Last week I was asked, “why are Mexican soap operas are so dramatic?”. Since there aren’t any formal studies on the subject matter, I have a few possible explanations:
1. Long names – Mexicans have more than one last name (you should feel a bit cheated right now). In fact we usually have two first names and two last names. In soap operas they have three or four of each. So how could “Rosa María Estefani Díaz de León Aguilar de la Rosa ” not be dramatic?
2. Cultural education – Where else will we learn to be the stereotypical hot blooded Latinas and the testosterone-driven macho men?
3. Competition – Since soap operas in Mexico are shown at prime time, they need to compete with all the other programs shown at that time. TV shows that have hordes of women dancing in bikinis around mariachi wannabe contestants who are being slapped about by an angry midgets in costume are big motivators.
4. Time – US soap operas last like 20 years whereas Mexican soaps last from 6 months to 2 years tops. This condensation leads to a “soaps on steroids” effect.
5. Same story – They insert as many “bitch” slaps, infidelity, hot maids, rejection, unwanted pregnancies and screaming to make us forget, that if you pay attention closely, you will realize that you have been watching the same story over and over again since you were a child.
So the word for this week will be “soap opera” since you will need it to have any decent conversation with any women in Mexico (especially your future mother in law).