Tonight I sat through an entire hour of the novella “Aquele Beijo.” For those that don’t know, the Brazilian novela is something similar to the American soap opera, but it plays in the evening (usually there are two or three that are playing at the same time in different time slots) and usually on the television station Globo. But these programs don’t run forever, like the soaps. The programs are as good as they are good for depending on popularity, usually six months. An extremely successful novella might continue for 9 months to a year. The shows are also on six days a week, taking a break on Sundays. Novellas are VERY popular in Brazil and it’s hard to find a Brazilian woman who hasn’t committed herself to an evening hour of television in the form of scripted drama. I’ve made lame, 10-minute attempts to watch novellas in the past, but always failed to keep my attention attached to the show. This time I made a serious effort go the distance.
While I didn’t understand everything, I got the basics – heartbreak, betrayal and threats to uncover deep, dark secrets. The acting was extreme, the characters were stereotypical but if I continue to catch on, it might be good for my Portuguese. One thing I found most amusing was one of the commercials that ran during the program. It was for Red Bull and it explained that Jesus’ ability to walk on water was due to Red Bull having “wings.” I wondered, in a seriously Catholic country, if this commercial was considered funny or offensive by the majority of the Brazilian novela-watching population.
One thing impressive about Globo novellas is that they must put some serious cash into production. The scenes, the shots and the attire are all top notch. You can find out all about this particular show at the official site.