Soap It Up

I’m watching a new Mexican soap opera, and I’ve got a fresh batch of observations.

Everybody in the soap is extremely religious. Characters, including the very young ones, are constantly going to church, praying to the virgencita, exchanging cult objects, and doing good works for the church. These are rich people, so everybody is sleeping with everybody else, everybody has gay friends, or is gay, yet everybody is constantly hanging out at churches or around home altars, or makeshift altars in the woods.

The romantic couple at the center of the series experiences the most intense moment of their love when he takes her to a church that means a lot to him and they pray together. They are dressed like they are straight from a go-go show in Vegas, and they are engaged to other people who are sleeping with other people who are sleeping with more people. None of which seems to be in any conflict with the religiousness.

5 thoughts on “Soap It Up”

    1. “metaphor for typical social hypocrisy”

      In the US I would agree, but given that this is about Mexico, I think it’s something else… I’m not sure what but… something else…

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      1. The interesting question is this, when was the last time anybody saw a sincerely religious Christian on US TV who wasn’t portrayed as, at best, an idiot? Tons of profound, deeply believing Muslims. Some practicing Jews who are smart. But whenever there’s anybody who is a Christian in a TV series, he (or usually she) is a simple-minded country bumpkin. Examples include Grey’s Anatomy, The Mentalist, etc.

        What we see on the screen isn’t reality. It’s cultural codes. I find them fascinating. I wrote before, for instance, how the Soviet cultural codes changed between the early and the late 1970s. They flipped around on their heads completely. Somebody who was a good, positive character in 1968 would be a contemptible evildoer in 1978. Isn’t it fascinating?

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