Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Cinderella Story

Everybody loves a happy ending. That is one of the reasons it is in our human nature to cling to the unrealistic hope of experiencing our own "cinderella story." Telenovelas provide the perfect platform for this classic idea of a cinderella story to become a reality.
There are many reasons my the telenovela industry has been so successful when producing this cinderella story type of program. First of all,  a majority of the viewers of these programs come from countries with large rich poor gaps. The idea of an almost forbidden love that breaks with the cultural norms of the society in which the program is produced serves as a beacon of hope for the viewers at home. This hope stems from the idea that the status quo can be broken and love can conquer the socio-economic divide that is so prominent in many of the countries where these programs are watched and produced. A twist of fait or a role reversal of sorts truly resonates with the viewers of these programs since the majority are so accustomed to lives of economic uncertainty.
These ideas previously mentioned are very valid reasons as to why the "cinderella story" has brought so much success to the telenovela industry, but i believe the main reasons this type of plot line continues to prevail is due to the fact that we as viewers cannot resist rooting for the underdog. A telenovela cannot succeed unless the audience truly falls in love with the protagonists and wants what is best for her. The underdog character is the easiest to support because we all want to watch her succeed and complete her "rags to riches" transformation with grace.
Obviously, not all telenovelas tell the  stereotypical tale of the poor naive cinderella making her way from the rural countryside to find love with a wealthy man in the big city. The industry has ingeniously developed many variations of this typical love story to provide for endless hours of entertainment based off one simple plot line. For example, my favorite twist on this classic situation is when the male protagonist takes on the role of the cinderella.
Telenovelas serve as an escape from reality and provide every viewer with the chance to live vicariously through the main characters and achieve their own "cinderella story."


  1. The ability to related to the audience is a huge portion of why many series, not just Telenovelas are successful. I find it interesting that even with some of the extremely dramatic, redundant, and exaggerating portions of Telenovelas, they are still able to retain some sense of normality and reality that allow the audience to connect with the characters and the story on an emotional level that makes them as popular as they are today.

  2. There is great importance in a society to have an escape, and for many Latin American countries telenovelas are just that. Many of these countries are third world, and cinderella stories are incredibly captivating to those who do not have much in a monetary sense. Telenovelas can take people on a fantasy trip and out of their situation. On the contrary, telenovelas can create unrealistic expectations that can fool audiences on the concepts of social mobility and true love.

  3. I agree that the classic Cinderella-style telenovela story line has continuously been successful throughout the history of the genre and it is no surprise why. The classic rise of the poor, naive girl and her transformation into a rich, sophisticated woman is one that everyone loves. However, I think that the recent push away from this typical storyline is one that appeals more to the contemporary audience. In the beginning of the telenovela, the ideal woman was seen to be more innocent, naive, kind and sometimes not very smart. Now, the typical woman is seen to be more independent, smart, and strong. I think that this was displayed very well through the character of Teresa Mendoza in La Reina del Sur. She broke the traditional Cinderella story. Teresa did come from a poor background and she did experience a rise in class through her relationship with Guero, but the Cinderella portion of her story is only told to us in flashbacks to the past. I think that the new idea of a self-made cinderella is one that is becoming more and more popular with contemporary audiences.