Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Building Plot of Pablo Escobar

In Pablo Escobar; El Patron Del Mal,  a serious love triangle has finally been introduced and expounded on, but it is an affair that Pablo's wife is only suspicious of, not certain. Pablo's relationship with his mistress, a news anchor with heavy public influence in Columbia at the time, is very dramatic and passionate, and of course all behind the back of Pablo's wife.
As well as the relationship drama, Pablo's political ventures have turned out to be disastrous to his anonymity in the drug trafficking world, and he is being exposed as a massive drug lord by power politicians that oppose his way of business. In the story, I just reach the point of Pablo's resignation from his position in the Columbian government, but only after he is forced to by the public after information of his past arrest is brought into the public light, exposing him for what he really is. This public spotlight causes tension not only between Pablo and the public, but also between Pablo and his associates in the drug trafficking world, who are upset at Pablo for not keeping a low profile like they suggested. As tensions increase, Pablo also has increasingly more problems with his mother and wife, who are both upset with him for the same reasons, and the suspense is killing me between all of the different angles of cliffhangers, I can't wait until I can get back and watch more.

The Finale

    Talking about the increasing level of censuring of telenovellas in class today brought out some feelings of resentment in me. Some of the things we discussed that had to be censured sounded outrageous to me- not being able to say something as small as "lets have a glass of scotch" is baffling. I enjoyed the fact that the telenovella writer did manage to find a few loopholes in the system and get in a jab against the restriction of speech by wording the dialogues differently. A fact that was said that especially stood out to me was that as the restriction of speech and subsequent decline of show production correlated with a steady increase in the crime rate. Overall our discussions of this topic made me feel thankful for the unrestricted television that I am able to access.
     The last episode of a series always brings out some emotions from their viewers. The audience develops a bond with the characters they see as they watch them go through the trials and tribulations of life, and realizing that they will no longer be able to see them feels like losing a friend . I usually call this post-show syndrome. I actually learned a lot more information from this course now that it has come to its own end. I was shown that telenovellas are not simply just telenovellas- they are influential parts of culture, and they capture a snapshot of life in the country. My own mom was talking with me about how in Russia everyone would rush to the TV to catch the latest episode; it was a nightly ritual. Also, I learned how wide spread their influence actually was! They are in every country, and I had no idea that Ugly Betty originally stemmed from a telenovella. During class I was given the opportunity to peer into the life of a foreign country and learn some of their values and beliefs. Not only that, I was able to make connections with the themes and plotlines of the various shows. Walking away from this class I am happy to have taken it as I have learned a lot more than just about telenovellas and how they are produced. Who knows I might continue to watch some more.

The Final Scene

The final scene in any telenovela is incredibly important to the viewer. It is their last glimpse into the lives of the characters that they fell in love with. Because of how telenovelas air one episode every night, most viewers feel strange not watching the telenovela nightly after it ends. Because of this, the audience creates very high expectations for the final scene of a telenovela in their mind and most of the time the telenovela does not meet these expectations. We watched a lot of final scenes today in class that went about wrapping up the telenovelas in multiple different ways. I believe that the reason the writers and directors end the telenovelas in such different ways is because they are trying to surpass these expectations. For example, one of the final scenes we watched was for the telenovela that revolved around the employees at a magazine (I can't remember the name). It was one long shot that consisted of every character describing their fate, the protagonists kissing as the elevator closes, and the production crew taking the set apart. While this is a very different way to end a telenovela than the norm, I think that a majority of viewers were/would be satisfied by it.

That's a Wrap

As we come to the close of this class, I realize that telenovelas are so much more than dramatic scenes and good looking actors. They tell stories, stories that we can all relate to. We find ourselves hooked on them, no matter how many times the storyline has been retold. Each different actor acts the story in a different light. The most interesting things I have learned from the class have been things one doesn't typically think about when talking about telenovelas. For example, last week we learned about regulations, particularly in Venezuela. It never occurred to me how many people were involved in producing telenovelas, I never thought the government would be involved. So many people impact the way the telenovela is produced, how it is written, and ultimately how it is presented. Even with the way they are shot, I never thought about how much worn truly went into telenovelas. From the writing to directing, to adding music and editing, so much has to be done for the show to be perfect. So in that, I really did appreciate this class because it made me realize that for the 40 or so minutes that it takes me to watch an episode, months and months of hard work went in to make that possible.

El Fin

The ending of each telenovela is met with both excitement and sadness; excitement to finally discover the fate of each character and sadness about having to say goodbye to characters that you have grown to know and love. However, like many good things the relationship between the audience and the telenovela must come to an end. The characters, once strangers, are now apart of the lives of the audience and the audience is not ready for things to change. The ending of this relationship is not always received happily, for many the final episode of their beloved telenovela leaves them with nothing but disappointment. Therefore, the responsibility for this "break-up" with the audience falls to the director. The director is left to try to leave the audience content and bring them to terms with the way everything ends. All of his choices from film-style to music contribute to the audience's final view of the telenovela and how they remember it. The director wants to reach the audience one last time in the final episode, and may make decisions based on the intended audience. In the final episode of La Reina del Sur there were two possible endings with only one slight change, the music. The music in one ending reflected the Mexican audience it was aimed toward, however, the music in the final episode that aired in Spain was more symphonic, appealing more to the Spanish audience. This musical choice successfully appealed to both audiences. The ending of a telenovela, like most relationships, is remembered by the way it ended, and a good ending means the difference between being forgotten and being remembered as one of the greats.

Rebelde: Depictions of the Characteristics of Telenovelas

The telenovela I chose to watch for the course was Rebelde. Rebelde centers on a group of teenagers at the Elite Way School that have various conflicts that intertwine with each other. The telenovela was actually a remake of an Argentinian version from 2003. The main cast of Rebelde also form a pop band known as RBD thus the telenovela allowed for greater publicity and sales for the group. Watching this telenovela, I thought I wouldn't become very addicted but I was proven wrong after the first episode. Overall, many aspects of Rebelde reflect the characteristics of a telenovela as discussed in class including many love stories, production, and representation & identity.

One of the major aspects of a telenovela is a love triangle. The main love triangle in Rebelde is between Mia Colucci, Miguel, and Celina. Mia Colucci loves Miguel but he instead decides to be in a relationship with Celina who is one of Mia's closest friends. Miguel however doesn't actually love Celina as he wants more information about Mia's father, Franco. Miguel main purpose in attending Elite Way School was to exact revenge for his father's death and he blames Mia's father for the demise of his father.As a result, Miguel goes expresses fake love to Celina who actually loves him. He gets various pieces of information including a business card and even gets to meet Franco but doesn't express his hatred. Overall, this shows one of the love triangles on the telenovela.

Rebelde has many characteristics of a traditional telenovela production. One example is the emotions as spectacle which is shown with the outgoing personality of the protagonist Mia. Another major characteristic is that almost all of the episodes end with a cliffhanger. One example is when Mia and her friends go on vacation, they go back to her room where they are met with a guest but the audience does not know who it is. The identity of the individual is not revealed until the next episode, thus showing a major characteristic of telenovelas. Another major tradition seen in Rebelde is the usage of telenovela actors that have been in several other telenovelas. An example if Ninel Conde, who plays Alma Rey, has played roles on other telenovelas such as Lo que callamos las mujeres and Como en el cine.

One of the major aspects of representation & identity shown in the telenovela is social class. Students at The Elite Way School can either pay their way in or earn a scholarship. Several cast members have a very poor attitude towards individuals that come into the school with a scholarship. An example of one person who came to the show as a scholarship student is Giovanni who avoids being labeled as a scholarship student by telling fellow classmates lies about the finances of his family in order to make himself better. Thus showing the effect of social class on the personalities of some characters. Miguel, one of the main characters, also gets a scholarship to the school and is a prominent example of a student from the lower class.


Today was a sad day as we wrapped up the last class of our First Year Odyssey: Telenovelas. Though, just like class, telenovelas end too. We learned many interesting facts about ending telenovelas, and how the music foreshadows the event. Foreshadowing is not only very important throughout the whole telenovela, but also in the very end. The finale should put you in a mood where you are content with everything that had happened from beginning to the end. Music plays a large role in making that happen. Directors will change the ending according to the audience also. For example, La Reina del Sur has two endings. One ending has music playing that would fit a more diverse audience, but the other appeals to an audience form the origin of the movie. Both endings were spectacular, and really captivated the audience.