Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Clarina is teaching Brazil to accept gay story lines in the best subtle way possible

We had a discussion on the forum regarding the show and how the conversations in it are actually cleverly hidden attempts to educate the people watching. To show the ones who are 'against' homosexuality that it's not a bad evil thing at all. Original post here. The following below is my reply to another member.

I think that is exactly it. You can almost compare all this to Sesame Street for grownups, as in, they teach kids about right and wrong, basic things in life.

The audience here already has a fixed idea on what right and wrong is, the difference is, that idea is based on previous times. Times have changed though, and right and wrong has changed. 200 years ago the idea of women voting and having any say in things was outrageous. It took a long hard battle to change that around, but over time, people changed their views and the younger generations grew up believing in the 'new and improved' version.

That's what's happening here too. The younger generation and the open minded people in the older generations now banded together to get this new idea in people's minds that homosexuality isn't evil. In fact it's been around for a very long time and it's very normal at that. Not only are they giving hints like this in the story itself, but also the actors, even the ones not directly involved in the story line, are giving their support outside of the soap. Not the characters giving support, but the actors, the ones with a voice cause people look up to them. For example the actress that plays Sylvia, she gave her support on Twitter. Even Reynaldo, the guy who's losing his wife in the show, he publicly supported the story line. That kind of stuff matters.

When it comes to hints in the show, Clara is scared she'll lose her son's custody cause Cadu threatened he'd fight for it. Even though by law that may or may not be possible, she doesn't know that and the thought alone naturally scares her. Even though Cadu and Clara are on sort of friendly terms at the moment, he's still knows that his wife is still very much in love with Marina and the problem itself isn't going anywhere. They want the audience to realize this so the nay-sayers see a Clarina reunion coming, instead of thinking 'but they were getting along!'

So he asks Nando about it. He can see the divorce coming, maybe it will, maybe it won't, but he can sense the problem still exists and he wants to cover his angles. It's an understandable thing to do in Cadu's case. he wants to know his options, I don't really blame him when you look at it from his perspective. In his view two women can't really be in love, but Nando is the Sesame Street wise man who tells him: 'It is possible, they can fall in love, this won't hurt the child, this is not a reason to take custody from a mother.' He just says it in different words. He's not just telling Cadu, he's telling everyone watching that this is not a horrible thing and it certainly isn't a reason to separate mother and son.

Same with the Giselle/Branca scene. Giselle makes sure to point out Marina is not a hunter, she's in love. And probably so is Clara. She also makes sure her mother knows that in her opinion this cannot be used as a weapon against Chica. It's wrong. Love can't be used as a weapon, it should never be used as a weapon, cause love isn't something you choose. it's something that happens to you.

Marina may have been portrayed as somewhat of a predator in the beginning, going all in, trying to get Clara. When they went to Angra she told Vanessa she was hoping for more to happen. More being sex. As the story progressed and Marina realized she wasn't just in love and Clara was the one, it stopped being about sex, it started being about wanting to be together. Her whole demeanor changed, she stopped ordering Clara around like 'you're coming for dinner' etc, instead of wanting Clara to spend time with her because Marina wanted it, she wanted Clara to spend time with her because Clara wanted it. She wasn't a conquest, she was an equal, someone she highly respected and genuinely wanted her to respect her back. So her whole attitude changed.

Scene at the beach with Helena, Helena asks how she and Cadu are doing. She says they are doing better. No funky grin, nothing. Just a slight smile. They were fighting before. They aren't fighting all the time now. They're doing better and she is happy about it. When Helena asks about Marina, they are doing better too, and a huge naughty smile appears. They were already doing good, there was no fighting. The better refers to the romantic aspect, that's doing better. They just shared a huge romantic and intimate kiss that got Clara's hormones to fire up.

Even though the conversation between them was about Cadu and Marina both, when Helena goes to get a drink, it's Marina that Clara is thinking about. It her she sends a wonderful loving text, has the cutest phone conversation with. At the same time they show Marina at home, waiting patiently for news, being totally ecstatic when she receives it, bouncing up and down in her bed when she sees it's a message from Clara. Every housewife remembers what it was like to be in love as a teenager, how they bounced up and down when their crush acknowledged them. They can see that Marina is totally in love, they can see Clara is totally in love too.

It's exactly like a lot of you have already said here, it's educating. Love between women is possible, it's happening. It's not an evil thing. It's not anything that can decide custody over a child, Cadu is being educated along with the audience. I suspect he will come to terms with this at one point. Will be a while, sure, but he will see it. He will see it's just the way it is and that he didn't lose his wife specifically to another woman, he will see he lost his wife cause she loved someone else more than him. The fact that it's a woman, doesn't matter. Him accepting this will be crucial. If Cadu can accept it, so should the audience.

Nando's conversation with him was crucial. Giselle's conversation the same. Branca represents the housewife, the one who still thinks this is a scandal, something to hold on to, something to use as a weapon. Giselle represents the voice of reason, not only telling her it's love, but also scolding her mother about how you can't use love as a weapon. The whole audience can see that Branca is one to stir up trouble, she uses stuff to her advantage. Her 'ways' are evil and the audience is being given a message that using this love as a weapon is evil too. it's not right. Giselle stands up for her friends, the people she cares about. She's not just standing up for Marina here, she's standing up for her new step-sister Clara, also for the woman her father has fallen in love with, Chica. She cares about them. It's a textbook example of 'the good and the bad guy'. Using Clara and Marina as a weapon, only the bad guy would do. That's the real scandal.

That's what the soap is slowly working towards. They show nothing but affection and happy faces when Clara and Marina are together. They show friendship but not passion, when Clara and Cadu are together. They want the audience to see the real relationships here and that it's ok to be divorced, as long as you can all respect each other still.

Helena represents the conservative housewife as well, don't leave your husband, how would he feel? Choose your family, forget yourself. She chose her family a long time ago, she married not for herself, but for other people. She had this idea that that was what she was supposed to do back then. She too will change her view, she will see that choosing to forget about your own happiness is silly. Choosing unhappiness, being a dutiful housewife, those ideas are in the past. She too will see, 'Clara should choose happiness.' And with her, the housewife will relate.

I realize much of what I said has been said before, this is just me agreeing with it in my own words :) No matter what spoiler they throw at us, it's all part of the wonderful buildup not only towards 'Clarina', but towards making the audience see. There is no doubt in my mind and there hasn't been in a long time that this is what they are doing. Any spoiler that seems meh for us (Cadu and Clara have sex, Marina and Vanessa maybe sex, renewing vows, ring, whatever), it all a brilliant laid out plan to change the mind of a generation that was taught to disagree with this. They are being re-educated, they are being shown that it's ok to be gay, that as long as there is true love involved, you have to follow your heart. They are taught that the scandal isn't a lesbian relationship, the scandal is choosing an unhappy life.

That takes time. I am very happy the writers and the makers of the show saw the importance of that and decided to take all the time they needed, because they saw the huge relevance in this message and to its audience. It's truly groundbreaking and they deserve all the props.

We shouldn't boycott anything, we shouldn't give them negative feedback. We should praise them for doing this exactly the way we need them to.


  1. hi, Colette! another great post!
    Its amazing how well u translate what everyone is secretely hoping, but is too damn affraid to take it seriously!
    Here, in Brasil, we worry about the strength of the ratings playing against us! Globo is known for giving up on plots in beneffit of the numbers... Its very sad!
    At the same time, they usually take some risks to introduce new aesthetics, perspectives, and different ways of storytelling... This is even happening with another "novela" that they have and where they're risking really bad telling a very colorful and charming story... tim Burton inspired, my guess!... and this is huge here cause people is not used to that kind of narrative!
    And why am I telling this? my point is: Globo sometimes forces its way through something that they know will pay off in the future, even though this means sacrificing the present ratings!
    And this is exactly my hopes here! they know its about time the public gets used to homossexual couples! They need to start telling those kind of stories to move on and represent more of the reality we see in real life!
    Another source of hope: The author of Em Família is really respected! And this is his last novela... AND before the novela was even started he was obsessed about telling how he intended to tell a love story through Giovanna Antonelli (one of his protégées) and some other woman (later we knew that would be our loved Tainá)... So i guess we are fine! he wont give up on his obsession, and no one will be against him in his final work! Not even Globo...
    Well... At least this is the version that i keep playing on and on in my mind not to panic!
    Hope my country wont let u down!

    1. Hi! I'm sorry I've taken so long to get back at you. First of all, I want to thank you for your reply and for taking the time to write such a nice long comment on it.

      Nice to hear the point of view from someone in Brazil, I've heard lots about Maneco and I've been convinced for weeks now that we are going the right way. He's been preparing the audience, building the characters, placing which scenes where, everything he did so far has been building up to a Clarina happy ending, he just has to 'wrap up' other things so he won't step on any toes with it.

      Like the things happening now, I can just feel they tickling the tip of the iceberg right now. They want to get to it, but they are just waiting for a little bit more to roll to the surface. For a storyline that's about something pretty heavy, a man getting a new heart, they're putting Clarina scenes in left and right. I keep getting pleasantly surprised by the scenes we get. Not only do they advance towards a Clarina relationship when it comes to the story and the opportunities, they also show us so much affection between the two girls, every day. Their looks alone set the curtains on fire.

      I have all the faith in the world. Maneco did an awesome job, we're headed for lovely Clarina times, the girls are going to be together very soon and they'll be more in love than ever. I have no doubt in my mind.

      Thanks again for your response, I hope I can entertain you with more articles, perhaps we'll meet again!


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