Saturday, April 9, 2011
Consumption has everything to do with why telenovelas fail in making serious critiques of society. Despite the efforts and good intentions of the writers, actors, directors, editors, etc, at the end of the day telenovelas are a product to be sold by a large network. These networks exist for one reason and one reason only: to make profits. Network executives could care less if their telenovela challenges the status quo, so long as it makes the network (and of course, themselves) lots of money. It is exactly this reason why telenovelas constantly fall back on the same tropes. They want to draw in as large of an audience as possible, because as we have seen, ratings are like God. For this reason, social critique is included with violence, sexist imagery, and other things the run contrary to the critical message of the telenovela (if it even exists in the first place). Networks want to appeal to the intellectual side of their country, as well as wanting their telenovela to "sube cerro." It is this unfortunate combination that makes the medium of the telenovela a poor one with which to make commentary.
Hopefully, however, things may one day change. Seeing issues like autism being tackled in La Mujer Perfecta give me some hope, but only some. Don't get me wrong, I am still hopelessly addicted to my telenovela. However, I am increasingly disillusioned with novelas that try to make social commentary while working for a large network, but such is the way that things are.
The commitment does not stop with just merely watching the episodes and tuning in daily. With social media ever so important in all industries in our current era, posting comments on blogs, on Twitter, and Facebook are now a major part of the viewership of telenovelas. This is where, in my opinion, viewership is taken to the next level. This separates the minor leaguers from the major league right here. The seriousness of the telenovelas and their fans are expressed through these interactive beacons of opinion and concerns. As we heard from one of the presentations last week, people express true feeling for characters of these shows through these social media. In a way, social media helps to further develop the characters in these telenovelas into real figures for its viewers and those who read these comments on social media. I’m not sure if viewers of Soap Operas have the same kind of passion when it comes to expressing opinions on social media. I did check out a couple blogs for Soap Operas and from my initial visits I can say it didn’t quite have the same affect as some of the comments we have read in lecture and presentations.
Friday, April 8, 2011
For too long she has hogged these dramatic masterpieces, and it took a class in college to reel me in when I could've been watching these all along!?! Full disclosure, I took this class half-jokingly because I never thought we could go so in-depth with telenovelas beyond the sometimes shady acting, but boy did we ever. I still am anti-rosa, but hook me up with a ruptura and I'm hooked, a story with a message/lesson, that's what I need.
My next endeavor is watching Cosita Rica, I mean come on, sticking it to Chavez via entertainment...genious!!! La Mujer Perfecta also intrigues me because 1. I love mujeres and 2. the thought of women thinking they must be perfect blows my mind! Ladies, I don't discriminate, stop with the fake, all natural is better. Stop being so skinny, a little thick looks healthier and way hotter.
Yes, JRLC 5060 has opened my eyes to a medium of entertainment I seldom glanced at, gracias Dr. A.
Padron has in several novelas included main characters with disabilities and realistically these characters don't magically get healed in the end. In his most recent, La Mujer Perfecta, the protagonist, Micaela suffers from Aspergers Syndrome which is a form of Autism. He infused the show with depictions of real life issues and struggles that people with this syndrome face, infusing awareness raising information with entertainment. Another show he did this with was Ciudad Bendita, where the main character, Bendita Sanchez suffers from a limp.
The article on the Inclusion in the Arts & Media of People with Disabilities website focused more on how actors and actresses with disabilities are not hired for major tv network shows but also mentions the small minority of characters with them. I think that if shows can powerfully hold an audience like novelas can, that the writers should use this to help inform people about the world around them. Although, for some tv shows are an escape from the sad realities of things like disabilities, I commend Padron for his efforts to help raise awareness of disabilities and diseases.
The article was published last September in preparation for October which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month:
The article attributes Univision's killer ratings to the premiere of "Teresa" -- a remake of the telenovela that originally starred Salma Hayek (tough shoes to fill!). Not only did Univision beat NBC in primetime viewers, but it also rose above ABC in the 18-49 demographic. This trend isn't just occurring with Univision -- Telemundo has also experienced an increase in primetime ratings.
As a public relations major, this makes me wonder how PR practitioners can utilize telenovelas to reach the Hispanic population in the U.S. I interned at The Coca-Cola Company this past summer, and worked a little bit on the Coca-Cola Telenovela Club, a sweepstakes program that offered consumers the chance to meet their favorite telenovela stars. I think this is a trend that could really take off as organizations realize the influence of telenovelas within the Hispanic community.
Miss marissa y pablo..:D
Thursday, April 7, 2011
In the last episode I watched of Gabriela, Giros del Destino, Veronica calls up her partner in crime, Ernesto, to tell him that she cannot deal with the sneaking around and lies anymore. Her beautiful face is crumpled with tears as she sobs to him that this is horrible and that she mentally cannot do the manipulations needed anymore. Maybe this is me being a softie, but I actually feel bad for her. The telenovela has not delved into Veronica's background much, but I'm willing to bet that there is a reason for her immoral and crazy behavior. Then again, I could be completely surprised and the telenovela reveals later that this sob show was a secret plan of hers.
Needless to say, I think it would be a fantastic twist in the plot to show something of her past that explains why she is the way she is. Maybe she will come to the good side and fight for Gabriela and Pablo's love. I'm interested to see what happens next.
Upon seeing each other's clips that we had prepared for our presentation, we realized that Luisana Lopilato was in both our telenovelas. We proceeded to marvel over her quick development from the oversexed teenager of Rebelde Way (there's no way any of us can forget Mia strutting through the school halls in a sports bra and tights to the sound of her own themesong) to a seductive pirate wench in Alma Pirata. In just three years!!! The shock was even greater for me when I realized that Luisana was also one of the protagonists in Chiquititas, the series I was COMPLETELY obsessed with when i was younger!!! It was very weird for me to think that I had grown up watching telenovelas with the same actress in them and not even know it, and even weirder seeing the speedy development of this actress into the person she is today! Needless to say, I will never look at another innocent episode of Chiquititas the same way again.
PS. Fun Fact: I just found out via my grandmother (she just arrived from Argentina) that Luisana Lopilato and canadian singer Michael Bublé (my mom's favorite musician) got married in Argentina a few days ago. Small world.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
My favorite telenovela star that we have learned about in class is without a doubt Edgar Ramirez. Ramirez played “Cacique” on “Cosita Rica.” I recognized him when I was watching the Academy Awards because he played “Carlos” in the TV mini-series “Carlos” that was nominated for several awards. I wanted to examine his career beginning with his start in telenovelas.
Ramirez is from San Cristobal, Venezuela. He was born on March 25, 1977, and he is fluent in English, German, Italian, French, and of course, Spanish. After studying Social Communication at the Bello Catholic University in Caracas, he landed several acting roles. His first large role was in “Cosita Rica” for Venevision in 2003-2004. Then, in 2005, Ramirez made his first major international motion picture debut in “Domino.” Ramirez was also in the Sony Pictures’ film “Vantage Point,” alongside American actors such as Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, and Forest Whitaker. Another popular film he was cast in was “Babel.”
Several film associations have recognized Ramirez. He won Best Actor in 2008 at the Amiens International Film Festival, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-series or Motion Picture made for Television in 2011, nominated by the London Critics Circle Film Awards for Actor of the Year in 2011, won Best Actor in 2008 by the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, nominated in 2011 for Best Actor at the Online Film Critics Society Awards, and was nominated in 2011 for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. Ramirez has had such a successful international career, and I know we will be seeing much more of him throughout the years!