The show started off with a wonderful wedding between the two main characters, but then quickly turned into a mystery. Every few minutes, there is a new twist on the mystery and plot of the storyline. The main mystery is to figure out who killed Hugo, once a husband of Ignacia. Ignacia’s new husband, Gonzalo, seems to always be one step behind with information as he is unaware of his new family’s past, reputation, and current problems. He begins to confide in a neighbor, Pilar, who is married to one of his coworkers, Javier. Javier is secretly having an affair with Ignacia, and they just found out they are going to have a baby. Pilar and Gonzalo are falling in love, but Javier is becoming more controlling and abusive with her because of her relationship with Gonzalo. It’s very tangled and complicated. Even the maids are involved in the mystery and have secret love affairs with each other and members of the family.
Many things we discussed in class such as the role of the women in the household and the love triangle affairs are all apparent in La Familia de al Lado. You can see how Pilar is treated by her husband and how she is afraid to stand up for herself to him. All of the men are very controlling with their wives and family, and they demand to be in control of everyone in the house. Gonzalo is the only one that seems to be straying from that stereotype. The love triangle is also apparent in almost every single relationship in the telenovela. No one in the show can be in love with just one person. There is always 3 people, whether it is a man in love with two women or a woman in love with two men. I think that many times in real life, there are love triangles, but the telenovelas simply heighten the drama and give a worst case scenario in the shows. Of course, the messier the relationships are, the more drama that occurs. And the more drama that occurs, the more the audience gets sucked into the show and is able to sympathize with the characters.
The best part about telenovelas is that they don’t lay out the story for you; it’s up to you to figure out who the characters are and what their importance is in the show. It’s like a game that you have to play to understand the show. After a few episodes, you understand everything and are waiting for the next twist to appear. It seems like there are at least 5 new mysteries/discoveries in each episode, making the story more and more complicated. I’m only three episodes in, but I am sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to sit in my room all day and watch all 100+ episodes. I love it!