This entry will be relatively short. I'm finishing Maymester, a semester in three weeks, and preparing a research trip to Caracas. Hence, I don't have a lot of time to write and this entry will be unavoidably superficial.
Sometimes an actor, playing an antagonist role is so good, that he or she breaks the central code of the telenovela genre, that protagonists have a happy ending. These are actors who manage to make the audience feel that it's them who should have a happy ending. I refer here to cases in which the actor, using her/his talent goes beyond the nuances that the script may have and garner the audience's preferences. Here are two current cases from Venezuelan telenovelas:
Nohely Arteaga as Imperio Laya in Toda una Dama
This telenovela is a remake of Señora originally written by José Ignacio Cabrujas. Imperio is, without a doubt, a character that is well conceptualized and written. But, we can't deny either that Nohely Arteaga has elevated this role in such a way that there are audience members who prefer her to the protagonist, Valeria (Cristina Dieckmann), her own daughter in the telenovela. In this case, the actor manages to elicit justification from the audience's side regarding the character's past behavior. (See 3:31 and 7:09 in this video)
Iván Tamayo as Bayardo Santa Cruz in Torrente