Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Response to interviews with Marisa Roman and Roberto Stopello

I have really enjoyed the skype interviews with the writers, directors, and actors of some of the telenovelas we have looked at in class. My last blog post was rather difficult to write. As a response to something Chascas said, it was hard to express my views. During the talks with Marisa Roman and Roberto Stopello, they both said things that I was also very struck by. Hopefully, this time, I'll do a better job of expressing myself.

"They deserve better TV."
-Marisa Roman on the Venezuelan people and public television

It was really amazing and moving to see how emotional Marisa became when she started talking about Venezuela. I've never thought of television as something people actually deserved. While it has always been a commodity for me, it has also been incredibly demonized. "TV melts your brain!" my mom would say on a weekly basis. I have never thought of good TV as a privilege. I have always considered television itself a privilege because to have it one needs a set, electricity, and at the very least, good ole' classic bunny ears. But I never thought that about good TV. When you really look at it, public television is a service provided by the government. It’s sad to see something that was once thriving slowly shrivel up and die. It makes me very sad that not only do Venezuelans no longer have access to good TV, it is no longer a viable career path either. Historically, Venezuela has been a frontrunner in the telenovela game, but less funding means fewer telenovelas. This in turn means fewer actors, writers, and directors are being discovered for doing the things they love. PAs and cameramen are losing sets to work on. It’s amazing how many people are affected.

"Ratas is the representation of the new generation of narcos...no honor."
-Roberto Stopello

After spending the semester watching “La Reina del Sur,” it was really fantastic to get to speak to the writer, Roberto Stopello. Because “La Reina del Sur” was adapted from a novel, I wasn’t sure how much of a creative license Roberto Stopello had during his writing process. I was surprised to find out that he actually created a new character who had not been in the novel, who in turn ended up being his favorite character, Ratas. I also really liked Ratas, but I have to admit that he drove me mad! He didn’t listen to anyone and was always getting himself into trouble. The best word to describe Ratas is “brat,” he’s been given everything and hasn’t worked for it at all. Roberto Stopello said that he created Ratas as a representation of narcotraffickers today. While Ratas represents the young trafficker, he differs from many of the other characters on the show who hold honor about everything else. Ratas has no honor and is only in the family business because it will make him quick money. I think it is very important that Stopello made a character like this to give an updated perspective on drug trafficking.

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