When I came into this class, I’ll be honest, I was expecting to be learning about the stereotypical soap opera. My only exposure to the telenovela world before taking this class was the educational telenovelas I watched during my high school Spanish classes. I have always had a very diverse friend group and was close with their families, so I have always felt like I have had good exposure to different cultures. I even spent a couple weeks with my friend and her family in the Dominican Republic when they went back for a family reunion. On top of this, my family travels a lot to Spanish speaking countries to scuba dive. So, you can understand my shock when I realized I am not as well-versed in the Spanish speaking culture as I thought. My perception of telenovelas was completely incorrect; however, I could not be happier about that.
I have found these first few weeks of class to be very eye opening. I am an avid movie watcher and I am someone who loves analyzing movies and television shows, so I was more than pleased to learn how diverse and full of depth the telenovela world really is. In general, I have a lot of respect for anything that has a rich history and is tied to someone’s culture. Learning about the history of these telenovelas has not only been very interesting to be, but has made me respect this aspect of the Hispanic culture so much more. I love how people hold telenovelas close to their hearts and I feel like I am beginning to understand why. I think that telenovelas are one of the many things that help link people from different countries to their culture, just as food or music do. The fact that this aspect of pop culture has the ability to reflect each specific country’s culture and issues while also appeal to the entire telenovela world is honestly amazing to me. The rich history behind each country’s telenovela and how the different genres evolved gives each country its own identity in the telenovela world, which is just another unique characteristic of telenovelas.
In class, I’ve noticed how telenovelas grow with their culture and country and how these cultures can and will come together to create a masterpiece. For the most part, pop culture in today’s world does not have any depth and it is interesting to examine a part of pop culture that has such an impact on the Hispanic culture as a whole. Telenovelas have literally shaped pop culture in the countries they were created in and beyond. For example, how the United States adopted Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin. These stories that are written are relatable to almost anyone, and if they aren’t relatable, at least they are entertaining. I think it is easy to say that telenovelas bring people from different countries and backgrounds together to create and appreciate a work of art that anyone can enjoy.