This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Being an Orphan Never Seemed so Appealing.

Like Dr. A, my parents were never prone to watching telenovelas. However, my first exposure to this genre was still at a very young age. At my grandparent’s house, where i spent a lot of my childhood, the telenovela “Camioneros” would air during supper every night. Though i didn’t understand much, watching television always seemed like a good alternative to eating veggies. Not surprisingly, i tended to associate telenovelas with older folks. This all changed when i moved to Brazil and caught a serious obsession from my new school friends: Chiquititas.
            The plot of this Argentine children’s telenovela revolves around an orphanage and the troop of street-smart orphans that live in it. Little Orphan Annie status, complete with musical interludes and dance sequences. Also included in the plot are a witchy orphanage director, a poor but caring heroine, and the usual secret blood ties and love triangles. And let’s not forget the super catchy music, which catapulted the telenovela to new heights of popularity, all across Latin America.
            Forgotten for more than a decade, watching clips of my childhood telenovela brought on a tsunami of nostalgia: playing “Chiquititas” at school with my friends... these games would go for days! Crying if i was forced to miss an episode (those cliffhangers really get to people!)... I wish I could show you all my Chiquititas CD, scratched from use and being carried from sleepover to sleepover. I had truly connected with the endearing characters of Chiquititas, and grown to love the personality quirks associated with each of them.
            I feel like a look into the past was the right move in order to understand this class from a Latin American perspective. Initially, I thought that because my parents never watched telenovelas, I did not have personal experience that would influence my opinions in this class. However, after some hindsight analysis, I have found that i do have a history with the genre, and am very much vulnerable to its addictive qualities. Uh-Oh.

Here is one of the forementioned jams: very cheesy but undeniably adorable...

Carla C.

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