Sunday, June 19, 2011

Confessions of a Former Telenovela-Addict

Say the words telenovela* or soap opera among a literary circle and you will get one of two reactions:

a. A smirk
b. Silence

Writers would rather have their wisdom teeth pulled out than admit that at any point in their lives they watched a soap opera.

Not me. I admit openly and freely that I once was a telenovela lover. A lifetime of watching soaps from many different countries, gives me the freedom to say without prejudice that many of them are bad and I probably shouldn’t have wasted my time on them. But there are others that I still remember fondly, which have inspired and influenced my writing. Stories that portray the idiosyncrasy, culture, history and charm of a country. Stories with complex and three-dimensional characters, or plot twists that kept me on the edge of my seat (cursing that it was Friday and I had to wait till Monday for the next episode.) Some have touched me deeply or impressed me with their settings and costumes (admittedly, historical soaps are my favorite.) As a writer, I’ve been a weary observer of contrivances, clichés and predictability of some telenovelas, but I’ve also absorbed and learned from those with the flawed heroines, entangled relationships and unexpected developments.

Ramona (2000), based on the 1884 American novel written
by Helen Hunt Jackson,
explores interracial relationships and incest.

The common misconception is that all telenovelas are the same: poor girl falls in love with rich guy, guy must marry wicked/rich antagonist (pregnant with someone else’s child.) After a series of misunderstandings (and poor protagonist’s improved look and economical status) hero and heroine come together. This formula, with hundreds of variations, is used over and over again.

Sure, many telenovelas follow this simple recipe. But there are many that have broken away from the mold. Let’s take a look at the different categories:

Classic Telenovelas

The traditional Cinderella-story that has given the genre a bad name. This is the bread and butter of the Mexican Televisa, the second largest media conglomerate (after the Brazilian Rede Globo). To be fair, it has been used in other countries, too. This easy, predictable plot still sells and Televisa would rather mass produce ten Big Macs than one Lobster meal. After all, they’re faster and cheaper to make, and they already have an audience. This category is the comfort food of many who like easy-to-follow plots and clear-cut good and bad characters.

It should be noted that when done right, this subgenre can be quite enjoyable, like the Colombian hit Café, con aroma de mujer. It only took a few tweaks from the traditional mold (a charismatic protagonist who sings while collecting coffee grains and a hero whose weakness is aguardiente and an impotence problem only resolved in the arms of the heroine.) This telenovela sky-rocketed to novela royalty, together with the Venezuelan Cristal (which is currently in its second Televisa incarnation.)

Café (1994) a classic and beloved Colombian telenovela written by Fernando Gaitán,
the author of the groundbreaking
Yo Soy Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty).

Costumbrista** or Rural Telenovelas

In Colombia, Chile and Brazil, this subgenre has proven very successful. The writers/directors figured (around the 80s?) that in order to compete with the big Televisa monster, they had to offer an alternative for viewers. Except for Brazil, the other countries couldn’t compete with the expensive production of the Mexican telenovela empire, so they focused instead on telling different stories, displaying charming traditions and idiosyncrasies through eccentric and humorous characters. And so, the Colombian novela was born. Here you can find quirky antagonists you can’t hate (their plans always go wrong and they often have colorful sidekicks) like in Gallito Ramirez (with the popular singer Carlos Vives), Caballo Viejo and Me llaman Lolita. It should be noted that Televisa has been paying attention and has now branched out from their flat, one-dimensional antagonists in some of their soaps. This is also the forte of Brazilian and Chilean telenovelas (known as teleseries). Their “themed" soaps focus on a particular immigrant group and how they relate to the locals (Gypsies, Muslims, Italians, etc.) Or a particular setting (ex: circus.) One of my favorite Chilean teleseries (Aquelarre) is about a small town with a strange problem: only females are born here. The secret behind this phenomenon drives the plot and is only revealed at the end. Rural novelas in Mexico usually involve a hero and a heroine caught between feuding families a la Romeo and Juliet (Cañaveral de Pasiones, El Manantial) but they are a lot more dramatic.

The Brazilian soap opera O Clone (2001) explores the possibilities of cloning
and introduces us to Muslim traditions and other subthemes, like drug addiction.

Historic or Period Telenovelas

I’m constantly in awe of Mexican, Brazilian or Chilean period telenovelas. The attention to detail, fashion and setting is impressive (in Brazil, they built a village for Xica da Silva.) These stories feature extraordinary characters. You can find strong heroines who are not afraid to travel alone across the continent in search of the men who impregnated them (Alborada), upper class women who become mistresses of married, older men (Alondra), protagonists who use their beauty and sexuality to become powerful (Xica, Dona Beija), vengeful women who cook those who betray them and feed them to their enemies (Xica), female doctors who dress up as men in order to be near their estranged fathers (Pampa Ilusión), women who flee their stable haciendas to follow their beloved to remote Indian tribes under attack (Ramona) or divorced mothers who become singers in spite of the rigid societal rules constricting them (Si Dios me quita la vida.)

The protagonist of the Chilean Pampa Ilusión (2001), Inés Clark,
impersonates a male doctor to learn why her father sent her away as an infant.

Unexpected pregnancy, spousal abuse, divorce and a judgmental daughter
won't stop María from pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a singer in the 1930s.
(Si Dios me quita la vida, 1995)

You may also find heroes with serious flaws: pirates who traffic slaves for money (El Antillano in Pasión), leading men who are willingly unfaithful to the heroine (El Comendador in Xica), hardened men feared by all in town who succumb to the heroine’s noble heart. (Juan del Diablo in Corazón Salvaje.) You will also find antagonists who’ll do anything to keep their weakling sons in power (Doña Juana in Alborada), women who use religion to punish and manipulate (Violante in Xica), and daughters who cut ties with their mothers based on appearances (Tete in Si Dios me quita la vida.) Sprinkle these unusual characters with fascinating subplots and you’ll have the complete package of a good story, amazing performances and visually-stimulating scenes.

Xica da Silva (1996), the former slave-turned-most powerful woman in
El Tijuco,
never forgets her friends or forgives her enemies.

There are also telenovelas based on real historical events with fictionalized characters. The late Ernesto Alonso produced beautiful work about the history of Mexico in three series: El Vuelo del Aguila, La Antorcha Encendida and Sendas de Gloria. Currently, Colombia has ventured with a historical piece based on the life of a mestiza who fought against the Spaniards during post-colonial times but fell in love with one. (La Pola) (Currently broadcast in the US.)

The pirate El Antillano (Pasión, 2007) carries the trafficking of slaves
on his conscience.
Will the love of his life ever forgive him?

Contemporary Telenovelas

These are the kinds of stories you find in American soap-operas. The protagonists are professional women who are no longer virgins and may have more than one boyfriend. They may have marital or infertility problems. Or they may be older women having extra-marital affairs. These telenovelas usually take place in urban/cosmopolitan settings, and more often than not, are stories with “issues” (the soap opera equivalent of Jodi Picoult.) In Brazil, Globo found a gold mine telling controversial stories about surrogate mothers, cloning, drug abuse, twins separated at birth, mothers and daughters in love with the same man, etc. Many of them revolve around the world of fashion. My favorite of this category is the Brazilian Tititi (80s version), a modern-day Romeo and Juliet where the feuding fathers are competing fashion designers. These telenovelas often show two sets of characters: the affluent in their mansions and the poor in marginal neighborhoods (usually the humorous characters are found here.) Colombians have also found success in this subgenre with the iconic Yo soy Betty, la fea, the original version of Ugly Betty, and more recently Vecinos (Neighbors) where these two conflicting worlds meet when a taxi driver wins the lottery and buys an expensive apartment in an exclusive Bogotá neighborhood. As an alternative to Televisa’s classic telenovelas, their Mexican counterpart, TV Azteca, produces this type of scenarios. Televisa has also tried this subgenre. An example is Alguna Vez Tendremos Alas, the story of a tormented orchestra director who loses the will to live after his wife dies, but finds true love in a much younger woman with a trauma of her own.

This far-from-perfect hero is a temperamental womanizer with alcohol and
anger issues. He's also a musical genius who loves his daughter above all.

Gothic Telenovelas

This subgenre was quite popular in the 80s. Usually the protagonist enters the lives of a powerful family in an obscure mansion (as a maid or an impostor or a naïve young wife) where she’ll make allies and enemies, uncover warped family secrets and find true love. (Some are inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s novels.) Examples: La Intrusa in Venezuela, Cuna de Lobos in Mexico, Luz María in Peru (also historical) and Antonella in Argentina, among others. The most recent loosely-gothic novela I watched (and loved) is Televisa’s La Otra.

Crime or Drug-Trafficking Telenovelas

These telenovelas are fast-paced, bloody and often feature male protagonists. They show us the underworld of drugs and crime and it’s not unusual for the protagonist to spend time in prison (guilty or not.) My favorite is the Colombian La Mujer del Presidente, the story of a man who hides the body of his boss’s wife after she drops dead while seducing him. This is only the beginning of the protagonist’s nightmare who becomes the target of a powerful enemy and goes from prisoner to fugitive while trying to prove his innocence. Every episode ends with a cliffhanger, but even in this dark world, there are enormous sacrifices, loveable characters and touching scenes. (If you're a fan of The Fugitive, you'll love this one.)

More recently this subgenre feature powerful drug lords in Mexico and Colombia and the women beside them. A few of them are based on literary successes, such Arturo Perez Reverte’s La Reina del Sur and Gustavo Bolivar Moreno's Sin Tetas No Hay Paraíso (Without Boobs There's No Paradise--thought you all would get a kick out of the title, ha!)

Young Adult Telenovelas

Popular in Argentina and Mexico, this subgenre often features a group of teenage friends at a boarding school or in a music band. Many of these stories originated in Argentina and were later remade in Mexico, where the careers of many singers bloomed (RBD). Members of Timbiriche and Menudo (including Ricky Martin) participated in these telenovelas.

The young Ricky Martin tried his luck in Mexican soap operas
(after Menudo)
before becoming a world-wide musical sensation.

Children Telenovelas

One of the biggest stars in Mexico started as a child actress in soap operas: Lucero. At the same time, in the other extreme of the continent, her Argentinean counterpart, Andrea del Boca, was also featuring orphan girls in search of their mothers and adopted by lovable widowers. Other soaps feature a group of kids in a school without one single protagonist (Carrusel).

The child star Lucerito went on to become one of the
most respected actresses in Latin America.

Telenovelas in the US

The youngest industry of telenovelas is based in the US. During the last decade, Telemundo (now owned by NBC) has been working hard at co-producing with Colombian, Mexican and Brazilian companies telenovelas of quality. One of their most successful endeavors has been Doña Barbara (based on the literary classic by Rómulo Gallegos ). Their casts usually feature an eclectic group of popular actors of different nationalities. Their biggest competitor, Univision (partly owned by Grupo Televisa) has also been featuring US-produced telenovelas for years.

Based on the novel Doña Barbara, this dark
heroine loses
the man of her life to her daughter, Marisela.

My Conclusions

As in literature, there are well-executed products and a lot of mediocre ones, but it’s hard to assign them a label since appreciations of this nature are subjective. As writers, we should study all forms of storytelling, be it novels, films, theatre and yes, telenovelas.

Telenovelas are part of the Latin tradition. Wherever Latin families are found, there will be a telenovela in the background (or a soccer game). Telenovelas have the power to paralyze a city (when the final episode is aired) or have everyone at work or school taking about them (yes, even men.)

Alondra (1995) and the two men in her life.
Her pick was revealed during the final episode.

Confession time: have you ever watched a soap opera (American or from another country)? Is there any one that you remember fondly? Have you ever been happily surprised by a performance, character, plot or setting in a telenovela?

*Unlike their American counterpart, telenovelas differ from soap operas in that they have an ending. They can last from three months to more than a year, but no matter how long they are, there is an ending in the horizon. Telenovelas in Latin America are also given prime-time schedule and not the morning slots, like American soaps.

** Costumbrista: Sp. Describing the customs of a country or region. (Also an artistic and literary genre in Spain and Latin America.)

This article first appeared in La Bloga on June 7, 2011


  1. Excellent, marvelous, superb. Telenovelas are audiovisual reading material, the heirs of 19th century Spanish dime novels (folletines), and a unique part of Latina feminine mythology. Thanks for encompassing all my favorite soaps, but I am offended. You got Xica´s picture but not Violante, her beyond-words foe.

  2. Wow! You know a lot about this.

    In Brazil, telenovelas are huge productions. We are quite prejudiced against soap operas from other countries, especially the corny Mexican ones and the neverending American ones. In Brazil, they last less than a year, have a strong plot and feature the best actors around. Millions are spent on absurdly well-produced novelas, and ads during the prime-time soap on Rede Globo are as expensive as ads can be. Famous actors like Rodrigo Santoro (in Hollywood, he's been in Love Actually, Lost, 300) and Academy Award nominee Fernanda Montenegro still work on telenovelas. They're hardly the place for second class actors. Every single Brazilian actor worth his salt has been in a Rede Globo telenovela.

    I love O Clone! And I think it's hilarious that they switch the names in Portuguese to Spanish names in Brazilian soaps when they're aired in the US, which seems to be the case for the names you mentioned in Xica da Silva. Love knowing that kind of stuff!

    Some that I'd recommend, if you ever get a chance: O Cravo e a Rosa, Chocolate com Pimenta, Cobras e Lagartos, Mulheres Apaixonadas, A Próxima Vítima, Celebridade, Roque Santeiro, Quatro por Quatro.... Oh, there are too many good ones!

    Great post!

  3. Oh, and Tititi was just remade! It ended a couple months ago. It was quite good!

  4. I have to admit-- reading this post made me wonder if I didn't miss out a bit by not watching at least one telenovela!

  5. I could never judge you or anyone else for watching telenovelas, considering I've been watching The Young & The Restless for 27 years. There's no shame in it! Watching Y&R is my comfort food.

  6. My sisters and I spent our young adult years glued to Days of Our Lives while we folded laundry for a family of eight. It wasn't until after my car accident that I found I had no taste for soaps anymore (maybe it was the bump on the head: ) and quite honestly I don't miss them. In the US, since there is no end in sight for soaps and their storytelling, it becomes so addictive and, to me anyway, a bad cycle to fall into. I can understand the draw to watch telenovelas (after all, in England it's pretty similar, or used to be anyway) since it does become a form of comfort food. In the US, the soaps are dying. In 2012, only four major daytime soaps will still be aired on three major networks, and that's it. It's said that they are losing out to the reality tv market since it carries a more realistic punch. I believe it.

    Thanks for such an thorough breakdown of the telenovela industry, Sister Lorena! I've sat through about ten minutes of one, and since I didn't understand one thing that was going on (I don't speak Spanish) then I couldn't hack it. It was way too dramatic for me!

  7. Sure! When I was younger I watched a lot of them... hell, even when I was little I liked Carrusel, and El Abuelo Y Yo (Man I LOVED that one, lol).

    I even had one friend who worked on TV here in Chile, and sometimes she invited me to the set. It was so FUN!

    But then now I don't see them because I think they consume a lot of time. So I find myself watching more movies than telenovelas.
    Still, I'm so impressed by how much you know about the subject and right, it's a whole big world out there.

    Thanks for sharing!
    And totally, I wouldn't judge anyone for seeing them. AT ALL. ;D

  8. Me acabo de dar cuenta! Hay esta la Sasha en la foto de 'Munecos de Papel!'

  9. My apologies, Sister Violante, for not including a photo of your favorite antagonist (I was torn between a pic of the two of them that was low quality and this one. In the end, my designer eye won :))

    Dear Gabriela, thank you for stopping by! I've been wanting to watch O Cravo e a Rosa for years (but they didn't transmit it in the US.) Sister Violante and I are huge fans of Drica Moraes (see how she scolded me for not using her picture in the article? :-)) I knew about the Tititi remake (but I just loved the 80s version). When I was in school in Ecuador, everyone talked about Roque Santeiro and I always wanted to see it. (I wish they would sell the old ones on DVD or something!)

    Jennifer and Mary, you would think that with all the soap operas I've watched, I would have seen an American one, too. Well, since I'm confessing, I may as well admit I've never seen an American soap! When I first moved to the US, I didn't have a TV and when I finally did, I never had the patience to start one "in the middle." The thought that it would never end intimidated me, ha! Forgive my ignorance, but are they only filmed indoors, or do they have exteriors too? (gardens don't count, ha,ha)

    Mary, that's sad that American soaps are dying (maybe they should try the Latin American model, meaning, they should have an ending and new stories every few months?) I just can't stand reality shows and it frustrates me that they're slowly replacing everything else! BTW, not all Latin American novelas are dramatic, there are some light ones, too.

    Monica, I was curious to know what you thought about Chilean teleseries. I've been meaning to ask you and Gabriela if the telenovela "ghost" ever influenced you guys' writing? When Violante and I started writing novels, we had a tendency to add hundreds of subplots and secondary characters. We learned the hard way that those elements were not going to work in our novels. Monica, I agree that soaps consume a lot of time (that's why this year I refrained from watching La Pola.)

    Yes, Suze, that's Sasha! Munecos de Papel was the name of the band. The novela was called "Alcanzar una estrella 2." In it, Ricky Martin and Sasha were a couple. (Other Timbiriche members were also in this novela and the first Alcanzar una estrella.)

  10. As Sister Lorena mentioned, we were both under a heavy telenovela (which by the way are not exactly like American soaps) influence. I was watching telenovelas before most of you were born. Monica (how you doing?) you might have never heard of the first Chilean efforts, but Leonardo Perucci (who still pops up in Chilean soaps) was the leading man. Early telenovelas were very short (about three month) and very flat with one only one main romantic couple and one storyline. As telenovelas grew more sophisticated (80’s) having many subplots and tons of characters became a quality sign. So when I began writing novels I went for multiple subplots-lots of character which was a killer for a novice writer. They were just unmanageable.
    Another problem I inherited from telenovela watching was the Let- the-reader-figure- this –one-out assumption, until Sister Lorena wisely pointed out that the reader lacks many of the visual clues a telenovela viewer might have

  11. Sister Lorena -- As to your question about how American soaps are filmed, occasionally they film them outside, but I think that lends a somewhat "fake" quality to the show (if you can believe that since all of it is fake!) and that's why they are mostly shot on an indoor set, even the scenes that are supposed to be outdoors. A good example is Days of Our Lives and the harbor set they use. Obviously it's fake, but it keeps the whole setting ascetically pleasing to the viewer. I know it might sound odd, but I actually never liked it when they shot in the real outdoors. I think it's all about setting a tone and keeping to that tone so that the viewer will return everyday to the "comfort food."

    It's true what you say about reality tv and, in all honesty, there are only a few reality tv shows I can hack. I recently saw a show, like Primetime or 20/20, where they talked about the death of the soap industry. Surprisingly enough, there is a reality tv show for just about every aspect of drama a soap can deliver. You want romance -- The Bachelor/Bachelorette. You want high adrenaline and thrills -- The Amazing Race. You want a bunch of backstabbers -- Survivor. You want to watch a bunch of crazy-minded has-beens go through detox -- Celebrity Rehab. And the list goes on and on. It may not be real "reality" but it hits a lot closer to home than many soaps do and the American public seems to enjoy that. And every season has an end in sight!

  12. Sisters, first of all, let me warn you and all our dear readers to be very careful when you look for images online. I got a really bad virus last night from just doing a simple search (I just got the computer fixed and it was very expensive!) I'm lucky that the virus didn't affect the hard drive (too much) but the internet was impossible to use.

    Sister Mary, from what I've seen (very little) of American soaps, the sets sort of remind me a little of 80s sitcoms (I'm not sure this has changed in recent years.) I remember that in Who's the Boss, Full House or Saved by the Bell, sometimes they would have scenes in the backyard (that is why I mentioned gardens as their "exterior scenes" in my earlier post, ha!) But like Violante and Gabriela were saying, the production costs in Latin American soaps are very high and in many cases, their settings show it (some are filmed like movies.) This is not the case of all novelas, of course, that is why I mentioned the "Big Macs" :-) It's funny because in Televisa, for example, a lot depends on who the producer of a soap opera is (they have many.) I know by the name of the producer which novela I'll like (even if it's a remake of a story I liked in the past, if it's not in the hands of a producer I like, chances are, I won't like the soap.) In Mexico producers have a lot of power, whereas in Chile, it's in the hands of the director. I'm not sure how it is in Brazil and Colombia, but I've heard that writers are very important in the process.

    I really think that the producers of American soaps should reevaluate the industry because I think they still have an audience (I don't think the same people who watch a morning soap are necessarily the same ones watching The Amazing Race.) It's just that with the new technology and film capabilities, viewers are not going to be engaged in a story that takes place in someone's perfect living room with the chimney on and a girl with a turtleneck and impeccable makeup. But if they make them more like films, less "fake" looking and with an endings, so people don't get tired of them, they may be able to get back on their feet.

  13. Both of my sisters watched the first 'Alcanzar Una Estrella.' Didn't that have Mariana Garza? They also watched 'Rosa Salvaje.' I can still hear the theme song filtering from their bedroom down the hall!

  14. I found this interesting bit of info concerning the dying soap industry at this link:

    The blurb pertains to the prediction of Soap Opera Digest as being one of the top ten companies to close its doors sometime in the next 18 months.

    "The magazine's future has been ruined by two trends. The first is the number of cancellations of soap operas. Long-lived shows which include "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have been canceled and replaced by talk shows, which are less expensive to air. The other insurmountable challenge is the wide availability of details on soap operas online. Some of the shows even have their own fan sites. News about the industry, in other words, is now distributed and no longer in one place. Soap Opera Digest's first quarter advertising pages fell 21% in the first quarter and revenue was down 18% to $4 million. In 2000, the magazine's circulation was in excess of 1.1 million readers. By 2005 it fell below 500,000 where it has remained for the last 5 years. Source Interlink Media, the magazine's parent, which also owns automotive, truck, and motorcycle publications, has little reason to support a product based on a dying industry."

    Since networks prefer to spend their money on the nighttime tv broadcasts, it's no wonder they're willing to shut down more higher priced productions that are seen by fewer and fewer viewers each year.

  15. Interesting info. Thanks for sharing, Sister Mary. I wonder if they had an ending for the soaps before they cancelled them? (I would have been one angry viewer if they cut my soap after twenty-something years and I never knew how it ended!!)

  16. Many years ago my husband and I got into Destinos, which is an educational learn-to-speak Spanish program disguised as a telenovela. It was great!

    Thanks for this comprehensive rundown, Lorena: I had no idea the world of the telenovela was so complex. Very interesting.

  17. Steph, I'm glad you're back! You'll have to tell me all about your trip when I get back to the US. Funny that you mention Destinos because the protagonist of that show (Liliana Abud) went on to become one of the most successful soap opera writers in Mexico. (In a telenovela forum they called her "La Santa" (The Saint) because viewers loved her soaps so much, ha ha. Sister Violante and I used to laugh about that.) Did you watch it at UNM? I think a lot of Spanish students had to watch it. (Even I watched some of it because the story was so intriguing! ;))

  18. What Sister Lore forgot to say was that “La Santa” Abud fans expelled me from the forum since I said her current soap was not as good as her previous work. After that, in an interview, Mrs. Abud spoke about her forum experience and she seemed genuinely unhappy at her inability to please her fandom. Another caveat of online interaction between author and readers/viewers.

  19. While I thoroughly enjoyed your article, it would have been even better had you included the most successful and watched novela of 'all time', 'Da Cor Do Pecado' (in the U.S. 'El Color Del Pecado'), 'The Color of Sin' which told the story of "interracial love" despite the vile hatred of one of the 'white protagonistas', for the black female lead character.

    I loved how the main couple, Preta (Tais Araujo) and Paco (Reynaldo Gianecchini), fought their way through everything that was thrown at them, had a son and came out on the other side to defeat their enemies. I have yet to see 'Telemundo, Univision (one sad and terrible attempt with actresss Legia Petit with her face 'colored' in the novela 'La Negra Consentida'), Telefutura, etc.' attempt to present even one 'interracial' storyline yet, in this day and time. None of them has risen up to give negro latinos (or even piel oscuros) any truly 'meaty' roles, such as doctors, lawyers, etc., it's still the same 'buddy-buddy, side-kick' mentality, when even I know these actors (Indhira Serrano, Omar Murillo, Walter Diaz-the only negro latino actor to get a 'lead role' in 'Adrian Esta De Visita', which was NEVER repeated for any negro/a actor or actress.) are capable of pulling it off.

    Two thousand twelve and you would have thought that this crazy mess would be over by now, but it seems that sadly too many latinos are stuck in the past, and NBC (and perhaps the latino community??) has every intention of 'catering' to this even if it means they'll push aside the medium or darker skinned latinos for those who could "pass for white". A sad and horrific lesson that still has NOT been learned, which will undoubtly be carried on with their children as well. I pray all of this changes sometime "soon".

  20. Hi Preta,

    I never saw "El Color del Pecado." That's why I didn't comment on it, but I did watch a few scenes from chapter one online and Tais Araujo looks beautiful in it. (I just love that actress.) The only soap I watched (briefly) that explored interracial issues (poorly, IMO) was "El Alma no Tiene Color." Did you ever watch it? The story just didn't grab me. It was full of cliche and melodrama, so I stopped watching pretty quickly.

    I've heard about "Adrian Esta de Visita" but never had a chance to watch it. What was it about?

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  21. There is no chance of us soaps, k-dramas and Asian productions ever getting near to the legacy, quality and depth of telenovelas. History is a witness the cultural phenomena of telenovelas.
    Talking about length the best of classic telenovelas like la revancha (1989) Venvision and Cafe con aroma (1994) RCN Colombia; have gone over 250 episodes yet have left audiences worldwide in awe including in my native Africa.
    One has only to recollect the amazing popularity of telenovelas from people's escapism and connection with their lives. Only imagine for instance that in wartime soldiers from Armenia and Azerbaijan had to call short ceasefires in order to unbelievably follow a Mexican telenovela by Lucia Mendez. Telenovelas are hands down the best.


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