Feb 17, 2008


A week ago I asked the question: How many episodes of a telenovela do you watch before you decide what's your opinion of it? Here are the results gathered in the two versions of this blog. (It's important to remember that given the nature of blogs, this is an informal poll. It's still quite interesting, though).

There's quite a disparity in the two versions (Spanish and English), both in the number of people that participated in the poll, as in the results themselves. These differences suggest, among other things, that the blogs' two versions are read by different publics.

144 people participated in the Spanish version of the poll
22 people participated in the English version

Following are the two graphs. Numbers represent the percentage of respondents that chose each option.

Do these results surprise you?


Robin N said...

Carolina, I think these results demonstrate the basic principle of the triumph of hope over experience: we want to give a new telenovela the chance to prove itself, we really want to fall in love with it and even when it looks like it will not be a great (or even good) telenovela, we stick with it (much like an unsatisfactory boy/girlfriend) much longer than we ought to because: A) things might improve (though we know better) and B) there is nothing better on the horizon.

In my experience, amongst the community of fans in the telenovela-world.com forums is that if you stick with a telenovela for more than a month you will generally follow it through to the end, albeit in desultory fashion, if only to take a twisted sort of pleasure in its "badness" and to commiserate with others of like mind.

With the increased length of many telenovelas to 120 or more hour-long episodes -- many classics like "Corazon Salvaje" at 80 episodes were cycled through sooner -- you have to wait a long time for something else to come along so the attitude is, "make the best of it and find enjoyment where you can." One novela that engendered such guilty pleasure was the recent "La Tormenta," known to its followers as "La Tortura" for its convoluted and illogical plot twists that asked viewers to swallow their disgust at how a novela that started out fairly well and had some attractive stars could become so ridiculous!

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Robin, thanks for your insightful comment. I also think that there's a point (number of episodes) after which we stick with the telenovela because we've already invested time/emotion into it. I'm not sure, though, what that point is.

One factor that could influence where that point is located could be the number of telenovelas that are offered in a particular country. If people have lots of choices, maybe they will give less chance to a telenovea than if there are only 2 telenovelas at a time.

Another interesting parameter that you bring up is that for many people telenovelas are part of their daily diet. Therefore, they will watch whatever telenovela is on the TV screen, even if they're not totally happy with it.

Again, thanks for your comment. Lots of food for thought.