About Brazilian Soap Operas... Again

About Brazilian Soap Operas... Again
Fecha de publicación: 
28 September 2023
Imagen principal: 

If we talk about foreign shows that have marked the taste of Cuban viewers, the first place, probably, goes to the Brazilian soap operas. To the point that, for decades, they have integrated permanently the usual schedule of national television. La esclava Isaura, Una mujer llamada Malú, Doña Bella, Vale todo, Roque Santeiro, La proxima victima, Señora del desino... and many other productions, have been true audience phenomena. And many of its actors are real celebrities here.

What distinguishes the Brazilian soap opera in the audiovisual panorama of the continent? What are the keys to its popularity? In Brazil, in fact, The soap opera is the most popular of television programs. It´s characterized by the approach on topics that are easily accepted by an audience majority: always starting from love stories and family and social conflicts. The relationship in Brazil with the viewers is direct and dynamic, since audience studies usually influence the development of plots. That is, they are almost always open creations.

Professor and researcher Anderson Silva, from the University of Sao Paulo, writes in an essay published in the Peruvian magazine Contratexto, that the Brazilian soap opera is the materialization of a communicative process abundant, complex, and representative of the cultural matrixes that form the social fabric of that country. Since its beginnings, in the 50´s, the Brazilian soap opera is not only part of the emotional and symbolic memory of the public that has accompanied them for generations in a row, but, in addition, it has also been the subject of very academic study, relevant to the understanding of the Brazilian nation in its political, economic, social and cultural contradictions.

This permanent pairing with a context, which is less accentuated in Mexican creations, has singled out the Brazilian concretion of a genre which has been the subject of multiple approaches from criticism and investigation. In fact, Anderson recognizes that, by combining the processes of projection and identification in the subjects who watch them, it´s also "loved and hated" with the same intensity by academics and students of the issue. That is, the soap opera incites polarized positions in a clear sense on how the differences between the "apocalyptic and integrated" defined by Umberto Eco, are still valid in specialized spaces. Although the public often ignores these academic debates.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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