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

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Dear Family, Respect the Telenovela:

My family, though they partake in most aspects of the Hispanic culture, have never been the type of people to watch telenovelas or even classify them as something other than trash. Ever since discovering the frentic ebb and flow that is telenovela production, I have become a lot more defensive of the genre and have expressed my disdain whenever they sneer at my telenovela.

How many people wake up before the dawn of morning to start working? every hour makes a huge difference in the production timeline of a telenovela. Personally, any diagra written by me at 6 in the morning would lack creativity and readability, especially if I had stayed up until 3AM the night before trying to finish filming an important scene. Dad, you wake up at 8 AM and spend the first hour of your day driving, not imagining.

Everything in the production of telenovelas has to be perfectly timed so the dialoguistas have time to put together a good discourse, and the general produces can then disassemble the scenes, decide what is needed for filming, put them back together... Mom, I know that you are a master at timekeeping, but don't lie: you would be STRESSING under such time constraints.

And the filming! I have developed a strong admiration for the talents of these actors, who go on the set and create drama after only one rehearsal! That bra strap better not be showing, lest you want to start from scratch. I cannot even imagine the awkwardness of acting an intimagte scene in a completely silent room full of people. To my little brother: No, it would not be easy, it would be surreal, get your

This would not be that impressive if the average telenovela episode wasn't AN HOUR long! Thats a lot of scenes! And seeing as they come on almost every day, when do these actors and producers get a break? Sitcoms in the USA are very premeditated and filmed way ahead of time, which leaves more room for mistake.  My littlest brother is a huge fan of iCarly. This youth sitcom is probably filmed mothns ahead of time and guess what Luca? The acting is worse than the acting on my telenovela, so stop hating!

Although my family thinks telenovelas are a useless genre, I have emphasized its importance as a component of Hispanic culture. People find an escape from their poverty-striken lives through the humor, those who are lonely take solace in the perfect (albeit predictable) love stories, and some telenovelas can even reflect the realities of a country's politics. By being filmed as the the storyline progresses, telenovelas maintain a flexibility that is abscent in most television genres, allowing the viewers to interact with the story and vice versa. This genre's attentiveness to their viewer's desires and opinions makes it genuine and one-of-a-kind.

Mad respect.

2 comments:

  1. Your comments at the end of this post are EXACTLY my thoughts on the issue! "People find an escape from their poverty-striken lives through the humor, those who are lonely take solace in the perfect (albeit predictable) love stories, and some telenovelas can even reflect the realities of a country's politics." I feel like, after reading this last paragraph, that your are exactly right in saying that "this genre's attentiveness to their viewer's desires and opinions makes it genuine and one-of-a-kind." It seems that big budget TV in the US seeks to create desires in the population, and then to sell their program to the audience. However, telenovelas appear to do the opposite. They tackle political and social realities along with providing fictional story lines. They interact with viewers in a far different way. Mad respect indeed.

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  2. These were my thoughts when Dr. A explained all the production and writing and different moving parts that go into the final product you see on television. I complain about working hard, but being on that tight of a schedule and being part of a team that's ultimately responsible for creating good material for an audience to see is insane.
    And the timeline is so much different than shows here. The concept of putting something so substantial together on such a non-stop basis truly blows my mind. I definitely have so much more respect for all the people that work so hard to produce telenovelas.

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