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Telenovelas Triumph Over American Soaps. Here’s Why.


Over the last few years many iconic American soaps have been cancelled. The reason is low ratings. People just aren’t watching the stories like they used to. There are a million channels now and most households have two working parents, so the bored housewife watching soaps is becoming extinct. Spanish language telenovelas, however, are doing better than ever. Record numbers of people tune in to see these glorious tales of jealousy, sex, love, sex, revenge, and sex. Why are telenovelas trouncing soaps? You could attribute it to the growing Latino market, but we don’t think that’s it. Frankly, telenovelas are just better.

The Snap Zoom

As a rule, in cinematography you try to refrain from zooming in the middle of the shot unless you want to emphasize something dramatically. The telenovela has elevated the snap zoom to an art form. Since everything in a novela is emphasized dramatically, the snap zoom happens all the time. Whenever some shocking bit of information is said, snap zoom. Someone catches somebody in the sack with their husband, snap zoom.

The Dramatic Pause

Before a commercial break, one of the characters will say or yell something at someone else. The camera will then cut back and forth between them looking at each other without saying a word. This can go on for 30 seconds to a minute depending on how many people are involved in the dramatic pause. It is a courtesy. The producers are giving the audience time to absorb that Gustavo is secretly Veronica’s father or whatever.

The Actresses Are Hotter And Have Bigger Boobs

Do we really have to explain this? It is a fact, like gravity. If Newton were alive today, he’d tell you that the gravitational pull off the tatas of Latina stars is higher than that of American soap star. As long as you are hot, have big breasteses, and can cry hysterically, you can be a telenovela star.

Shorter Runs

Look, how many times can Susan Lucci get married or whatever before people stop giving a crap? She is like 76 years old and has been playing the same character for 30 years. Sooner or later you run out of stories to tell. Some actors literally grow up acting on soaps. Novelas run for 3 months or so and then end. They don’t have time to get stale. It’s all action packed goodness.

Wonderfully Ridiculous Plots

Oh, the plots of novelas…absurd. People murder each other, have sex, put curses, kidnap, get run over, etc. with abandon. You don’t need to justify it. You don’t have to go into an hour of exposition like you do on an American soap. We’ll go along with you on your magic ride, telenovela. In a novela this author’s mom watched a few years ago called “Carita De Angel” in which a young girl spoke to her dead mother, while her aunt wore monochromatic wigs, and nuns danced in circles. Beat that American soaps!

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