I usually tell people that I hate telenovelas, and it’s true – I hate them, especially the ones Suegra watches in the afternoon – but in life, there are always a few exceptions to the rule.
The first telenovela I ever watched was “Esmeralda.” I would visit Carlos, (who was my novio at the time), at his brother’s apartment. If I visited when Esmeralda was on, there was no talking to him, except during commercial breaks. I knew the show was the equivalent to a soap opera, something American men absolutely do not watch, so it puzzled me that he watched the telenovela so faithfully and without any shame, even if he was macho in every other way.
I watched with him because there was nothing better to do, and decided it would help my Spanish. There is one line from that show that I still remember, because I repeated it so well that it made Carlos laugh until he cried. “¡Tengo las fotos de tú y ella!” was simple enough for me to understand and so I spat it out with the same dramatic emotion as the actress on screen. We still say this line to each other to get a cheap laugh.
It would take another decade for me to find another telenovela good enough to watch. Carlos was watching “La Fea Más Bella,” and at first I made fun of it. The background music and sound effects were so cheesy that I wondered how in the world he could watch it. Then one day, “Fernando,” (Jaime Camil) walked on screen and I couldn’t look away. So yes, I started watching for the eye candy, but eventually I came to like the character of “Lety” and the storyline itself, (although I did not like the ending. Why do the characters who are fea or gordita always have to have a makeover? Why can’t they just live happily ever after the way they are?)
Now there is a new telenovela starting next week, (Jan. 10th at 9 pm), which has piqued my interest. While watching Telemundo with Carlos the other night, this commercial for “Los Herederos Del Monte” came on…
After picking my jaw back up off the floor I said, “Wow…that looks…good.”
Carlos gave me a look that suggested he understood I wasn’t talking about the plot.