Oct 21, 2007


Here's the second installment of my students' class presentations about telenovela consumption/reception. Today I feature two presentations about Amor Real and a small study about four telenovelas produced in four different countries.

Presenter: Bryan Perry

Topic: The consumption of Amor Real

Sources: Univision message boards

Objective: To understand the reception of the broadcast of Amor Real in Univisión.

Findings and conclusions:
- The audience believed that the scandal between actors Mauricio Islas and Génesis Rodríguez marked the broadcast of Amor Real in Univisión.
- The telenovela generated a battle between the characters of Adolfo Solís (Mauricio Islas) and Manuel Fuentes Guerra (Fernando Colunga) that was present in the audience's messages in the Internet.
- Amor Real's immense success seems to be related to how it differentiated itself from other telenovelas that were on the air at the same time. For instance, in Amor Real there are several mature characters, and since it was set in the 1800s, costumes and dresses were beatiful, but didn't show a lot of skin.

My thoughts: I believe that the fact that the main love triangle "rotated" (Matilde is at first in love with Alfonso, but ends up passionately in love with Manuel) kept the public's attention. There is a particular chemistry between Matilde and Manuel. The careful and lavisth mise en scene also contributed to the telenovela's wonderful ratings.

Presenter: Fiorella Montalvo

Topic: The reception of Amor Real

Sources: Several Internet message and bulletin boards

Objective: To explore the reasons behind the success of telenovela Amor Real.

Findings and conclusions:
-One of the elements that seems to underpin the telenovela's success is the "surprise" factor. The fact that Adolfo, who seems to have a good heart and be the protagonist, ends up being the antagonist. While, Manuel, whose behavior isn't always the best, is the true protagonist.
- The mise en scene is widely approved and applauded by the audience who lauds its realism. Actually, the number of comments regarding the mise en scene are more numerous than those focusing on the protagonists' physical attributes.
-In spite of their devotion for Amor Real , the audience underscored what they perceived as contradictions between some of the characters' vocabulary and behavior, and the time period in which the telenovela takes place. In particular, the public criticized that Matilde only had one child.
- Because Amor Real is a remake of Bodas de Odio, there were many comparisons between the two.

My thoughts: It's interesting that production values are many times equated with the "realism" of the mise en scene. In the case of telenovelas "de época" (depicting a long-ago time period), this equation is more obvious, since the audience's knowledge of that historic visual "reality" is not acquired directly, but is the consequence of other media products and some works of art. However, when exposed to a lavish production, with beatiful sets, costumes and exterior locations, we feel it is "real."

Presenter: Megan Ward

Topic: The consumption of telenovelas among Hispanic students in the U.S. and Mexico.

Sources: Internet survey conducted by Megan

Objectives: 1.- To examine whether these students watch telenovelas produced in countries other than theirs. 2.- To determine if certain telenovela themes carry over across countries.

Findings and conclusions:
- Telenovelas made in Mexico are the most widely consumed in the U.S.
- All the telenovela themes explored appear in the four telenovelas studied, and were recognized by the study's participants.
- When asked about a telenovela not produced in their country of origin, the participants ignored which was the producing country.
- Of the four telenovelas examined, Rubí was the most watched by the participants.

My thoughts: It's important to mention that Megan's study isn't statistically generalizable. However, it suggested things that we already know: that Mexican telenovelas are the most watched in the U.S. This is mostly due to the fact that Mexicans constitute a majority of Hispanic immigrants in the U.S. But Megan's sample also determines the findings. And since more participants watched Rubí, it isn't surprising that the theme most widely known is the "evil protagonist", even though this finding isn't consistent with the number of evil protagonists that we see in telenovelas. An evil protagonist is still an important exception.

To be continued...

1 comment:

Laura said...

Carolina, o soy tonta o no encuentro tu email por ningun lado. Me urge ponerme en contacto contigo. Soy periodista; escribo para AdAge y Multichannel News (en ingles) y para varios medios Latinoamericanos (en espanol). Mi blog (que tambien es el tuyo) es: www.Miblogestublog.com Soy Laura, mi email es lau_newyork@yahoo.com y me encantaria platicar contigo sobre telenovelas. Espero tu respuesta