I am attracted to realistic situations and realistic acting. Santa Diabla, though it certainly reaches a level of drama that is not realistic, displays raw emotion in its characters and portrays them as real people with logical motives. There are all the typical plot points that make up a telenovela: love triangles, babies, drugs, family feuds and revenge. Yet at the same time, there is a realness to the characters that makes this telenovela lean toward the "de ruptura" side.
Amanda/ Santa is the main character of this telenovela. She is involved in a complex plan to bring down the Cano family, which involves marrying one of the sons in the family to get closer to the family she is looking to victimize. There is a profound amount of mystery surrounding Amanda's character, yet her reactions to everything that happens to her is neither melodramatic nor fake. She reacts to all of life's trials in a way that many others would too. Because of this, she is a character that, though I cannot relate to her struggles in life, I can relate to her motivations and her feelings of grief and fear at the prospect of never being with the man she loves and being pregnant by a man she doesn't love. Her life is ridiculous and unrealistic, but it is her reaction to the ridiculousness of it all that makes this telenovela more realistic as well as more enjoyable. Plus, her acting abilities are truly impressive. She invokes empathy and deep emotion in the viewers completely through her reactions.
One of the most marked reasons that Santa Diabla is a "de ruptura" telenovela is its tackling of difficult social issues. Race is an issue that Santa Diabla particularly deals with. The character of Mara, a black woman who is in a relationship with Arturo Cano, is one of the most engaging plot lines of the show. The display of racism in Arturo's mother is not only loathsome, but it is unexpected. In my limited, American point of view, I never thought of racism as an issue in Latin America. Santa Diabla is proving me profoundly wrong. I almost don't want Mara and Arturo to end up together because I don't want Mara to have such an awful mother-in-law.
I'm glad I chose to watch a telenovela that is of the "de ruptura" genre. It suits my personality and keeps me engaged in the story at hand. I have been sucked into Santa Diabla, and even if it isn't over by the end of the semester, I will keep watching just to know how it ends.