In order to not lose my Spanish-language fluency, I have been watching Spanish language soap operas (called novelas)
The most recent novela I have been watching is La Tempestad, which has been struggling with low ratings.
This weekend, a Radio Formula talk show savagely attacked the novela and gave it various criticisms. One critic mentioned it has a “bad story” without getting more specific.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
The problem with the story of “La Tempestad” is that it is not a proper story for a novela. In a novela, the good guys should be pure and morally upright, without any shades of gray. Only the villains are allowed to have ambiguous shades of gray in their actions.
Unfortunately, in the story, the hero has sexual relations with a woman who he has no intention of having any serious relationship with, much less marrying. The woman he had sex with, however, wants to be with him and marry him. Instead of the hero marrying this woman he seduced (like he should), he ends up chasing another woman.
A good guy in a novela should not be having sex with women who he has no intention of marrying. That kind of behavior is something villains do in a novela, not heroes.
While they have responded to the low ratings by sweeping this morally ambiguous subplot under the rug (by having the woman in question disappear and lose her memory), the damage has already been done. Removing this entire part of the story has not helped—the program’s ratings are, if anything, continuing to go down.
While I continue to enjoy this novela, and I concede that there are other issues (the TV show immediately before “La Tempestad” on the same network has its own issues), I can see why a lot of Latina women, who tend to still have the old-fashioned traditional values, were turned off by the story and no longer watch it.
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