Thursday, September 19, 2013

Obsesión Salvaje

As we’ve been learning about telenovela consumption in class, the level of viewers’ obsession has blown me away. Since nothing in the U.S. compares to this daily devotion and fanaticism, I had a hard time understanding the phenomenon at first. Eventually, I figured it makes sense — if you are watching this show develop every single day, it’s as present to you as your own life. Of course you care. Those characters aren’t just people you watched in a movie once, they are part of your daily routine, key players in your own existence — especially if all your friends know them and feel the same way about them. So OK I get it.

But then I started thinking about the fan base of the telenovela I’m watching: Corazón Salvaje. It hasn’t aired since 1993. I was sure there would be some remaining fans who still remembered how much they’d loved the show — but the obsession couldn’t be on the same level as it is for current telenovelas, right?

I was wrong. I began scanning fan sites, message boards and social media where I discovered off-the-charts devotion. Apparently, fan enthusiasm does not wane in 20 years but grows exponentially. Take a look at some of the evidence I found…

The fans create images, videos, drawings, tweets, quilts, postcards, wallpaper... they even write letters as if they are characters corresponding with other characters. No, this passion is not dying out. And that's what I'm trying to figure out. How could a 20-year-old telenovela still inspire such daily excitement? Obviously the writers and producers of Corazón Salvaje did something right. I mean, they certainly got the rosa formula down... And the dark, handsome protagonist... And the passionate love story... OK maybe they've even hooked me a little bit. Maybe I fought back tears when I thought Juan del Diablo was dead...  Maybe I created one of the images above... Maybe I understand this obsession a little more than I let on. ;)

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