Brazil’s Globo Banks on Light, Escapist Telenovelas to Lift Pandemic Blues
Brazil’s Globo, Latin America’s biggest media company, presented a new lineup of feel-good telenovelas at its MipCancun Online Plus showcase Tuesday as an antidote to the raging global pandemic.
Citing a World Health Organization (WHO) survey, Globo sales manager Pablo Ghiglioni noted that the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent restrictions have “impacted society’s well-being.” “Since the beginning of the year, there has been an increase in cases of anxiety and depression in several countries around the world,” he said, quoting the report’s findings. In the U.S. alone, 40% of the respondents said they felt more anxious while 20% felt more depressed; one out of three felt more alone per the survey, Ghiglioni continued.
Faced with this “new normal,” audiences around the world are looking for lighter, more positive, escapist content, he attested.
Globo presented three telenovelas to fit that bill: “The Incredible 90s,” “The Good Side of Life!” and “All the Women in the World” as well as a sneak peek on upcoming telenovela, “A Mother’s Love.”
The series are not necessarily new: “The Good Side of Life!” was presented by Globo at Natpe in 2018. Their MipCancun spotlight is, however a sign of one reaction to COVID-19 times.
“The Incredible 90s,” written by Izabel de Oliveira and Paula Amaral, and directed by Jorge Fernando, follows three former child stars who seek to regain the glory of their childhood when they had a hit musical band. Set in the 1990s, the telenovela offers a nostalgic look at the era amidst a tale of sibling rivalry, romance, comedy and family.
Penned by Walcyr Carrasco and directed by Jorge Fernando, “The Good Side of Life!” has been a ratings hit in Portugal, Uruguay and Brazil. Taking place in the 1940s, the telenovela is inspired by the 1759 novel Candide, ou l’Optimisme by French philosopher Voltaire whose protagonist, once born, was torn from his mother who had him out of wedlock. He finds his soulmate while searching for his mother. Meanwhile, he poses a threat to her other heirs who are bent on preventing a reunion at all costs.
An original limited series written by Jorge Furtado and directed by Patricia Pedrosa for Globo’s SVOD service, Globoplay, “All the Women in the World” pivots on a 40-year-old architect who is convinced that he can love several women at once. He gets his comeuppance when the woman he really wants leaves the country.
To cap its presentation, Globo showed a teaser for its upcoming telenovela, “A Mother´s Love,” penned by Manuela Dias (“Above Justice”) and directed by José Luiz Villamarim (“Brazil Avenue”). The story follows three mothers whose lives are vastly different but who find common ground through the love they have for their children.