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, February 17, 2015

Avenida Brasil: What I'm Noticing So Far

As it becomes closer and closer to choosing a topic on which we want to focus on in our final paper for this class, I am writing a blog post on one of these topics. Character development is crucial for any series or movie in order to be successful and to add discourse to a good plot line. Throughout the course of the show (or in our case, the telenovela) the characters must grow with us. They must change as we change, they must not stay the same from the beginning. They must overcome obstacles and that is how the audience stays interested in the novela.
Avenida Brasil introduces about 5 main characters straight off the back in episode 1. Carminha, Rita, Rita's father, Mona Lisa, and Tufao, Carlito, his wife, his lover, and his daughter. Okay, wow, that is a lot of characters. In the first episode a few things are evident.
Carminha is an evil, shrewd, awful, horrible woman and deserved no good in her lifetime. She is mean to Rita, her stepdaughter, is manipulative towards her husband and is on whole just the worst kind of person you could ever think of. I feel that many relate to the story so far already because we all know a Carminha in our life: whether it's a teacher, a boss, a co-worker, or even our own evil step-mother. This disgust we have for Carminha on the whole in the very beginning sets the stage for worse things to happen as the show progresses. Our mutual hate of her is what bonds the fanbase.
Rita is a cutie but also very sneaky and clever. This is important for the future. Since I already know she's going to be coming back for revenge from Carminha, seeing this early on is good because I know it is a character trait she was either born with or developed early. When she skips school to see what Carminha is up to once her father leaves for work I know that Rita is only going to get better and better as she ages with how clever and cunning she will be. She is very persuasive even though her father does not believe her at first about what Carminha is plotting.
Rita's Father is very loving abut very naive to who Carminha really is. Later on he does realize to a certain extent but of course the manipulatve nature of Carminha pulled him back into her talons. We are a little angered by Rita's father at first for not believing his daughter and choosing the side of Carminha over Rita.
These are just a few of the characters I chose to focus on for this particular blog post because they are essential to the story line and plot of the entire novela. Of course Tufao is also important, as he is about to get married to Mona Lisa but at this point in the story he seems irrelevant to the lives of Rita and her family except for in the way that soccer is the common theme that relates them all. Later, of course we see what Tufao's true role in the telenovela is. Their character development is what makes or breaks the show and seeing them so raw and uninhibited at first glance is what it takes to really appreciate who they will become as the telenovela progresses.


  1. Your telenovela sounds very interesting and I feel like my telenovela did the same thing regarding introducing a few key characters to start off with. In my telenovela, Dueños del Paraíso, I'm introduced to the main character Anastasia, her husband Nataniel. As the show has developed, I have seen Anastasia go from the angelic loving wife, to the ruthless woman who will not take any crap from other people. I also think that in every telenovela there are sneaky and clever characters like Rita, who use their charm to get what they want using their looks to their advantage. Every telenovela needs manipulative characters in order to keep the show entertaining. The audience loves that kind of stuff and keeps them coming back for more to see how the characters will manipulate others to get what they want, while searching for love. Characters will continue develop as well as the relationships between each character. One character may go from being a total enemy to an love interest which is why telenovelas are so successful around the world.

  2. This was super interesting! The characters do have to grow and change for the audience to stay entertained. Just like in mine and in most, the innocent naive female protagonist had to switch and have her "change in identity" to keep us captivated. I like how you incorporated the fact that we can all relate to Carminha because we all have someone like that and a lot of us do have an evil stepmother/stepfather that we can't stand. Your telenovela seems really interesting and seems as though there is more than one main theme going on with different characters. My telenovela, Marimar, relates to this more or less in some parts as there is an evil "mother" involved in both. I think even though none of the watchers enjoy these evil characters, the telenovela wouldn't exist or be nearly as entertaining as they are. Because in the end, we all know that it's going to work out.