When I entered this Telenovela class, I thought that we would just be spending class time watching videos of different telenovelas in class and analyzing cultural components of Latin American culture in them. As a Journalism major and Spanish minor, I thought this class would be a great fusion and a great opportunity to gain insight about the lifestyle aspect of what really goes on in the homes of families in Latin America. One of my post-graduate goals is to live abroad in a Spanish speaking country, teaching English while simultaneously perfecting my Spanish. By following a telenovela throughout this semester, I will be able to learn more colloquialisms and more cultural aspects. Additionally, I’ll be able to learn about the country’s daily life through romance, rivalry and revenge. I also love getting attached to news series, shows and movies and getting to discuss and analyze them with my friends so by association, my roommates will be taking this class with me as well ;)
However I’m beginning to see that I came into this class with misconceptions of what telenovelas were. This whole entire telenovela industry has a lot more complexity and depth than one would imagine. Growing up, my mother would always watch ‘The Bold and the Beautiful” and “The Young and the Restless” and I just always thought a telenovela was just a Hispanic version of a soap opera. Within these first couple of lectures, Dr. A’s has shown us the clear distinctions between telenovelas and soap operas. I was very surprised to know that there are actually a finite amount of episodes and that they don’t go on and on like soap operas. I always found it very annoying that my mom would record these episodes everyday and it would seem like the story lines would never progress. I love watching old tv shows that are already off the air because I know I’m going to get a complete story so I’m looking forward to that aspect when I finally narrow down on my choice. On the same token, because there is a finite end, celebrities actually get the chance to make a name for themselves by playing different roles.
I think it will be interesting to see how this cultural aspect will shed light on each country’s story because it seems like its revered and admired deeply by all of Latin America and other parts of the world. Finding out that people would rather have a TV in their household than a fridge just shows that the addicting nature and entertaining quality of telenovelas are bringing people together. The fact that they are also universally relatable because of the melodrama makes me even more excited to get wrapped up into mine!