Even in two short weeks of diving into the world of telenovelas in this class, I’ve come to realize that telenovelas are just that-- an entire WORLD. An empire, even.
I never expected that there would be hundreds and thousands of them in existence. I never imagined that they would be used as a means of making a political statement, or drawing attention to a social issue, or even proving a point about the way humans think and perceive the world. To be completely honest, I didn’t think they were anything more than an overly dramatic, hyped-up form of homogenized, formulaic entertainment, just like certain virally popular TV shows in America.
I’ve come to realize that while telenovelas do generally share a common “melodramatic” structure, they certainly leave room for creative expression on the part of the writer.
As someone who writes music and poetry as a form of releasing my own emotions and thoughts, I’ve become intrigued by the way that a writer’s experiences and background can shape the communicative details of each individual telenovela, and how the audience receives and processes those details.
I want to see how a telenovela writer infuses their own views, heart, and soul into something that other people watch and can relate to. I want to see how a writer’s personality is expressed in the telenovelas they write, and how viewers respond to that expression.
When I write, I want someone to listen or read and say, “Yeah, I’ve been there. I know what that feels like.” Even if telenovelas are a bit more dramatic than real life sometimes, I’m sure there are instances and scenes that can still truly resonate with a viewer and make them think about their own personal situations and experiences. I mean, I think art is largely finding creative, unconventional ways to connect people are communicate with them. And based on what I’m learning so far, I think telenovelas are definitely a form of art in that sense.
Just like many other forms of art, telenovelas are obviously being commercialized so that people can make money. I’m studying music business, and through being immersed in the music industry, I’m seeing that there’s a very fine line between two things: (1) taking someone’s pre-existing artistic expression and selling it to an audience that will love and appreciate it and (2) forcing an artist to “express themselves” through something that fits an exact mold that will be guaranteed to generate millions of dollars for a large corporation.
In the case of the music industry, both of those situations happen every day. I’m intrigued to find out if the telenovela industry operates the same way, and I also want to see how the telenovela empire is affected by factors other than money, such as censorship, economic and social conditions of a country or region, and the constant international connections and relationships that the Internet has made possible. I’m excited to examine the industry more and see how telenovelas have evolved to create the empire that exists today, and how that empire is changing every day.