May 11, 2008


Today, Mother's Day, I bring to this blog two of the telenovela mothers I know better: Mamasanta and Patria Mía from Cosita Rica. I also bring some excerpts from my book about this telenovela, Venezuela Es Una Telenovela with a video where we can see these two Venezuelan mothers with undeniable universal character.


Traditionally, blind characters in telenovela are represented as victims, if they're "good". If they're "evil," then they're faking their blindness for some evil purpose. In any case, blind characters in telenovelas elicit pity and compassion. In Cosita Rica, however, Mamasanta (personified by the marvelous Tania Sarabia), is blind but fends for herself very well. She loves intelligent humor and is a luminous, intuitive and optimistic character whose presence is inspiring. She is a universal mother, more perceptive than anyone who can actually see. 

Patria Mía:

Personified through the credibility of actor Gledys Ibarra and supported by a script plentiful in references to Venezuelan reality, Patria Mía is simultaneously woman and country. 

Unfortunate in love, she has two children from different and absent men. While she struggles to educate, dress and feed her children, she insists that they have a better life than hers. 

Patria Mía is a Venezuelan woman searching for a partner that will love, understand and support her. She's Venezuela in its eternal search for a messiah that will liberate it from the pervasive cycle of economic ups and downs and extricate its poverty. 


Victor Kulkosky said...

My acquaintance with American soaps is far from encyclopedic (I catch pieces of them if I happen to be in the room when my wife -- who also has a Ph.D. btw -- is watching, but I don't recall seeing any blind characters at all. Nor do I recall a character like Patria Mia who represents a whole nation. Although I'm probably oversimplifying, motherhood in American soaps seems to be a distraction from the female characters' primary interests: money, power and guys with six-pack abs whose shirts come off with astonishing ease and speed -- and often for no discernible reason!
Although American soaps have plentiful references to American reality -- in between guys peeling off their shirts -- there's not much evidence of political events. People more familiar with the subject will no doubt amass examples to contradict my observation. Have at it.
As for my blog, traffic has drastically slowed in the past couple of weeks. Apparently genius isn't enough ...

Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru said...

Victor, you've hit on one of the many main differences between U.S. soap operas and telenovelas. Even though in both genres there are "good" and "bad" mothers, the telenovela mothers usually play a more important role in the storylines than the soap opera mothers. Having said that, I must say that Patria Mia was an exceptional character. Not surprisingly, she's the cover of my book, Venezuela is a Telenovela.

As for blind characters, there are many in telenovelas, just like there are many that are in a wheel chair (same deal, if they're "evil", they're faking their condition).

As for blog traffic, it takes a while for it to "establish." Keep writing, it makes a difference.