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, March 4, 2011

Every Dawg Has Its Day

For those of you who don't know (and I'll assume most of you don't) I'm a huge music junkie. And not the Lady Gaga kind. I love Gaga, don't get me wrong, but that's beside the point.

I'm a big proponent of what most call "classical music" and its role in our society today. Just the other day, I was talking to a friend about the professional orchestra as a musical idiom – where it's been, where it is, and where it's going. As you might imagine, orchestral music isn't really in its heyday any longer. It struggles to remain a relevant part of our lives, and that struggle isn't getting any easier.

So there are possibilities. Maybe it's cyclical, and the orchestra will make a comeback in a couple decades.

Or maybe we're witnessing its death. Whomp whomp.

Or maybe, to survive, the orchestra has to become something entirely new, to streamline itself in order to stay relevant.

Don't lose me. I'm about to get to the telenovela part of this.

My question is this: When, if ever, will this point come for the telenovela? It wouldn't be the first time something has died off in the world of television, or even broadcasting in general. I can guarantee you no one sits by the fire and listens to mystery theatre on the radio anymore. And the last real sitcom any of us saw probably hailed from the '90s or early 2000s.

So when does the telenovela reach its day of reckoning? Is it anywhere close? Or is it an art form that's impervious to the evolution of our world? Was the emergence of the telenovela verista just a nuance in the idiom, or was it a way of trying to keep up with a people who sometimes need more than just a melodramatic love story? And if it was a survival tactic, what's next in the telenovela's bag of tricks?

So this one's for you to answer, should you choose to do so. Do you think the telenovela is as tried and true as the peanut butter & jelly sandwich, or do you think it will face the chopping block one day? Why? And if so, when? I'm curious.

1 comment:

  1. I like your comparison with the demise of classical music, and to answer your question, I don't think telenovelas will ever disappear. As we've learned throughout the course, telenovelas will be consumed no matter what is going on around the world. It's funny that you bring this up, especially because "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" have recently been canceled. An article on said, "The news comes after a serious decline in ratings for soap operas in general. In 1970, there were 19 soaps on air. By 2000, there were just ten left. Today, six, including “All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” remain." If any type of television show is on the verge of disappearing, in my opinion it's the American soap opera and not telenovelas.