These past few classes have really opened my eyes to the structure and significance of telenovelas. At first, I was skeptical as to how a simple love story delivered in installments could have a substantial impact on an entire culture of people. I immediately compared telenovelas to popular series in the United States such as Greys Anatomy and even the Bachelor. These shows spark entertainment, emotion, and laughter. However, after an episode or even season has ended Americans continue to live their lives. The shows might come up in conversation but there is really no impact on the United States as a whole. Therefore, the whole concept that telenovelas have political power and are capable of splitting a nation was extremely difficult for me to comprehend.
With that being said, this class has allowed me to explore the different types of telenovelas along with the cultural impact they have. In the article, Latin American Telenovelas: The Political Power of Melodramatic Resignification, the direct effects of telenovelas are clearly stated. First, telenovelas are able to provide an escape from reality for many people who might be burdened by economic hardships. This was extremely interesting to me because telenovelas allow people to have a couple of hours to look forward to a feeling of peace not just to simply be entertained. The times in which telenovelas come on are an essential part of a daily routine and provide emotional relief for people around the world.
In addition to entertainment, telenovelas are seen as one of South Americas most lucrative legal industries. When I first read this fact i was very surprised. Again, I compared the telenovelas industry to “show business” in the United States. I know that California thrives off of movies and television production, however it does not make up a substantial industry for the US as a whole. Therefore, I had trouble grasping the fact that telenovelas could be huge for the entire continent of South America. I then found that telenovelas are able to portray Latin American communities in a more desirable and unique light. This exotic portrayal of Latin America has made telenovelas more popular in the United States. I think this is a very strategic way to cross the media border in order to make the content of telenovelas more recognizable internationally.
I have consistently underestimated the effects of telenovela by a long shot. Not only do telenovelas have great impact on the lifestyle of Latin America, but they also have a huge hold on the economy of an entire continent. I had no idea that a simple TV show could have that effect. With the empire Latin America has created with telenovelas throughout the centuries, it makes me really unhappy that the original national groups are losing their monopoly. The competition between countries developing Telenovelas allows these love stories to have an even greater impact on the world. All in all, I now fully believe in the title of the class because telenovelas are definitely more than melodramas.