learning.

     I loved learning about telenovelas in the context of latin american culture because there is so much more to them than I originally thought. When I came into this class I believed that telenovelas were just sappy, dramatic love story soap operas that happened to be in Spanish. For this reason, I wasn't really interested in watching them. I am so glad that I was proven wrong in this respect.

    One thing I did not expect to see in telenovelas was political issues. There was so much discussion in our class about political statements being made within telenovela plots. Probably the most common that we discussed was the portrayal of Chavez by Olegario in Cosita Rica. My telenovela for the semester, Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal, was nothing BUT a political stance by the writers. It was a historical account of the corruption that occurred in Colombia during the time that Escobar reigned and a plea to the people to never let something so horrible occur again in their country. The reason that telenovelas are a good platform for urging the public to take charge of corruption in the government, specifically in Latin American countries, is because they are trusted. Characters in the shows become like family. They are excellent tools to represent goodness and evil in societies and how to overcome or continue it.

     Another thing I never thought telenovelas would be used to address is gender roles. In traditional Rosa telenovelas gender roles are pretty set and not challenged often. The girl is rural and the man is urban and he captures her feeble heart and saves her from a life of poverty. That's the story that most rosa's stick with. This semester we also analyzed telenovelas that do NOT follow this standard. For one, there are lots of modern telenovelas where women are not seen as the feeble one, where the roles are reversed and she is the one who saves the male protagonist. A few different stories we discussed that broke the Cinderella mold were Ciudad Bendita, La Mujer Perfecta, and Cosita Rica. All showed women who were powerful in their own right, who were different and interesting and were more than their appearance.

     Although those are only two of the social issues we discussed in class that telenovela writer tackle within their stories, I think they are both good examples of ways that this class broke my preconceived notion of telenovelas. This class has shown me how different media can be used to convey social improvements and that all media CAN be useful to society, if we allow them to be.

     In our last class, Dr. A pushed us to find our passion and use our talents to pursue that passion. I believe that the writers of telenovelas have done that and I now appreciate the artistry, especially in the writing and production of these stories.

Telenovelas & Digital Content


            Television production is growing as new technologies allow for increased consumption sources. According to IbisWorld, 33.2% of the television industry is made up for drama programming and, as evidenced through reproductions like “Jane the Virgin,” the telenovela industry is at a critical growing point it its life cycle where it has the unique opportunity to grab a hold of the U.S. viewers who enjoy drama programs. Technology change is high and more frequently the millennial audience, ages 18-34, uses online streaming to watch their shows after the show has aired on TV.  Telenovela producers should take initiative and begin targeting the Hispanic millennial population in the U.S. in order to increase growth and revenue. Doing so will add a competitive edge to any production company.
            There are many benefits to producing digital content. One of the biggest benefits is that digital content creates measurable metrics, such as impressions and click-thru rates. If a company were to analyze the demographic data and metrics available through online content, it would have a better understanding of its current audience and from there expand its reach. Another benefit is advertising dollars. According to IbisWorld, 75.0% of U.S. senior executives of advertising companies are increasing their digital   advertising budget. Big online streaming sources, such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are the next generation of revenue for television production and advertisers. Telemundo has already begun experimenting with online content and is a well-established member of its online community. Telenovela production companies can capitalize on digital content and online streaming by partnering with online streaming sources. The rising online viewership rate and online and mobile development are signals of increased revenue opportunities; we know from class the telenovelas are an industry and its producers are revenue-oriented. Furthermore, it is less expensive for the consumer to view online content at a monthly rate, than to purchase a television set at a particular moment in time. As Wifi becomes more accessible across developing nations, the trend of online-viewership will become more evident and companies already established in the digital streaming area will be seen as innovators with a strong competitive advantage over their contenders.

            Telenovelas are already a global product and the barrier to entry in the U.S. could be solved with the creation of more online content and streaming services. According to IbisWorld, 56.9% of TV viewers use the Internet while watching TV. Any industry that capitalizes on this fact will benefit with consumers and revenue. U.S. television production companies are already taking telenovela tactics and reworking them for their own benefit, and audiences are not aware. Telenovelas are at a critical point in their development where companies could easily invest in online content and benefit in the long-run.

The Telenovela: A Genre for Any Medium

Dr. A mentioned the changing media environment, and since our course has drawn to a close, I think I might as well look to the future.

When I came home from class today, my roommate, Rachel, was watching something on her laptop, and I pulled up a chair next to her at the kitchen table. It was a program I'd never heard of, and I asked, "What TV show is that?"

She said, "It's not a TV show, it's a web series."

When Rachel first said "web series," I thought she meant that it was a youtube show or something. You know, a home-made thing that someone uploaded, probably like 15 "webisodes" released in 7-minute segments. But in fact, it was a full-blown production, not unlike Orange is the New Black from Netflix or Transparent from Amazon Prime (Amazon Prime! Who would have thought my favorite e-commerce site would branch out into "television" production.)

It wasn't a big deal, but the implications reveal that the world is changing. Is there any difference in content between a "web series" and a "t.v. show"? Not really. In fact, if you look up Rachel's program on wikipedia, it's listed as a "TV series" despite being created by Hulu and therefore never broadcast on a television network.

So I think what we're coming to is a complete media convergence. You can see it everywhere - Netflix wants you to pay to stream movies and "t.v. shows" on multiple devices. HBO, which used to be a television network, is now offering an online-only package with HBO Go. Apple gives you the iCloud so you can access your information on your phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Your watch, too, I guess.

We're coming to the point where we're not creating programs for any specific medium of transmission anymore. "TV shows" are going to be viewed on tiny phone screens. Websites are going to be sent through an HDMI cord and blown up on a flat screen

Content is created, and WE (as consumers) get to decide what medium to use with it.

So what does this mean for telenovelas? I mean, my telenovela was broadcast on Telemundo in the 10pm time slot, but I've never watched it in a TV. I watched almost every episode on my laptop, and a few on my phone. (Relaciones peligrosas, Netflix, go check it out!)

And what if EVERYONE starts watching them online?

I don't think too much is going to change as far as content goes. People don't watch telenovelas for the medium, they watch it them for the content. The drama. We will continue to watch that drama, whether it's a telenovela or a webnovela or any kind of 'novela.

Remember that the genre started on a different medium altogether! The first telenovelas were radionovelas! Did the jump from radio to television ruin anything? No, if anything, it made it better when they added a visual.

Maybe the switch from "telenovela" to "webnovela" could introduce something new to the genre, just like that original switch from radio to television. Webnovelas are already including some really cool stuff, like bringing the characters to life with interactive Twitter hashtags. I'm not worried at all for the future of the 'novela. I'm excited to see where it goes, and I'm glad I took this class so I know to be on the look out for it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

A Sad Goodbye

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!

Last week of classes & a bit of "Novelas Mexicanas" in Brazil.

The last week of classes was filled with a series of special episodes in our telenovelas class, including a happy ending with a delicious tres leches dessert cooked by our lovely Dr. A and the happy (and not so happy) ending of several telenovelas.
  I also enjoyed learning about the all those people we interviewed, they were all so nice and eager to answer our questions. At first I was worried they would be snobs or not really interested in talking to a bunch of students. I am so glad I was wrong.  I got impressed with Marisa Roman’s and Gledys Ibarra’s great charisma and Leonardo Padrón who, besides being a talented writer, seems to be a sweet person to be friends with.  Gracias, Dr. A!

To finish my last post in our blog,  I will talk about a little of reception of international telenovelas in Brazil.

We all know at this point that most Brazilians are “noveleiros” (i.e: addicted to telenovelas) and this passion also includes being fans of imported telenovelas. Mexican telenovelas, for instance, are the most watched international telenovelas in Brazil.
Novelas Mexicanas are always associated with SBT network because it has exhibited these serials on its schedule since the 80’s, and most of the these novelas became very popular to even threat Globo’s productions. As we learned during the semester, the structure of Mexican telenovelas is different from Brazilian ones which are most exclusively in - de ruptura - side of the spectrum. Being a little shorter, with fewer actors, and focusing on great but overly dramatic love stories, and super evil villains; the Rosa formula has won millions of viewers worldwide and Brazil is not an exception. Many people in Brazil associate the Rosa style with Mexican telenovelas, and it is interesting that they even use the saying “drama de novela mexicana” to reinforce the differences between novelas done in Brazil and in Spanish-speaking countries (even for productions not made in Mexico).

Several novelas mexicanas were broadcast in SBT channel, and below I will talk about some of the most popular ones in Brazil:

The first Mexican telenovela broadcast by SBT was Los Ricos Tambien Lloram in 1982. In 2005 the novela was remade in SBT, starring Brazilian actors.
  
The Mexican version of the novela "Carrosel", originally shown in 1989,  was one of the most successful novelas of SBT, which was exhibited in Brazil in 1991. The story has captured the attention of children and adults of all ages and registered over 20 rating points, even competing with the Globo telenovela "O Dono do Mundo".

The famous "trilogia das Marias," starring the actress and Mexican singer Thalia was a bit hit in Brazil. These telenovelas became the most-rerun by SBT and are still broadcast nowadays with great ratings in the station's afternoon slot. The current rerun is "María la del Barrio" shown in Mexico in 1995 and Brazil in 1997, and the most successful of the trilogy. Look at the fun advertising they made for the current rerun (I love it!):



Rebelde was also famous in Brazil, but the most beloved Mexican telenovela by the Brazilian audience is La Usurpadora. Broadcast in Mexico in 1998 and Brazil in 1999, the novela has been rerun three times in the SBT so far, the last time in 2007, but the fans dream of a new reprise to be done soon. Gabriela Spanic’s character – Paola – is simply LOVED in Brazil. There are several pages in facebook dedicated to her and people even create events to learn how to be like Paola. She is the biggest DIVA from telenovelas. 

                                       (Fan made video with Brazilian funk song - Ela é top)

In the last few years Turkish telenovelas are also getting good ratings in Brazil, and some critics think they will be soon a threat to Mexican productions in Brazil. In this article you can read more about it. 

Well, that's all, amigos! It was a pleasure to work with you! Feel free to contact me if you wanna talk about telenovelas. For sure I will enjoy the conversation. :)
Tchau, tchau!

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If you want to read more about the topic you can see the links below (in Portuguese)

Here you can see a complete list of the 10 most famous Mexican telenovelas in Brazil. 

And below  you can watch a show made for 30 years anniversary of SBT and a celebration on the success of Mexican telenovelas in the network during all these years.





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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Avidez, Codicia, o Gula: así como le gusta

Durante mis vacaciones la semana pasada, hablé con el padre de mi buen amigo Luis. Su padre también se llama Luis, y Luis alto deció que la codicia en Colombia fue interesante. Obviamente, con una declaracion como la de Luis alto, tuve muchas preguntas. Pero empece con, que quieres decir con eso Señor Monroy?

Y el le explicó. Que antes de la reinda de drogas, antes de Pablo Escobar y politicos corruptos, fue una vida muy facil en Colombia. Explicó que, como Ecuador y Honduras y Costa Rica, la vida entre Colombia fue sencillo y basico.

Pero todo cambio en la llegada de drogas. Especificamente la cocaína. La cocaína recibí un gran nivel de atención en Colombia.

Y cambia la cultura. Lentamente al principio, y rapidamente durante los años. Y señor Monroy describió un proceso de avidez. Cuando llego las drogas, y llego los carteles, todo cambio.

Y la llegada de Pablo Escobar también fue parte de la problema. En el primer parte de su dinastía como un líder del cartel, todo fue bien. Escobar dona milles de dolares a Medellín, y los ciudadanos estaban satisfechos.


La riqueza de Escobar creció y creció. También sus donaciones a ciudadanos crecieron. Pero algo cambió. La riqueza ha dañado Medellín con permanencia. Nunca regresa la vida cotidiana sin riqueza. Nunca regresa la ciudad sin cocaína. Por eso, trae Pablo Escobar tres cosas a Medellín, y a Colombia en todo.

Pablo trajo riqueza. Este riqueza creó avidez en una comunidad que nunca tenía la vida complejada, que siempre tiene la vida con integridad.

Y Escobar trajo cocaína. Si la cocaína creó trabajo. Si la cocaina trae dinero a un parte de Colombia que nunca tenía la experiencia de riqueza extrema. Pero el numero de vidas dañadas por la cocaína, fue sustancial.

Hay una cosa mas que llegó a Colombia. Llego la violencia en este época como ninguna otra tiempo en la historia de Colombia. Por que la cocaína tambien creó el mal. Creó el mal en una comunidad que nunca necesita riqueza, o drogas, o una vida llena de privaciones. Pero, ademas de las otras cosas, trae Pablo Escobar a Colombia la violencia.

Luis alto explique un fenónemo de historia. El fenónemo de Pablo Escobar y su malditas provisiones por Colombia nunce desapareció. De hecho, ahora en Colombia los afectos de los carteles siempre invaden comunidades y roban el joven de su juventud.

Nunca podemos olvidar el impacto de drogas. Nunca podemos olvidar Pablo Escobar. Pero esperamos que la violencia y el daño entre las comunidades colombianas desaparece pronto.

Consumed with Consumption

As our semester is coming to a close, I find it easy to reminisce about all of the material that we have covered together. At the beginning of our course, I wondered about the source of the popularity of telenovelas. It is no secret that telenovela watching is a global epidemic, but why? After learning all that I have from Dr. A this semester, I have decided that telenovela popularity can stem from, but is not limited to, three differing factors: dream world creation, family and culture identification, and in-tune reality - all of which relate to consumption.

Telenovela story lines create dream worlds that allow viewers to escape from everyday life and immerse themselves in fantasy. This fantasy presents audience members with the "ideal" picture of what life can be like. The dream world includes dramatic cliffhangers that hook viewers and keep their interest and investment in the story. In addition, dream worlds created in telenovelas serve as ambassadors of hope that ignite the spirits of viewers and their passions for living life the way that characters in telenovelas do. Telenovelas hold their popularity by engulfing viewers in this form of fantasy consumption.

In addition to their dream world aspects, telenovelas are also popular among their audiences because they foster family and culture identification. When viewers share stories and thoughts about their favorite characters and love stories, they bond in a way that only the story line could push them to. Families in telenovela-heavy nations gather together daily at a set time to watch telenovelas and share the experience of learning new elements of the stories together. When stories are contemplated and compared, it is easy for viewers to identify telenovelas in their lives as a normal and a welcome part of who they are.

Lastly, telenovelas hold great popularity because they are in-tune with reality. Regardless of the era or setting of a telenovela, they are relateable to real people and real situations. Telenovelas present a spectacle of emotions with elements of awareness stories, patriotism, and current events. The struggles and obstacles that characters face may be dramatized at times, but are also mirrored events that take place in everyday life. Consuming this reality brings viewers closer to their favorite telenovelas.

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I am completely consumed with telenovela consumption. This course has been my favorite out of all of the classes that I have taken thus far at UGA. I am looking forward to our alternative class together tonight, and I can't wait to embrace my new telenovela-filled future!