In Latino households, telenovelas are, for better or worse, congruent with our culture. The TV is always on and if it’s not on Primer Impact or Walter Mercardo, you can certainly bet that some telenovela is playing.
It’s not that we’re obsessed with dramatic storytelling, but we totally are. However, this kind of programming is sort of like an escape from our own personal drama, and the actors end up becoming a part of the family. So why wouldn’t you watch the new telenovela featuring Ludwika Paleta or Angélica Vale, especially if we have grown up watching them?
That’s what it comes down to really. These actors and these stories somehow became part of our lives during crucial formative years. So while we know they’re fantasy, we’re still hooked on them simply because of the nostalgic factor of where we were when we first watched them, and how they were intertwined with our family.
Here are 19 telenovelas that shaped our way of thinking, our way of dressing, and sometimes our way of loving.