Telenovelas are essentially Latin soap operas. Think crazy plot twists, unrealistic romances, and unexpected drama. Each episode is a roller coaster, and is meant to get you hooked on the action in a short amount of time.
These telenovelas are an important part of Latin American culture, especially for the older generations. Originally, they were used as a way to market to the housewives in the 30s and 40s. Soap companies would sponsor the shows in order to sell their products on the commercials aired during the episodes. Hence the term soap opera.
In Latin America, the background is more about the preceding radionovelas. Radios were the source of entertainment for all households before television came along, and stories were aired everyday to keep everyone amused. Before these sorts of stories, plays, such as those written by Shakespeare would be read aloud on the radio.
Many actresses have found fame by starring in these telenovelas. Examples include, Thalía, Sofía Vergara, Salma Hayek, Kate de Castillo, and many more.
Honestly, there’s a love—hate relationship surrounding telenovelas. Characteristically, they are low budget with unrealistic special effects. But after blowing up in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela, it has become a part of the culture.
Below you can find a list of popular telenovelas offered on Netflix!