I am about 15 episodes deep in my telenovela, Alma Pirata, and by this point it's undeniable that I enjoy taking some time off the hectic schedule to watch my telenovela. Because I spend a lot of time with my friend Clint, and he is often present when i pull up episodes, he is pretty up to speed too. I have already told him the storyline, he knows which characters are together and who the antagonists are. Like with many of my classmate's friends and roommates, he initially thought it was cheesy and dramatic. However, I noticed that now he actually sits through the telenovela and pays attention! He is taking Spanish, so when i commented on this he get became defensive and told me he was brushing up on the language. I know better, though!
Troughout the episode, i recap the events for him so he can understand. I know that Argentine Spanish is harder to understand sometimes, and the characters speak very fast! However, i still think that the vibes and body language put out by the characters, the atmosphere of the scene, and the music can transmit the general gist of the events.
To step in the shoes of my friend, i watched some episodes of random telenovelas on Univision, but set the TV on mute. It was amazing how much could be understood, but the details sometimes were lost. This is why I try to tell Clint all the details i can, since this is often the juiciest part, and what distinguishes many telenovelas from others with similar plots. Although i understood the plot of these telenovelas, they are definately not as fun without the dramatic music and the myriad of different accents in the actor's dialogues!