Coming into this class, I admit that I was a little apprehensive. I did not know if my rusty spanish skills would be enough to get me by. I was worried I would be the only one who had never watched an entire season (or multiple seasons) of a telenovela. I was scared I would be unprepared to talk about the cultural and social implications of such a vast genre of television. But now, after we have gone through the first couple of lectures and I have watched almost ten episodes of the telenovela I will study this semester, I can already see the ways telenovelas can and have impacted cultures all around the world.
In my opinion, one of the many interesting things we have discussed in relation to telenovelas, culture and society (and one of the reasons I chose La Tempestad as my telenovela to study) has been the history and typology of telenovelas rosas. It amazes me that countless telenovelas with the same basic structure have been recreated over and over again. What is even more amazing is that many of these telenovelas share the same twists and turns: Twins separated at birth. An evil stepmother. A cinderella story. Betrayal and revenge. An ugly duckling. These things have appeared over and over again since some of the first telenovelas and likely will continue to appear in telenovelas rosas of the future, yet massive audiences are still drawn in by the latest telenovela that has these elements.
I think this might relate to society in ways that are deeper than the obvious reason that these things are entertaining to watch. Perhaps there is something comforting about watching a telenovela, being engrossed in it and entertained by it, and knowing exactly what is going to happen in the end. Telenovelas are not only constant and consistent in the way that they appear in people's lives every day at the same time of day, but they are also constant in the fact that what is expected is exactly what is delivered. When watching a telenovela, it is not surprising when the pretty girl ends up with the hunky guy. But why would someone want to be surprised by their telenovela when they are already exhausted from the constant surprises of the ups and downs of their real lives?
I see the telenovela rosa not as a tired genre, but a genre that serves a specific purpose in the lives of its viewers. It's comforting to know that everything is going to work out in the end, and it's entertaining to watch how that unfolds. The question is which characters and settings will fill in the blanks next? What I am discovering is that the typical devices can come up in unexpected ways. For example, in La Tempestad I have no doubt that Marina and Capitán Fabre will end up together, but instead of Mariana being a "Cinderella" character she is a powerful, successful businesswomen from the city. It seems that he might be the one that fits better in the "Cinderella" position. We'll see what happens!