Novelas: Romanticizing a Whole $%^#load of Things

Okay, I’m going to rant for a bit. Just a warning, but there may be a tad of rambling with some errors because yeah, that’s me. Let’s start.

I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’m also a sucker for a good plot and storyline and characters not being killed off.

*Cough* Suzanne Collins *cough*

I am also a big fan of telenovelas. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, they’re just Hispanic/Latino soap operas. Sort of like The Young and the Restless. They’re quite famous for having the characters all glammed up with makeup, overreactions, and the following meme:

Image result for cry in spanish

Both of my parents are Mexican and in our home, novelas are our Keeping Up with the Kardashians, in a way. They’re incredibly dramatic and have some really over-the-top acting. There are lots of great actresses and actors and very talented writers.

At our household, we normally enjoy the ones with guns and drugs and cartels and everything. My mother’s dad and she would watch things like that when they were younger and my dad’s just been into that stuff since forever.

Now that I’ve stated all that, let’s get on to the good stuff.

Novelas, first of all, seem to make the lady protagonist very dainty and very weak compared to the male lead. Now, occasionally, some novela comes out saying that the woman lead is a strong, independent lady who doesn’t need a man to validate her worth, but that’s a whole bunch of bull%^&$.

Why am I cursing so much?

Back to the point though, you can’t have someone that’s an independent leader and who is very, hmm… love needing or reassured security, you know? It may not have sounded right, but the woman in the novela is typically the one who needs saving, the damsel in distress, but it may not be shown as the traditional way. The woman may be some sort of workaholic who isn’t very chill, who’s really stressed. Enter stage left, a man who will somehow make things better and lead you to the right direction (did anyone notice the play on words). The woman may be someone who is self-conscious and insecure. Or, like this one novela that started a bit ago, she may be a fan of some rich dude or some actor. They fall in love and it’s sort of that whole situation of a celebrity falling in love with a fan.

The point of all that writing for those of you that didn’t understand was that women are still being portrayed in a very sexist manner. Machismo (it couldn’t find an English way to say it, but just look it up) is still present in the film industry. It’s probably going to stay that way for a long time.

Oh, and can we just talk about the place fo LGBTQ people in novelas? You don’t typically see any, and I mean any, characters who are part of the LGBTQ community. When there are some, the show typically tries to make them the hero and try to make being lesbian, bisexual, genderqueer, etc., incredibly okay (which it absolutely is). But here’s the bad thing: aside from that one show, the other shows on the same channel or the same show itself seem to make the characters comply with associated stereotypes and labels given to people who are LGBTQ. And that’s really upsetting because they try to make it look okay, but then at the same time, are ridiculing it and making it seem dumb, irrational, or unusual.

There’s this one show – it’s not a novela, but it’s shown on Univision which is this very important Hispanic channel that shows novelas too – about this guy who’s boss sleeps in his apartment after him and his wife get a divorce.

Image result for durmiendo con mi jefe

Some of you people who watch this stuff may already know what it’s called. Durmiendo con mi Jefe (Sleeping With my Boss), like I said a bit earlier, is about some guy. His boss lives with him after a divorce because his wife got a whole bunch of property and most of what was his. Anyway, the boss has a daughter and son – they’re both adults – and they seem to not like him because of his conservative views and his affair with another woman and him being the reason the divorce actually happened. The son mentioned above is gay. I’m happy they have a person who isn’t straight on this show, but they seem to make jokes about the son.A

Aall. The. Freaking. Time.They have this one episode about the guy finding out the boss’s son is gay and they try hiding it from the boss. It’s just bad, I’m getting a headache trying to summarize it.

They have this one episode about the guy finding out the boss’s son is gay and they try hiding it from the boss. It’s just bad, I’m getting a headache trying to summarize it.

They crack some jokes about him being too feminine and being too this and that. They say jokes about how he’s gay and how his dad, who’s the “greatest guy” and “hot” and a whole bunch of blasphemy, is so masculine. It’s so dumb.

Another bad thing is that you don’t really see any difference in the protagonists. The protagonists are generally some skinny, muscular, “attractive” people. I said “attractive” because they’re typically models and body builders and things like that. They’re people that may be deemed as attractive and sexy by large amounts of people.

For example, Wendy Gonzalez is this model who then acted on Como Dice el Dicho. She got some huge fame for that. They get some models with a physique that is so not us. Most people don’t have abs. People on TV do though and since they see them getting chicks and dudes, they may feel pressured to do whatever they can to get that body. They tell us to practice body acceptance when they’re aren’t really any celebrities that have bodies like us. That’s just my thought on it.

And the fact that they romanticize things like being an immigrant sucks! There’s this one novela that finally ended.

I mean, I liked it, but I just liked all the slaps and the petty drama. That’s me. When your life’s as bland as a cracker, you have to go with the next best thing: TV.

Anyway, Vino el Amor was that type of novela that has this strong female lead, but at the same time, she is not strong nor independent. Her emotions were in such a turmoil and she can’t freaking make her mind on what guy sh]’\)Le wants. She keeps changing them like a pair of underwear.

The novela is about immigrants who work at this vineyard. They’re illegal in the beginning, but after some of them get deported, the boss fills out paperwork and the workers there become naturalized citizens.

The people deported is the protagonist and her father. The father dies, she goes back to the U.S.

Before I go on, it’s a remake of this Chilean novela, La Chúcara. 

Image result for la chucara

Just look at the similarities.

Image result for vino el amor

And the thing is that they weren’t released to far apart. La Chúcara was released in 2014 and Vino el Amor in late 2016.

It just romanticized the notion of being an immigrant. Like, not too many people get married to some middle-aged sickly rich dude when they’re, like, 20. I just felt it was a bit too meh and like the writers were trying to make something normal, that’s common, into a novela. It didn’t work.

They’ve done it again with this novela. This one seems more acceptable since it is meant to be really different and really not relatable. There’s a whole bunch of things we don’t see much of like singing corporations and stuff like that.

To any novela writers, stop doing the above and try to implement actual relatable things and putting more people that look like us and are us into your shows.