The Rise of the Narco-novela

Narcocorridos? That is so passé.

Narco culture is now seeped into every thread of popular culture; the narco-telenovela being its latest incarnation.

With storylines engrained with social injustice, class struggle, lust for power, vengeance and betrayal, the melodramatic television staple’s latest mutation has proven to be an instant hit amongst younger viewers who traditionally didn’t identify with the format, but did grew up with up with mothers, aunts and grandmothers hooked on the pastel, Cinderella variations 

With increasing popularity amongst younger generations, it’s clear that today’s modern-day novela heroin is less Disney princess and more Queen of the Pacific.   

And while some could argue that it’s strictly south of the border phenomenon; it is Hialeah, Florida-based Telemundo—a division of NBC Universal—which is leading the narconovela way with recent hits like El Cartel de los Sapos, El Cartel 2: La Guerra Total, and my personal fave La Diosa Coronada, based on the life of Colombian beauty queen turned coke kingpin Angie Sanclemente.

Their latest “super production”? La Diosa del Sur, an adaptation of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s 2002 eponymous novel.

On-air since February 28, it tells the tale of Sinaloa-born Teresa Mendoza (played by Kate del Castillo—rival telenovela powerhouse Televisa’s former darling), and her cross-continental rise to infamy.

“[Narconovelas] are inciting violence,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez a vocal opponent to the trend who managed to take two such productions off the air in his country last October, recently stated.

Hold on, Chávez the voice of reason? While I track the snowstorm in hell, check out this teaser (with English subtitles!) of La Reina del Sur bellow.

2 Responses to “The Rise of the Narco-novela”
  1. Jeff says:

    When is La Diosa Coronada (with English subtitles) coming out on DVD?

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