According to a story on today’s New York Times, the Federal Communications Commission fined Univision with a record fine of $24 million for falling short on regulators’ expectations for educational children’s programming. Univision had long maintained that telenovelas were educational programs, but the regulators didn’t quite buy it and now the network must pay.
Not so fast. After a long day of debating the subject with some of my Mexican friends, we came to the conclusion that telenovelas are in fact very educational, and that there is plenty we all learned from them while growing up in Mexico.
1. We learned that the “ricos” also cry. In other words, that rich, famous and blonde people also suffer, and sometimes even more than the rest of the mortals.
2. We learned that, no matter how good or bad she was in the kitchen, the maid will always end up marrying the señorito de la casa (as long as she looks like Thalía, of course)
3. Blacks are always poor but nice people who are very good at taking care of strangers’ babies (ask Verónica Castro)
4. It is possible to kill your enemies and hide the poison inside your make-believe eye patch.
5. Evil-doers always end up burnt, dead, in prison or living in Miami.
6. We learned that to become really, really, really ugly, you just have to put on glasses and use a very large retainer for your teeth.
7. We learned that if you live in certain Mexico City neighborhoods (or rather, zip codes), you qualify to star in a hot telenovela. Of course, if you are very very tan, are not older than 16, have blonde hair and blue eyes and have a daddy with a house in Acapulco, as the kids from Codigo Postal can show you here