This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the First Year Odyssey Seminar "More than Melodramas: Telenovelas"



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Telenovelas v. Soap Operas

Coming into this class, I knew nothing about telenovelas. I assumed they were simply American soap operas but in Spanish. After all, they are both melodramatic, delivered in installments, and both have an extreme love story. However, telenovelas are broadcast in prime time while American soap operas air during the day. American soap operas never end while telenovelas are more similar to drawn out movies with around 120 episodes and no seasons.

When I was younger, my mom would watch the soap opera General Hospital every day so I roughly knew some of the plot. When Dr. A mentioned the story line of the famous couple Luke and Laura, I immediately made a connection. Tony Geary has played Luke Spencer since 1978. Telenovela actors are much different. They can transform into different roles for each telenovela in which they are cast. I found the comparison between the American soap opera and telenovelas to be extremely interesting – mostly because I felt as if I had some kind of understanding of the soap opera.

Because of this small understanding I had for the soap opera, it was easier to recognize the similarities and differences between the two methods of entertainment. I realized the large impact telenovelas have on Spanish culture in comparison to the small impact soap operas have on Americans. Telenovelas for some serve as an escape from the socioeconomic hardships many Spanish countries face, which is a very important quality for entertainment to have in order to be successful.

1 comment:

  1. I have seen lots of telenovelas and one day some one said something about them being like soap operas and I began to watch and american soap opera. I did not like it at all. Everything is kinda exaggerated and the music doesnt really seem to have the same effect that it has in telenovelas. Also the setting was obviously a set and unlike the telenovelas, they do not use the outside world much. The length of the soap operas also make it hard to pick up the story quickly. I feel like it takes longer to see the actual truth behind certain characters. Well thats just my opinion since I'm used to telenovelas.