‘Telenovelas’ woo US Hispanics with new twists

By Paula Bustamante (AFP) – Aug 31, 2011

MIAMI — Latin American soap operas, which have captivated viewers from Europe to the Philippines, are plotting to seduce the booming US Hispanic market with action, complicated stories and stronger stars.

It has been more than 50 years since “telenovelas”, most of which are made in Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia, started cranking out classic fare in which typically, a poor country girl would go to the big city, work as a maid and fall desperately in love with the son of a wealthy boss.

The first ones were done even earlier on the radio in Cuba. Now, on dazzling high-definition TV, the telenovela genre shakes up a flirty cocktail of kissing, angry glances, outraged rivals and steamy love scenes.

But telenovelas’ underlying stories also are often about achieving a better life.

And that near-universal plotline — the aspiration to economic or social mobility — has helped them play well across cultural barriers around the world. Read more here http://bit.ly/qElVjp

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