Can anyone resist the angst filled love stories surrounding a beautiful heroine and a handsome, dashing hero? No!
Telenovelas differ from soap operas; the main difference being the main coupe in the story, after overcoming misunderstandings and obstacles by the antagonists; have a guaranteed happy ending, which is how the story ends; unlike soap operas (also a guilty pleasure), you have the love, passion and angst as well but alas, the couple are split up, get back together and then split again and several storylines are brought in, some of them really exasperating.
Not that telenovelas don’t give out their own share of exasperation, most viewers get worked up when the story isn’t going the way they want- the best example being when the hero and heroine aren’t together no thanks to the scheming of their enemies or for some other reason. We forget it’s all fiction and feel connected to some of the characters- the main couple especially- try to guess the outcome and at the same time hoping the antagonists will end up in a deep dark hole!
Since the first one aired here in Nigeria back in 1993- The Rich Also Cry; I’ve counted telenovelas as one of my numerous guilty pleasures. The angst is one thing but the love and passion between the hero and heroine, plus the circumstances they find themselves in, makes you just want to re-watch them when after the story ends. The telenovelas I can honestly watch over and over again are:
Tu O Nadie (No One But You): A greedy and disgruntled man decided to use his unsuspecting fiancée as a means of getting his hands on his stepbrother’s vast wealth. But Raquel and his step brother Antonio fall in love instead and suddenly the battle between the two men becomes more intense. This telenovela actually has three remakes!
Escrava Isaura( Enslaved Isaura or Isaura The Slave Girl): Set in slave era Brazil; an educated biracial slave girl began questioning her slave status after she and a plantation owner fall in love and their main obstacle is her master's brutish son who wants Isaura to be his concubine. Her lover is murdered and she flees to another town; after a period of healing falls in love again, this time with an abolitionist.
Cuando Seas Mia (When You Are Mine): The son of a wealthy family falls in love with one of the hacienda's workers. But Diego and Paloma's love is constantly threatened by some disapproving members of Diego's family and other people who would rather see Diego and Paloma apart than together where they belong.
La hija del Jardinero (The Gardener's Daughter): A young doctor and the daughter of a gardener fall in love but a secret and a scheming rival keep them apart; the secret being Louisa Fernanda is actually the daughter of the step father Carlos Eduardo despises.
Mulheres De Areia (Sand Women or Secrets of The Sand): This Brazilian telenovela is about totally different twin sisters; Ruth and Raquel, the daughters of a fisherman. The scheming seductive Raquel manages to steal the rich and handsome Marcus away from her gentle sister but how long will Marcus continue to allow himself to be fooled by Raquel and realise his true love is Ruth?
LA USURPADORA (The Usurper): In order to cover up an extra martial affair, Paola blackmails her recently discovered twin, Paulina, to pose as her. Drama and confusion unfolds after a baffled Carlos Daniel- Paola's husband- falls in love with his sister-in-law.
ROSA SALVAJE (Wild Rose): The Rich Also Cry (Los Ricos Tambien Lloran) alumni- Veronica Castro and Guillermo Capetillo- play a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and a rich young man who at first married her for the sole reason of annoying his irritating and snobbish sisters but realises too late he was actually in love with his 'savage' wife after she finds out the truth. Now Ricardo has to prove his love to Rose at the same time shake off the possessive Leonora.
SORTILEGIO (Love Spell): The third remake of Tu O Nadie(No One But You); the same story line as the original, only this time Alejandro and Bruno are half brothers and Bruno- the main villain- would go even against his own mother to get what he wanted- Alejandro's inheritance/position and Alejandro's wife, Maria Jose.
LA MUJER DE LORENZO (Lorenzo's Wife or Lorenzo's Woman): Lorenzo is heartbroken when his wife Laura cheats on him with her personal trainer, Alex. His old flame hopes to get him back but to her dismay, Lorenzo finds himself falling in love with Alex's ex; Silvia.