Feb 9, 2008


Recently I wrote a post about the diversity of opinions that each telenovela can generate. In the Spanish version of this blog, someone wrote a comment that made me think about how much time a person spends with a telenovela before she or he decides if it's good or not.

Telenovelas last for months. So, how many episodes do we watch before we have an opinion about them?And, if our opinion is negative, do we ever watch it again? How many more episodes do we watch before deciding to change or keep our original opinion?

Because my approach to telenovelas is academic, I try to watch the first episode of those telenovelas that, as part of my general education about this genre, I have "under observation." The first episode is key to understand the main plot and subplots, how clearly drawn are the characters, whether the cast is a talented one, what's the story about and whether it has the necessary elements to hook the audience, the production values, etc. This allows me to have an opinion of that first episode. But, to have a more complete (and fair) perception, I watch the first 12 episodes. Then I decide whether I want/should continue watching. I do monitor comments about these telenovelas that appear in the press and on message boards. Sometimes these comments make me watch again.

Now, the telenovelas that are my case studies receive a thorough analysis. I watch every episode several times. The first time I try not to be very analytical, and I allow myself to "feel" the story. My subsequent views of the episode are very analytical. In these instances I deploy my academic analysis "toolbox" and stratagies. To my textual analysis I then add the studies of production, regulation and reception...This is why each case study takes me years...

How many episodes do you watch before deciding whether you like a telenovela? (If you want, let me know via the poll I've placed at the top of the right-hand side column of this blog).

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