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Saturday, April 22, 2006

The party's over, the guests all leave.

Well, friends, my marathon project of blogging the five-day-a-week telenovela Alborada has finally ended.

Last night, my readers mixed themselves margaritas and settled in to watch the 90-minute Grand Finale. I sat down with my clipboard and blogged my little fingers off.

I'm exhausted from staying up so late every night, but it's been a great adventure.

For one thing, this blog went from about 250 visitors a day to as many as 1200 on big Alborada days.

For another, these new visitors were kind and enthusiastic and left lots of comments. They helped me with my Spanish, looked up historical anachronisms, and called their mothers-in-law in Puerto Rico and Mexico when none of us could figure out some obscure phrase. They laughed at my jokes.

What an amazing experience it must be for telenovela actors. A typical production comprises about 80 hours, somebody wrote. That's got to be months and months of spending all day long with your fellow actors, in beautiful clothes, creating, but also living, an intense fantasy.

Another funny thing about my new visitors is that they really let themselves drool over the protagonist (left). A couple times the producer let this guy take off his shirt and show his (anachronistic) big muscles. My readers fell off their chairs, they told me...

There is a grand showcasing in the telenovelas of an old-fashioned, regal kind of acting - usually portraying the villains and villainesses - which was born on the stage, centuries ago. I enjoyed it very much. Our gringo villains are rarely so impressive, rarely drenched in blood, their heads held high, giving wonderful speeches completely lacking in remorse!

This particular villainess, dying of cancer, last night prayed to God, with her rosary wrapped around her knuckles, as she knowingly drank poison. Then she had her indian servant (who in real life was one of the directors of the novela) put this tiara on her head! And she staggered down the hall to her son's room - he was dying of syphilis, but not fast enough - and poisoned him too! And lay down in bed with his corpse, wearing her tiara, and died!

Friends - you can't beat that. Regular programming at Pratie Place resumes tomorrow.

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At 3:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am utterly convinced that the TRUE love relationship in Alborada is the one between Doña Juana and Modesta. They both do horrible deeds, but they have such a near-telepathic connection and real tenderness with each other, despite the differences of social class and race.

I can never forget Modesta falling on her sword one last time for her mistress, doggedly keeping her secrets to the last. And Juana's last actions--this is Cleopatra and Medea rolled into one. Just absolutely stunning.

"Sin boldly." They did.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just want to say how wonderful it was to have this insightful, funny, informative place to come to twice a week after discovering Alborada. My friends, co-workers and family all thought I was nuts watching a show in Spanish, but I loved it from the first day I started watching, and I am so sad that it is over. The recaps and comments here were wonderful. I have expanded my mind to learn about and experience something new with Alborada and this site, and I can't thank everyone enough.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Jean said...

Hi Melinama: I will add my voice to the chorus. What you started doubled the fun of a great novela. I appreciate all your work, which I really understand having recapped a couple of episodes myself. At 2am in the morning, I couldn't come up with anything funny about what was going on but you did time after time.
We had a great time and learned some Spanish and some history. I can still hear my Spanish teacher (a Mexican woman) laughing when I asked her what "merequetengue" meant. "Where did you hear that?" she wanted to know. "Es muuuuy Mexicana." Thanks again and onward to the next novela.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings! After being away for a few days I had great fun enjoying an Alborada marathon including the deeply satisfying Capítulo Final. Melinama and others, what a great ride this has been. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would become so hooked on a telenovela. Even though Alborada was awesome with great acting, costumes and over-the-top plot lines, I lay the blame of my addiction squarely at Melinama's feet. It was her scathingly witty recapping that hooked me and reeled me in. Melinama, deepest thanks for your astounding dedication and skill. Also, many thanks to everybody who participated in the recaps, clarifications of idiomatic phrases, historical corrections and comments and, well, just EVERYTHING! Jean, great translation of Cristina. It was very much more difficult to understand than Alborada.
Dear friends, I hope to see you all at CarayCaray.


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