The Telenovela I chose to watch for my report is La Patrona. I went in knowing nothing about the plot, and it was safe to say that from the first couple minutes of the first episode, I felt confused and overwhelmed. Within the first couple minutes a man was on the floor dying as his wife coldly watched on, a woman was being harassed in the mine for her work, and a many other characters were introduced without a proper explanation of how all these characters were related to one another and what role these characters played in the entire scheme of the plot. As I watched on, I felt as though there were a couple episodes that were supposed to have been watched before the first episode that would have helped me understand everything that was going on. However, I eventually realized that this is how Telenovelas create cliffhangers and mystery in order to keep the audience watching for the upcoming episodes.
Usually in American television shows, I feel like the characters, their relations to one another, and etc. are all introduced within the first episode to give a clear foundation for the rest of the series. However, in this case because Telenovelas go on for 100+ episodes and the writers need to keep the audience watching, I realized that withholding crucial information from the very first episode is one of the techniques they use to keep going for as many episode as they do.
An example of this would be Fernando's odd obsession with Gabriella from the very first episode. The series showed no previous interaction between the two characters, and because information is withheld for the sake of mystery, I kept on watching in order to figure out exactly why Fernando was so fixated on the female protagonist. The foreshadowing the series provided when showed Gabriella's rape also led the audience to assume that Fernando was the one who raped Gabriella and was the father of her son, David. These subtle hints that eventually weave into a complex, but complete plot once all the ideas are weaved together provide for a very exciting and attentive watching experience, where if the audience looks away for even a couple minutes they are left confused and bewildered.
I also remember learning in class at one point that Telenovelas are contracted in a way that if one were to start in the very middle, they would still be able to get hooked on the show due to the cliffhangers. However, one thing I realized while watching La Patrona was that starting from the middle would not be the best decision due to the fact that some characters tend to die between the beginning and the middle, characters may go missing, change identities, and they may suddenly appear older due to a time-skip. Overall, I enjoyed watching what I have of this Telenovela, and look forward to watching more episodes.