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

Transcending Generations

This past fall semester I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. As part of the program I lived with a family in the city. This gave me the chance to totally immerse myself into the culture and lifestyle of the Argentine people. Silvia, my "madre," was a single mother of three whose children had grown and left the house. Every night she would watch her favorite telenovela after we ate dinner - definitely a telenovela addict.

Throughout the semester I also worked as an intern at a PR agency called Furgang Comunicaciones. From time to time I would hear the girls talk about episodes, and was surprised to hear that many of the girls followed the same telenovela as Silvia. There was at least a thirty year age difference between them, and yet they were hooked on the same show. As part of my internship I looked for media clippings in Argentine tabloids (Furgang is an entertainment agency) and could not believe that the magazines were filled with telenovela actors. This truly shows the difference between soap opera actors in the US and telenovela stars in South America.

On one of my last nights in Argentina, Silvia's five-year-old granddaughter came over for the evening. Sure enough, she sat with Silvia on the couch and watched her telenovela. While I'm sure she didn't understand everything that was going on, I began to understand the lifestyle of telenovelas and their importance in culture and family. These shows provide entertainment to all different generations of people! I cannot think of many shows in the U.S. that transcend age in that way, especially not our soap operas.

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca, I really enjoyed reading about your firsthand experience with telenovelas in Argentina. The fact that three different generations watched the same telenovela is interesting and very shocking. Like you said, I can't think of really any shows in the U.S that appeal to three different generations. Either adults find the children shows boring and immature or the children are not allowed to watch the adult shows because of language, sexuality or violence. Your firsthand experience really helped me to visualize the main theme of our class, the true impact of telenovelas in society. Thanks!