Saturday, October 15, 2005

Desperate housewives

I have not seen the tv series "Desperate Housewives" but I have heard and read that people is talking about it. When Mirabai gave her comments about the mentioned series the first thing that came to my mind was: "Ah! So now the soap operas are called tv series... "

Mirabai complains of the television formula that through "confusing histories, suspense and too much sensationalism" tries to make us pass a story as same as reality. I agree that seeing again and again the same formula makes you lost interest and stops being entertaining. After faithfully following all the series of Twin Peaks it was not attractive for me to watch the The X Files . After watching Candy Candy , Remi , Cuna de lobos (Cradle of wolves) , Tieta , El camino secreto (The secret way) , Roque Santeiro and many other soap operas it is not difficult to compare and then see everything as repetitions of stories and ends.

But repetitions should not surprise us. They have happened throughout all the history of humankind. Michel de Montaigne realized this and wrote his Essays . Using texts of Greek and Roman authors he compiled "soup operas" of the daily life. For example, it wrote "Of how we laugh and we cry by the same cause", "Of the solitude", "As how the feeling of good and evil depends to a large extent on the idea that we have formed of them", "Of the greed of the glory", "Of the inequality that exist between us" Does this sound like titles for soap operas?

But Montaigne had the good idea to approach only a single subject in each chapter. I understand that feeling of "saturation" that the tv series can give us. Trying to attribute to 5 characters the dramas and conflicts of humankind requires talent. For that reason the Quixote is a classic one, Shakespeare is on some way a writer of "best-sellers" and James Joyce took his time to rewrite and to reinterpret in his peculiar way the Odyssey of Ulysses.

I like intrincate stories. Films like those of David Lynch, Peter Greenaway or Wim Wenders, or like Magnolia or Crash (this year's one) fascinate me. Sometimes the subjects and the approaches are overlapped, but I like them as individual pieces.

I say it again. I have not seen even a chapter of "Desperate Housewives". Either it contains sensationalism or not, I don't know if it can fascinate me as Twin Peaks did or if it can make me as curious as I am with Sex and the City. It is valid to reinterpret and use present contexts. It is between "I miss it!" or "I saved my time" to decide if I like what I watch/read or if I prefer to read and/or to watch the "classics". Finally, who says that someone who did not have the opportunity to see Tieta cannot learn something watching "Desperate Housewives"... Or perhaps not.

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