Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso: Sometimes Less is More

A telenovela has a number of guidelines to which to follow, one of those guidelines includes the length of the telenovela. Usually a telenovela is on air for about 120 episodes or more depending on the reception of the audience. If the telenovela is doing well in ratings then the network might extend the storyline, but on the other hand if the telenovela is a complete flop then the network will try to end it as soon as possible to cut its losses. What I find very interesting is that this common sense formula was not followed in Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso. Although this was one of the best rated telenovelas at the time it was aired and its popularity remained throughout its broadcast, the production only lasted for about 23 episodes. This brings to question whether this production can be called a telenovela at all or whether it should be described as a short series based on a book. In my opinion, this should be called a telenovela. Although it was extremely short, I feel
 that it goes straight to the point and keeps the viewer captured through the whole telenovela. In 
contrast,  I feel that sometimes the 120 or more episodes are not needed. They turn out to be filler episodes with no real purpose in the storyline besides making it longer. As a result, the audience usually becomes bored in the middle of production. Even if a novela is doing well, the episodes should be kept to just the necessary number to tell an interesting and complete storyline. Adding fluff just ruins the quality. Although more than 23 episodes would have been nice because at times this telenovela felt rushed, I applaud the network and the production team for abstaining from adding more episodes. It is up to the viewer to decide whether Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso is a telenovela or just a series. I feel that 23 episodes is just enough when one compares it to the other versions that have been made. For example, Sin Senos No Hay Paraiso added a lot more episodes when it was remade by Telemundo, but I could not watch the middle. A horrible and unnecessary storyline was added because it was doing so well in the United States. More than 152 episodes were added in order to make the proper telenovela length, but many viewers that has watched the original version felt that those episodes were not necessary for its success in the United States. The original version had been a hit in Colombia with only 23 episodes.The extra fluff ruined the plot and the message the writer was trying to portray in the original version was not properly showcased in this second version. By comparing these two versions, the viewer can clearly see that sometimes less is more. 


  1. This is really interesting to me. Do we know why they chose to have only 23 episodes? Did they all last 60 minutes? When you say they felt rushed, what do you mean? After watching La Reina del Sur, I can NOT imagine them condensing the Telenovela into only 23 episodes. I feel like each 60 minute episode was completely necessary. Were there just less details in Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso?
    On the one hand, I think having only 23 episodes would be cool. With everyone having so much to do in their lives, I feel like having 23 episodes would cause viewership to go up. I had a hard time watching all of La Reina del Sur. There would be weeks that I did not even watching one episode because I was so busy.
    Sometimes being short and sweet is more effective. However, it definitely depends on the story. You don't want it to drag on, but you don't the audience to feel like it was cut short.

  2. I honestly have no clue why they only choose to do 23 episodes. This telenovela was originally a book and then a movie before they choose to convert it into a telenovela so maybe that had something to do with their decision? The writer of the book had some say in the development of the telenovela and his main wish was to teach the Colombian public that their obsession with beauty affected young women in a negative way so maybe 23 episodes was just enough to accomplish this.... When I said sometimes it felt rushed was that towards the end everything happens really fast. She goes from a girl in school wanting to have larger breasts to have more money to a well paid prostitute and then a woman who suffers from an infection in her breasts which causes her to loose everything she has and finally she commits suicide in the last episode. This all happens in 23 episodes so sometimes you wish that the writers had developed the storyline a bit more. However, I liked only having 23 episodes. It made it much easier to watch and like you said i hate how in other telenovelas you can go a week without watching it for various reasons and in the end you will still know what is going on. With Sin Tetas No Hay Paraiso you couldn't do that. You missed one episode and you were pretty lost. Maybe that is why it had such high viewership and also because it was such a controversial topic.

  3. It would be interesting to learn more about the whole telenovelas vs series topic. I wonder who decides whether the storyline is more fitting for a telenovela or a series. I agree with you Alejandra, in my opinion Sin Tetas no Hay Paraíso should definitely be considered a telenovela, even though it was only 23 episodes it has all of the classic telenovela elements. I'm not sure who makes the decision of how long a telenovela should be, but it would be interesting to find out. It would kind of be a lot of pressure because it is extremely difficult to find that balance between making something that doesn't feel rushed, but also not drag it on just for the sake of ratings.
    I never watched the Telemundo version but I am sure they had to add a lot of fluff to stretch it out to 100+ episodes, but if they saw that the Colombian version was successful with just 23, I wonder what made them decide to make it way longer in the first place... Who knows!

  4. Wow, only 23 episodes for a telenovela seems so short! But, Alejandra your reasoning as to why this telenovela was shorter than most makes sense to me. I know that with the telenovela I watched, Pablo Escobar: El Patrón del Mal, there were definitely episodes that I probably could have skipped but still would have been able to understand what was going on. I think it's really interesting that so much happened in each of the 23 episodes of this telenovela! Like you mentioned, I think its shorter length definitely explains why the telenovela had such a high viewership for every episode.

    Did this telenovela have fewer subplots because of its short length? I cannot imagine having multiple subplots packed into only 23 episodes, but maybe it can be done!

    Out of all the telenovelas we discussed this semester, this telenovela stood out to me, and I hope to watch it at some point! However, I think the concept behind this telenovela is very interesting and unique, and I wish the writers had chosen to develop the plot a little more and make the telenovela longer. But, I won't really know how I feel about the shorter length until I watch the telenovela for myself! Can't wait!

  5. This relates to my series vs. telenovela post. I agree with you a hundred percent on your opinion with adding fluff. I personally do not like when storylines drag on too far. I have not seen Sin Tetas, but from what we have learned in class and our presentation, I can see how it was so successful. Since you said it felt rushed at times, I wonder if they should have slowed the pace down by adding more character depth instead of adding a random storyline like they did with Sin Senos. I agree with you Maggie, I definitely want to watch this telenovela after this class!

  6. I have talked to my roommates about watching another novella next semester and they chose Sin Tetas but i had no idea it was so short! I feel like that is a pattern with exceptionally good novellas (another example is La Reina del Sur), or perhaps just novellas based on books or like Sin Tetas which was based off a journalist's story of a barrio in Colombia (i think).
    I have only seen what Dr. A showed us in class and the final scene was so impactful! I can't imagine 23 episodes with that much weight but with such a short time frame every episode meant something. That is very impressive for the author with the time constraints. I wonder what they would have to say about the number of episodes.