Thursday, March 18, 2010

Watching The Soap

I never thought much about soap operas in general; they're a tradition here. At night, people come back from work, have dinner and turn on the telly to watch the news and then the 9 o'clock soap. You just do it. Like Nike. My family had always gravitated around the soap (except for my dad, with his books and classical music), so I gravitated with them.
At 19, I went to live on my own. And in my bedroom, a new tv set. But without my family gravitating around it, it just seemed to lose its meaning. Though I continued watching all the sitcoms, hospital series and rich teenagers' dramas available ("welcome to O.C., bitch!"), I neglected the soaps. And Big Brother too, thank you very much. I went to college, and I had no idea what people were talking about; I read gossip magazines headlines, and knew not a single one of those names. It felt sooooo good! And for 6 years, I paid attention only to my books.
One day, however, I came back home to find Roomie sitting on the couch, completely focused on whatever it was she was watching. I was surprised: she's the only one person I know who actually watches no tv whatsoever. I looked at her, big-eyed, and when she noticed me, she was positively beaming: "B., you gotta watch this! This is priceless!"
It was, of course, the 9 o'clock soap. I could not believe my eyes. I sat down next to her, gobsmacked.
But in 10 minutes I totally got her point: that was amazing!
The current 9 o'clock soap is "Viver a Vida": To Live Life. Poetic, huh? 
Our protagonist is Helen, a beautiful top model who gives up her career to marry Mark, a rich-30-years-older-than-her executive. She marries him for love, though  - she was already rich herself...  but one of Mark's daughters, Lucy (also a model, and the exact same age as her new stepmom), hates Helen, for... oh, god knows what reason. As if it really mattered! Helen's younger sister, Sandy, is in love with a drug dealer, and gives up the good easy life she leads at her mother's inn to live with her true love in the slums. Oh, love!...
Lucy's boyfriend is George, a serious young architect - who's got a non-evil twin brother, Mike, a bubbly happy-go-lucky kinda doctor. Mike's girlfriend, Renny, is a wannabe model who struggles with her drinking problem. Mike has simply become every girl's ideal husband around here, btw! You know, like Brandon Walsh from "Beverly Hills 90210" in the 90's. (Oh, the 90's!...)
Helen and Lucy go to Jordan for a fashion show. They meet Bruno, an extremely handsome Brazilian photographer; he and Lucy have a one night-stand (poor serious young architect George!), though he's really in love with Helen, who remains loyal to her wedding vows. 
The same, however, cannot be said about her husband Mark, who has a 2-day affair with Doris, this beautiful single mom who had once saved Helen's life.
Lucy has a terrible accident in Jordan, and ends up quadriplegic! They come back to Brazil, and bubbly Dr. Mike is now in charge of saving her from the fate of never walking again. The photographer Bruno comes back to Brazil as well, and we learn he is actually Mark's ilegitimate son! And he's in love with his stepmother! Oedipus would've been so proud!
Single mom Doris comes to Rio de Janeiro (where it all takes place, as in any 9 o'clock soap), pregnant, running away from her ex, who's trying to blackmail her! As soon as Mark sees her, they resume their affair; at the same time, Helen starts missing the modeling days, and plans to go back to working - but her chauvinist prejudiced husband won't hear of it. Their marriage starts to fall apart, while both Bruno and Doris hang around, just waiting.
Meanwhile, Lucy and Mike fall in love - but they have a dilemma to face: Mike's girlfriend is not only an alcoholic, but also Lucy's friend. And Lucy's boyfriend is Mike's brother! What to do, what to do?!
This week, everything I've been waiting for finally happened: Lucy and Mike finally kiss, after ending their relationships. To forget his heartbreak, George is now dating a prostitute! Helen's finally filed for divorce and has the courage to hug Bruno, while having this conversation:
Helen: Can you feel my heart?
Bruno: Yes. It's beating oh so fast!
Helen: It's anxious.
Bruno: Can you feel mine?
Helen: Yes, it's beating so fast too!
Wow. This is quality tv alright!
Other than that, everybody knows Helen's sister Sandy and her criminal lover will die, leaving their baby to be raised by our favorite prime-time top model! Eventually, Doris will walk out on Mark as well, and the jerkish womanizer executive will be not only all alone, but also completely bankrupt. Yes!
I watch it with Roomie everynight - it's our bonding time, since we rarely see each other during the day. And there's not a single scene we do not mock. 
But we have to admit: we love Mike. He beats every E.R., Grey's Anatomy and House doctor! Oh, Mike!... And we hate Helen, she annoys the crap out of us. She suffers too much. And then, there are all those people traveling short distances by helicopter, living in ridiculously big and fancy penthouses in front of the beach, and angry women throwing whisky glasses at mirrors.
How can anyone not love this amazingly complex and utterly down-to-earth plot?!


Leona said...

What's a soap?

(I keep hearing it here and there for how long now, but I've never quite gotten to asking what it is, exactly. XD)

RicAdeMus said...

Hey!!! They does sound good! I wonder if, from a psychological standpoint, shows like that help us avoid gossiping about each other? Since we have the show to talk about. Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

oh trust me robz..there are more complicated soaps in India...which stretch on and on for more than 7yrs..!! at least you understood this soap!

beanizer_05 said...

what's wrong w/ me?!..i've read that long soap plot????..and i keep on going back again and again to familiarize the characters--who's-the-who!..
it seemed to be a complex soap..but sounds interesting..
and that mike--he's not gorgeous anyway..
if love would that be complex..i doubt if i can manage

Gabriel said...

Such a typical soap opera plot, I found it hilarious! Maybe you should try mocking Big Brother some day (nah).
Say Rachel hi for me tonight!

ambiguous_angel said...

ow. soap.
they are also tradition here in the Philippines.
I used to love them too but then I realize how its eating most of my time so I tried to stop myself from watching.

but that one is interesting, still I cant believe it beats Grey's anatomy cause I love it so much.haha

I do love Big Brother too..really cool.

Nowadays, I just buy DVD's to watch my favorites..(One Tree Hill, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewife's, Kyle XY and 90210)
I just cant help it, its addictive:)

Rml said...

@Leona: a soap, short for soap opera, is, according to the wiktionary, hehe: "A television serial, typically broadcast in the afternoon or evening, about the lives of melodramatic characters, which are often filled with strong emotions, highly dramatic situations and suspense". Basically, a drama series that lasts much more than necessary. But they're oh so funny!

@Rick: I agree w/ u! While we're busy talking about Mike and Lucy and whomever else, we're not talking about our neighbors! This is healthy, since the human being seems incapable of NOT talking about anybody - which just strikes me as sad...

@bella: REALLY??? 7 YEARS???? Wow. Here, the soaps last for a year and that's it. But there's always a re-run in the middle of the afternoon a couple of years later...

Rml said...

@bean: well, I only have one thing to say to u: HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA!
Hehe, I lied, I'd like to add something: it's not that Mike's actually handsome: he's ridiculously charming in everything he does! Charm always counts much more than beauty itself.
And love is not complex, it's simple. Never said it was easy to handle, though.

@Gabriel: Biel, what r u doing around here??? An actual comment??? Wow, I'm honored, hehe!
And YES, hehe, Viver a Vida is hysterical! But in order to mock Big Brother I'd have to watch it... err... no thnx!

@angel: oh, I love buying dvds of my fave series as well! I buy them all, hehe! It's soooo addictive!

Didz-W said...

I've only seen some few soaps in my life, some runs for 100 episodes and others as far as half the year! I don't know any other great soaps but the few that I watched has made me an expert in swearing! Hahaha! They're just way so good for pissing the viewers off. Hehe.
Your soap seems complicated story for a blurry pengwee here but I have to agree with you, that Mike boy, Ulalaa...HOT! :D

Rml said...

@Didz: hahahha, sorry for posting complicated plots to our fave blurreed pengwee! Hahahaha, yes, Mike's quite the hunk! (Hope beani boy doesn't read this, he'll be jealous!). But the funny thing is: the twins George and Mike are played by the very same actor, and yet, very few people thing George handsome or charming! How come?! Guess that actor is just really good!

RicAdeMus said...

Sometimes the talking is a happy thing--I talk about you all the time! =)

Rml said...

@Rick: Hahahahahahahahhahahahhahaha!!!!! How very flattering!!!! I knnow, though, I have that effect on pple... =P

Didz-W said...

Eh? I thought they're identical twins! Hahahaha! Thanks to artist make ups and stuff, we're fooled again and yup, he must be a real good actor to play such different characters. Haha, let Bean read this! So that he knows he's not that a hot hunk! *evil smile*

Rml said...

@Didz: yeah, I know! It's all about the hairdo, the clothes and the attitude! Besides, Mike's always smiling, and George's always got one of his eyebrows raised, as if he were suspicious of something... well, he should be, his twin is stealing his girlfriend, wtf?! The other day they had a fight over Lucy...
Hahahahahha, where's beani to read this?!?!

Didz-W said...

Hahahha! I can see how this soap really affected u emotionally! whahaha! Yeah, I get your point. I wonder how can you fight your own self over someone??..Impressive!
Hehe, no worries B, he'll come around soon. He just can't live without us! Hehehe..

beanizer_05 said...

i found the "bang kit" and using it now..can't read clearly the lines above..

Rml said...

@beani: there u r! Really, u can't read the lines above, huh? Yeah right.. your reading abilities are very selective indeed... your eyes seem to be in eternal denial! =P

beanizer_05 said...

Yes indeed! my reading abilities are's allergic to lies (do i have to remind you again??)...

But seriously, he's not a hunk! Not even close!

Rml said...

@beani: oh, u wouldn't know a hunk even if he danced stark naked right under ur nose!