Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Power of the Telenovela

I registered for this class because I was curious as to why telenovelas have taken over and are still dominating the television industry; however, it did not take me very long to figure out the answer. As I began watching La Reina del Sur, it was easy for me to recognize the key elements that pull the audience into the telenovela in just the first episode. This telenovela’s pilot episode has it all—the drama, the action, the romance and the despecho, the passion, and even action related to drugs and crime! They’re captivating and exciting, and they keep you on the very edge of your seat within the first 10 minutes. They give the audience a taste of over exaggerated drama to keep them interested and invested in the plots and intertwining relationships. Telenovelas have the ability to take you out of your reality and into the thrilling storylines. Even though La Reina del Sur has all of those essential parts that can be found in most every telenovela, I can tell that this one does not fit the traditional rosa mold: Teresa is a newly widowed woman who has to learn how to live through the consequences of her late husband, a Mexican drug trafficker.

La Reina del Sur also reflects the corruption in Mexico as drug trade remains a major informal component of the Mexican economy. According to The Los Angeles Times, the struggle between Mexican drug cartels and the government has only escalated, and the Mexican Drug War is responsible for thousands of lives. Minutes into La Reina del Sur, the severity of this crime is demonstrated, and the people closest to Teresa are murdered. Although I do not know how the telenovela will continue to develop, I predict that there will be action from the drug trade and a mix of the traditional love stories in the episodes. More importantly, I believe that this telenovela will center itself on Teresa finding her strengths, gaining power, and working her way up in the drug trafficking industry.

Initially, I had doubts about telenovelas. I believed the misconceptions about how all of the telenovelas were cheesy and ridiculous love stories in which a humble, poor woman falls in love with a wealthy, handsome man. I am delightfully surprised that not all telenovelas are the same and that there really is a type of telenovela for everyone.

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