Brazilian Soap Operas


Brazil really loves its television. It was the first country to broadcast Portuguese television, even before Portugal, and was the 4th country in the world to broadcast television daily. The largest television company in Brazil is Rede Global. It enjoys almost 91million viewers, which is around half of the country’s population. In the beginning, all television shows were performed live and with a low budget. With this, they tried to string together coherent stories to entertain the few people that actually had televisions. Over the decades, their craft was honed and now millions look forward to the popular telenovelas.


Telenovelas are half way between soap operas and serials. They are on every week, much like a soap opera, but rarely last longer than a year. Each story ends and closes much like a serial, with most telenovelas not going to a second season. The storylines of telenovelas are loose and broad, this way they can be changed on the fly to keep up with current affairs or current viewing trends, though they do tend to stick to their love story roots. However, the most important thing about them is that they are great to watch. Here are some of the most popular telenovelas to have come out of Brazil:


Young Hearts, Malhação. A story following the lives of a group of teenagers and young adults through their troubles, ambitions, loves and depressions. This is one of the longest running telenovelas starting in 1995 and still going strong.


The Clone, O Clone. This story centers around a young man, who has been secretly cloned by his godfather scientist. He falls in love with a Moroccan girl, time changes him, and soon he finds himself competing for her love against his own clone. This telenovela ran in 2001.


India – A love Story, Caminho das Indias. The story of a middle class Indian girl who falls in love with a very low caste man, an ‘untouchable’. Having shown in 2009, this was one of the more recent telenovelas.


Seven lives, Sete Vidas. A new telenovela, it follows the lives of seven children all with different mothers but the same father. They band together to learn more about the mystery of their father. This telenovela started in 2015, and is rapidly gaining popularity.

Be sure to clear your time tables before getting into one of these shows. What they might lack in budget, they sure make up for in compelling story telling and great drama.