Sep 1, 2009
IN MY TELENOVELA CLASS: CHOOSING A TELENOVELA TO ANALYZE
In my class "Telenovelas, Culture and Society," students analyze the representations and identities included in a telenovela of their choice. They also need to have access to this telenovela via TV, Internet, or because they purchased it on DVD. For this exercise, I don't mind if they analyze one of those abridged telenovelas they sell on DVD (6-20 hours long, instead of 120+). I explain to my students the pros and cons of studying a telenovela that has been edited to its minimal expression. My goal is that they practice the analytical tools I teach them in class.
The telenovelas chosen reflect the students' tastes and perceptions. (It's worth noting that most of them have never watched a telenovela before they take this class). But, their choices are also a reflection of what the telenovela market offers them here in the United States. Unfortunately, many telenovelas that are in YouTube are banned for Internet users in the U.S. As for telenovelas on DVD, Amazon and eBay are the places where one can find more variety and a decent selection of abridged telenovelas. And, even though each year I teach the class I notice that the offer has increased, it's also true that the number of producing countries and networks that market their telenovelas on DVD format doesn't increase nearly at the same pace. Therefore, it's notorious the absence of many producing countries, and of scores of telenovelas. So, this list does not mirror exactly the international market distribution of telenovelas, but it still resembles it (a majority of Mexican remakes).
Following is the complete list of telenovelas that will be analyzed in my class (the number inside the parentheses indicates when a telenovela has been chosen by more than one student):