When Dr. A asked us in class whether or not we were completely consumed with the love story of the protagonists of our telenovelas, I really had to think about my answer. It turns out, as much as I want to be consumed with the love story of Rodrigo and Gaviota in Destilando Amor, I'm not.
I was somewhat disappointed with this realization at first, but more than that I was confused. I didn't understand how I could feel nothing towards the most important factor of the telenovela and still like it so much overall. While I watch what happens with Rodrigo and Gaviota, I feel almost uninterested and somewhat frustrated; I know they end up together, so all of the obstacles in the middle seem so trivial and pointless. But while I feel frustrated with the plight of the protagonists, I still love watching Destilando Amor and can't wait to see what happens next. I've realized that my problem isn't with the protagonists or with the idea of them falling in love; my problem is that I like them better as characters separately.
Because Destilando Amor is a telenovela rosa, Rodrigo is the total Prince Charming protagonist. But while he is supposed to be seen as essentially perfect, I can't help but notice his flaws. For being a grown man, he acts very childishly and foolishly, making decisions like getting married to a woman he doesn't love just because he wanted to get married when he had decided he would get married. Rodrigo is also supposed to be seen as an intelligent leader, but for being a college educated man he makes far too many mistakes that require minimal common sense. He seems so put off by his wife Isadora's request that he be present in the marriage that he proposed, and he doesn't understand how Gaviota refuses him initially when he comes back into her life as a married man. If anything, Rodrigo seems to have some growing to do as a character, and I don't think he can do that while trying to balance a relationship as well.
But what upsets me more than Rodrigo's lack of common sense is how Gaviota acts when with Rodrigo. When the two protagonists are together, Gaviota acts like a star-crossed young girl who is completely infatuated with a boy. But when Gaviota is on her own, she is an independent, savvy, strong character who not only takes care of herself, but of her mother too. Without Rodrigo, Gaviota shows so much more of the capability that she possesses and seems so much more fulfilled. She starts at the bottom as a secretary and works her way up to be the manager of a business, all on her own. It frustrates me when she and Rodrigo are together, not because I don't think they truly love each other, but because I think they can each do better individually.
So while it frustrates me how childish the protagonists act when they're together, I still love watching Destilando Amor because I hope that both Rodrigo and Gaviota will learn to be the best versions of themselves, even when they're finding their "happily ever after" together at the end.