Passion, Drama and Spanish? Staff and Students Share Their Favorite Telenovelas

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Welcome to the Foghorn’s newest column covering international pop culture. This is going to include thoughts, rants and blurbs about the crazy world beyond our borders. I’ll be your host, but there is (quite literally) a whole world out there that I don’t know so please feel free to write me with any suggestions about potential topics or email me to be a voice and be a guest writer for the week. Hopefully this can become a place for international students and those home-grown bitten by the travel bug (I fall into the latter category) to engage in a little cultural exchange.  Until then, our topic for this week is love.

When we talk about love this week there will be beautiful Latin women, drama, suspense and prolonged close-ups of shocked expressions. Yes, I am talking about Telenovelas. For those who have never seen a Telenovela, it’s pretty much where it’s at in Spanish-speaking television. If you fancy twisted plots and passionate acting, without restraint or irony, try one on for size.

Weekday nights at nine, rumor has it that Telemundo is showing episodes of “Perro Amor,” or “Dog Love,” with English subtitles. If you are not a native Spanish speaker but have some familiarity with the language, watching Telenovelas are a fantastic way to improve your comprehension. The crazier and more absurd the plot seems, the more likely you are going to be intrested.

Media professor Susana Kaiser recommends “Sin T-t-s No hay Paraiso.” This show, based on a best-selling novel, focuses on a young girl who hopes that breast implants will enable her to seduce “traquetos,” rich drug lords, and escape from poverty. It was a colossal success in Latin America and sparked a frenzy of debate about drug-trafficking, poverty and Colombia’s national infatuation with plastic surgery.

If you want to try some old school telenovelas, Spanish Professor Rafael Dumett recommends another product of Columbia, “Pedro el Escamoso,” or “Pedro, the Flaky One.”

Spanish Professor Cassandra Millspaugh had a hunkering for “La Intrusa” (“The Intrusive One”) during her time in Mexico.

My roommate’s boyfriend Domingo Salazar, has a tendency to watch “Cuando el Dinero Nos Separe,” “When the Money Seperates Us.” Or rather, he is in the room and his sisters dominate the controller.  It has just started, about four episodes in and there aren’t  any conniving cousins or zealous lovers yet, but I am hopeful.

Moral of the story?  If you ever get sick of watching the “Gossip Girl” scheme, there are alternatives that can wildly entertaining and potentially a bit educational.

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