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

Telenovelas-FYOS-2014

Telenovelas-FYOS-2014

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why a Telenovela is More Than Just a TV Show

The impact of a telenovela reaches far beyond just being entertainment. It not only serves as an outlet for the writers and producers to comment on political and social problems, but it also serves as a very unifying factor across country, political, and socioeconomic lines. It has the ability to sway opinions on certain issues and raise awareness for others.


The most prominent example of this would be in the telenovela "La Mujer Perfecta." In this telenovela, the main character Micaela suffers from Aspergers syndrome - something that is not extremely common and there is not much funding or awareness about it due to the diagnosed individuals' such high level of functioning. However, by the end of the telenovela not only had it provided an way to raise awareness about the disease, but it unified the people that suffered from it and those whose family and friends suffered from it. Many people before the show aired did not know what Aspergers was and by the end everyone who watched it had some sort of understanding as to what individuals with Aspergers go through on a daily basis.


One of my friends suffers from Aspergers and I was very surprised when we started learning about a telenovela that had a protagonist with such disease. Previously, I had always come in contact with a protagonist who people idolized and wanted to be like. Why would they have the main character have a disease such as this? Through watching many of the clips of scenes I grew to understand why and how Leonardo Padrón wrote this particular telenovela the way he did. Micaela is one of the most captivating characters I have ever seen - even in just those few short scenes. After reading the letters written by parents of children with Aspergers to Mr. Padrón, it was like my friend's mom had been writing them. Then, I truly understood just how important telenovelas are to people and how they can unite communities and shape opinions.

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you! When we started learning about this telenovela in class, I instantly loved this telenovela and how the director decided to make it different from the other ones. I feel like every reality show that people watch, the protagonist is always beautiful and everyone aspires to be that person. However, in real life we all know that's unachievable and no one in real life really has "the perfect face, all the money in the world, and falls in love so easily." That's why I think this telenovela was so famous because we were able to connect with her so much easier. I also think it's neat how they also made this protagonist have this syndrome so that the watchers could become more aware of it. I also think it's really neat how you can relate to it!

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  2. I agree. Telenovelas evoke emotions in people and also teaches them a thing or two. Telenovelas are viewed all around the world. People who watch them all have something in common at that moment in time. They're able to come together and rave about the show. When a telenovela like "La Mujer Perfecta" comes around, people share the same pity and they are able to understand something like Aspergers on a deeper level. It was very interesting to see a main character take on that light.

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