Brazilian novelas – Soap Operas Posted by on Oct 23, 2016 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Entertainment, Video

Novelas Brasileiras

Brazil is known for its telenovelas, or soap operas, a widely appreciated and immensely popular genre throughout Latin America. As a national fixation and one of the favorite forms of entertainment no país (in the country) – along with soccer, the novelas are a Brazilian television staple and, as such, an intrisic part of our culture. Therefore, watching them is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the idioma (language), improve your habilidades (skills) and aprender mais (learn more) about Brazilian daily life, customs and habits.

These serial dramas usually run for about cento e oitenta (a hundred and eighty) 45-minute episodes, during the span of less than um ano (a year) and are shown durante (during) prime time, broadcast by main television networks, like Globo, Record, Bandeirantes and SBT. Successful productions have found a great market worldwide, being exported to many regions of the globe, such as outros (other) Portuguese-speaking countries, Europe and Asia.

With a cast of about quarenta (forty) actors and actresses, the storylines fall within various categories, from romantic comedies to historical romances, tipically depicting as vidas (the lives) of the the lower, middle and upper class, including a main plot and various subplots taking place in different settings. Poder (power), ganância (greed), corrupção (corruption), ambição (ambition), amizade (friendship), amor (love) and forbidden passions are all common themes adressed in the shows. Além disso (besides), dramatic and emotional situations filled with plot twists, domestic conflict, family sagas, ill-fated romantic couples, villainous and heroic figures are crucial elements in the plot.

Much of the novelas appeal also lies in their ability to reflect sociedade (society) and relate to large audiences from distinct social backgrounds. As a highly influential phenomenon that plays a large role in Brazilian media and culture, these narratives have been shaping behaviors since their debut on TV, becoming a vehicle to transmit ideologies and deal with a wide variety of often taboo and controversial issues, such as drug abuse, racism, poverty, sickness, urban violence and sexuality.

Brazil’s most recent sucesso (hit) was the record-breaking Avenida Brasil (Brazil Avenue), a revenge tale set in the Rio de Janeiro slums that reached 50 million viewers, earning over an unprecedented 1 billion dollars in revenue, becoming one of the most-watched in the country. Other shows that approach very diverse topics were similarly successfull:

O Clone (The Clone) centers around an illicit love story between a muslim woman and a Brazilian man, portraying the arab culture and adressing topics like human cloning and drug addiction.

Caminhos das Índias (Road to India) is set both in Brazil in and in India, and explores the two societies, their customs, and the conflict between Eastern and Western values and beliefs.

O Rei do Gado (The Cattle King) revolves around a land dispute and a family feud between two Italian families in the Brazilian countryside.


Are you curious now? At this website, you can encontrar (find) popular soap operas, series, comedy shows, films and documentaries in Portuguese, all with English subtitles. Confira! (Check it out!)

You can also procurar (look them up) on YouTube by typing in the novela of your choice (plus subtitles, if you wish).

If you’re into melodrama, love, intrigue and learning Portuguese, watching Brazilian soap operas is the way to go!

Tenham uma excelente semana!

Have an excellent week!

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