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, April 29, 2011

Do they get it?!

The semester is nearing its end and as Dr. A sums up the last few topics, I ask myself one question: Do they get it? They of course references the telenovela audience, those who faithfully tune in to one (or several) of their favorite novelas daily. Are they aware of the subliminal messages being sent through their television sets? Each and every scene infecting their subconscious. I've come to the conclusion that they haven't. Telenovelas represent one of many popular media genres that excercise a sizeable amount of influence over the general public. With many media sources there lies an internal dipute over the responsibilities of the media: 1) give the public what they WANT to see vs. 2) give the public what they NEED to see. Personally, if it were up to me (which it isn't!), I would opt to give people what they need. I applaud writer Leonardo Padron in his efforts to bring about social change with the use of telenovelas. What better way is there to mobilize people than to use elements of popular culture?! These efforts are present throughout many of his works. For example, in Cosita Rica the protagonist, Paula C is a hip-hop street dancer in Caracas. Hip-Hop music has played a significant role in helping at-risk youth express themselves and and their frustrations within Venezuelan society. Another example is in La Mujer Perfecta with the protagonist, Micaela. She has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism. Padron stated that he used this character to represent people who are marginalized by Venezuelan society and to bring awareness to people.
To answer my question, (Do they get it?) I believe some do. However, for the most part many do not. When looking at the blogs and fan pages, people are obsessed with the characters appearances and fail to truly recognize the deeper message that writers like Padron are trying to tell them.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is an interesting question to ask ourselves here as well. Are we getting what some television shows and movies are trying to portray? There are certain shows and movies where you know you are getting some kind of lesson, but what about some of the other things we watch? Are we missing out on a deeper meaning in some of the shows we watch or the movies we see? It's interesting to think about.