My mother is a telenovela-watcher, and every weeknight line-up begins with what we call "El de la que era gorda y ahora es flaca," which translates to Llena de Amor. During the day she also keeps the television on in the background, and apparently the toddler K likes the little "teeny-bopper" (as my mom calls them) telenovelas that air at that time and dances to their music. Oh lordy, so this is how it starts. The only telenovelas I've watched from beginning to end were the ones I watched with my grandmother years ago when I was in elementary. Actually, the only one I really, really watched and liked was Rosa Salvaje with Veronica Castro. Rosa ... Salvaje ... soy yooooooooo. It was fantastic, from what I recall. Las gemeles were total wiatches.
As I absorb (because there is something almost hypnotic about these shows) these telenovelas over my mother's shoulder, I've realized something I should have known all along: They are really, really terrible. I'm sure there are decent novelas -- and it seems that everyone still rages about El Clon years later. But forget about the juicy (albeit, overdone) plots for one second, I'm talking put it on mute and watch. They visually look terrible. I think one of their biggest downfalls is that they don't seem to have evolved much in the past two decades or more. They're relying on the same formula -- the sets look the same, the dialogue sounds the same, the characters which are all caricatures repeat over and over again, and there is not a shred of subtlety. It's like sit-coms -- I'm so over any show with a laugh soundtrack and a set, like Friends or Seinfeld. So it is literally TORTUROUS for me to watch something like Two and a Half Men. I'd rather pull out my fingernails. Sitcoms had their day, and now we've moved on to shows like Modern Family (yay!) and Ugly Betty (boo that it was ever canceled!).
Telenovelas need to shake themselves up and remake themselves. And I say all this because in my old age, I want to be able to watch telenovelas with my grandchild, too. And keep my fingernails.
Oh, and this is pretty funny: