In the telenovela there are more characters and storylines than in any other show or movie I have ever seen. The only exception is the American soap opera, but I think the abundance of characters there is for nearly the same reason. This long cast list is true for mine- Avenida Brasil- and several others we have discussed in class, but may not always be the case. Regardless, I think the telenovela- and soaps- is the only medium that is suited for it. Their extreme length (150 episodes = roughly 150 hours of content) means that there is ample time to have multiple in-depth storylines that are intertwined. None of the supporting stories are fillers or strictly plot devices, either. Each one is carefully planned and full of details- just like the characters.
Earlier in the semester, we discussed similarities and differences between soap operas and telenovelas, and I was surprised by how few there actually were. This is not one I remember big mentioned, but is the most solid connection in my opinion. However, this similarity is linked to their commonality of longevity (though telenovelas are not endless like soaps *cough cough Grey's Anatomy*).
It is the completeness of each storyline, not just their presence, that has so enamored me with Avenida Brasil. It feels much more like real life in that sense. No one's life is in a vacuum where their lives only mix with 5 people. The combination of the stories is much more well done than most subplots in movies- those typically feel like they had much more potential than what came of them or that they were shallow and created to move the plot along more organically.
All of this is to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the number of stories and characters I have become invested in. There is ample room left for plot twists and full development for each of them, and I believe they all get nearly equal share of screen time right from the beginning. There are probably plenty of central characters that I haven't even met yet!