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By LuAnn Schindler

-Isms: Views on life from rural America


January 13, 2022

Watching a couple episodes of the CW (now on Netflix) telenovela, “Jane the Virgin,” got me thinking. Life is one big soap opera, a dramedy full of ups and downs, mixed with moments of mediocrity.

Nothing wrong with watching one, either. Sometimes, it’s okay to escape to a world that seems safe, maybe even a fun location to visit (in this case, Miami) ... unless Rafael’s step-mother-turned-crime-boss known as Sin Rostro, or his drug lord mother (who deserted him after receiving $10 million from his father), a.k.a., Mutter, are involved and bodies pile up (or under) a slab of concrete.

The U.S. telenovela, based on a Venezuelan show, caught my attention, not because of the title, but the main character’s aspiration to write fiction. Portions of that storyline were slow to materialize, much like the path many writers and artists follow. Writing can be a drawn-out process, complete with multiple rewrites. That’s part of the allure: the opportunity to revise and begin anew.

The characterization and acting on the show interested me. Maybe its my former play production roots, but bringing comedy to life is a tough gig. I think it’s important to laugh and be able to relate to life’s big and small moments as they occur. For the past few years, those moments seem far between. We all can use more laughter in our lives. Get out there and find your joy.

Sure, some of the plots of this show seem far-fetched, like being a 24-year-old multi-billionaire who owns a hotel chain - hey, I guess it can happen - or being a con artist who blackmails her ex-husband every other day. I mean, seriously. Does that happen in real life?

What I like most about this show, though, are the believable moments: a multi-generational family living in one household, all pitching in and sacrificing individual dreams to make it work; religion and its place in one’s life when it isn’t as important to your partner; love and its complexities - especially accepting when it’s time to say goodbye, the work-family balance and the death of and grief associated with losing a loved one.

Those are the raw moments we experience firsthand, the times we wonder how others deal with adversity, those snippets we replay over and over in our minds, questioning our beliefs and decisions.

I also like the hashtags, typed on screen in American typewriter font, defining the #daysofourlives. It’s a little bit #satire, a little bit #socialmediagenius.

Like a soap opera, life can be chaotic and planned; heartwarming and cutthroat. How we react, relate and grow, whether the scene is an evening at home or a stressful day at work, is the difference.


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