The rain caught up with us today. All of our plans involved outdoor activities, so we had to cancel them. I was bummed out because I hate staying inside, but I didn’t really have a choice. I started off hanging out in the lobby and talking to the hotel staff. That only lasted for about half an hour because the staff was small and very busy. Then I tried to gather the gang and play some games, but it seemed like everyone wanted to sleep in or lay around. Finally, I had to resort to hanging out in my room and watching some mindless TV.

I couldn’t really find anything I wanted to see since I’m not really a TV watcher. I thought I could find a movie, but the movies were a little weird in Spanish. It was hard to watch my favorite actors speaking with someone else’s voice, and in Spanish! My last resort was . . . a telenovela. There was a marathon of a telenovela called Cristal. This was Venezuela’s first telenovela and it was made in the 1980s. It’s about a mother who hires her daughter to be a model but she doesn’t know she’s her daughter. Then the mother fires the daughter because she found out the daughter was dating her stepson. There was so much drama; it was a mess! But, somehow, I couldn’t turn it off.

Telenovela Cristal

The weather just kept getting worse … so what else could I do but watch more episodes? In one, the stepson gets married to his ex-girlfriend. I loved the 80′s big hair, bright colors, and poofy shoulder pads. Other people must have loved them, too, because this was one of the most popular episodes ever. It was broadcast in thirty eight different countries and viewed by over seven million people in Spain alone.

I must have fallen asleep during the wedding reception because when I woke up Cristal was finding out she was pregnant. At that point I had to turn off the television. I was sleepy, and I was never going to be able to watch all 200-plus episodes, so it was time. I think I’ll find it online when I get home, but today I was all Cristal-ed out. I see why it was one of the most successful telenovelas in Venezuela, Italy, and Spain!

Activities:

  1. What is a telenovela?
  2. Watch the very famous song from Cristal and some of its scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9d3tpifw8pY  Can you tell it was produced in the 80s? Why?
  3. What is the difference between a telenovela and a soap opera? Why do you think that telenovela and soap opera TV shows are so popular?