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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nick Morgan
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This article explores the phenomenon of the narconovela, a variant of the telenovela which emerged in Colombia in the 2000s, gaining huge audiences and dominating the ratings. Taking as its starting point the seminal work of Jesús Martín-Barbero in the 80s and 90s it examines the critical reaction to these sensationalist crime stories, questioning the common assumption that their popularity confirms a decline in the moral values of the viewing public. Drawing parallels with film noir, it notes how the pleasure taken in viewing melodramatic and dystopian fictions reveals a number of social tensions without implying that what is in any case a highly diverse audience approves of what it sees on screen. Rather, it understands the narconovela as a dramatisation of the darkest aspects of Colombian common sense which is interpreted in different ways by different social subjects. As part of the argument it provides a detailed analysis of Sin tetas no hay paraíso, the series which inaugurated the new subgenre, and concludes with the consideration of two small viewer surveys.
Author(s): Morgan N
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies
Print publication date: 18/09/2013
ISSN (print): 1470-1847
ISSN (electronic): 1469-9524
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