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

Ending with a BANG

Yesterday's class at Dr. A's house was the perfect way to bring closure to LACS 5060. It was so interesting to see the endings of all the telenovelas we've talked about all year. After familiarizing ourselves with the plotlines and characters, learning and talking to the actors and directors, watching the final episodes was a necessity. Honestly, if we had not sat down and watched these endings, i would have been left waitiing for some sort of closure, like the FIN at the very end. These telenovelas would have been unfinished stories in my mind. Furthermore, yesterday I learned that the end of a telenovela is one of the most important parts, and must be very well thought out. I am glad that we got to see all kinds of different endings. I thought the finales we saw at the beginning were extremely cheesy (especially Juana la Virgen), but I can understand the need for a telenovela to say goodbye to each of its characters. The audience does not only fall in love with the protagonists, but also the secondary and even minor characters. If a telenovela ends without addressing these minor players, their fate and future, then the audience would be left wondering: "whatever happened to so-and-so's pregnant sister?"
I was especially impressed by the endings of Padron's telenovelas. They just seemed a cut above the rest. I especially loved how he found different ways to mix reality and fiction at the end. His creativity helps the audience take the lessons from the telenovela and think of them in realistic terms.
Unlike televison shows in the US, which can have interminable seasons, a telenovela ends for good after a certain amount of episodes. Because of this, it is particularly important for the final episode to end it with a bang and answer all the questions the audence may have left. If it doesn't, the writer is sure to hear about it.

Overall, I am extremely happy about everything I've learned in this class. It showed me a whole different side of Latin American culture.. Just like a good telenovela writer, Dr. A ended the semester with a bang. She even said a small speech summing the lessons from the telenovela class. On the outside, this class seems deceptively simple, but what this class teaches and its incorporation into LACS and Grady is really important, since it shows the interactions between culture, society, and media.

1 comment:

  1. I think that the "bang" ending you're talking about is definitely one of the best aspects of this genre. After a seemingly endless journey of hooks and cliffhangers, the resoluteness with which telenovelas close is awesome to me. An exhausted cast and staff, a nation on its toes, and the unlikelihood of a continuation of the plot (rare exceptions exist, of course) culminate to make the endings much more cherishable as closure seems to be given out to all possible loose ends. It was fun to witness this all in such a great setting for the ending of our class.