Cultural Corner: South American Soap Operas

Whenever I’m in the US or Latin America, I always watch a few episodes of Latin American soap operas (telenovelas), which have never been considered high-quality entertainment, and yet you can see them on TV all the time in these countries (in South America you can see them on TVs in pubs, restaurants, hotels, even airports). I mainly watch them because I want to practice Spanish, but also because they’re kind of fun to watch. What’s amazing about them is the concentration of drama (and I mean proper drama) that you don’t see anywhere else. For example I’ve just started watching the North American-produced Corazón Valiente (“Braveheart”), and the following things happened in the first 20 minutes of the first episode:

  • A kidnapping
  • The father of the kidnapped girl blew up the car of the kidnappers (while he was also sitting in it)
  • A kid who slips, hits his head on the pavement, and unconsciously falls into a pool while there’s no one around
  • An emergency plane landing
  • A red-haired woman plotting something while stroking a white cat.

You don’t see this in other countries. Is this a testament to South American temperaments? (Not if I judge by the South Americans I know, who are way more relaxed than this.)

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