Telenovela

I can’t stop saying this word. It’s just that Delph and I have reached Season 4 of Jane the Virgin and it’s so good, it’s hard to think about anything else. 

Part of its appeal for me is that, in every episode, Jane the Virgin has a new standpoint within the same, overreaching story. The plot may continue to unfold like championship origami in reverse. but within the thick of narrative comes perspective. We have one episode where Jane thinks about compromise, and it affects all the characters in different ways. Kind of a similar theme to Sex and the City, but without all the well, sex. Nope, Jane the Virgin is about romance. It has to be, since it stays true to its form of a telenovela. 

As I was watching it tonight, I suddenly came to my own perspective. A perspective within a perspective if you will. Since I’ve not been much of a tv person over the last few years, I’ve been wondering why on Earth am I so drawn to it. Amongst the evil twin murder, the bribing crime lord and the breast cancer treatment that is. And my eye opener was this: telenovelas reflect what we all think about our lives. As long as we stop ourselves from accidentally killing our evil twin sister, of course. Who took out those crucial balcony screws anyway? 

While waiting for the reveal, it occurred to me that we all think of our lives as a telenovela. Hold on, sorry, it might be time for a definition of telenovela.

‘Telenovela – Latin American serial drama similar to a soap opera in plot development but having a broader audience and airing during prime time rather than daytime. Telenovelas are characterised by a continuing melodramatic story line and a permanent cast.’

Ok, we might not think of our lives as a Latin American serial drama. Or a continuing melodrama. No matter the tone though, none of us think of ourselves as a side character. We’re the star of our own story. Telenovelas capture this human need perfectly. They understand the human need to put our own conscious experience at the heart our own stories. They might pitch romance at its forefront like a big, glowing fire (or actual glowing heart regions as in JTV’s case), and this may or may not be the most important thing is peoples’ lives. The intention of the telenovela is still pure. It represents the way we see the world; through ourselves. It just might ramp it up by a hundred degrees. 

Watching this programme has been a real pleasure. Not that something hasn’t been giving. It’s true, Delph’s reading may have taken a small hit. One episode has led very easily to three more over the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure that’s been the most responsible parental thing I’ve done for a while. I’m hoping too that by this time next week, Delph and I will no longer be catching up. We’ll be watching once a week like everyone else as the series comes to its planned conclusion. This is the other part of a telenovela. It doesn’t go on indiscriminately for years, but lasts for a finite amount of time. In other words, it has a clear ending. 

 

 

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