For those who enjoy a soap opera, Brazil is fertile ground, as the overwhelming majority of general TV channels in the country transmit, on average, four soap operas daily. Invariably, much of this material eventually goes around the world, being bought and broadcast in other countries. One of the most permeable markets for Brazilian teledramaturgy is, of course, my country, due to its cultural and linguistic proximity. I watched "América" only once, when it debuted in Portugal, around 2005.
I confess it was one of the worst soap operas I've ever seen. It was so bad that it was worse than several domestic counterparts. The plot is absurd and revolves around the attempts of a Brazilian girl to travel to the US without any documentation, as an illegal immigrant. I already know Brazil well enough to know the inexplicable fascination that most Brazilians have for everything that is American, but to make a soap opera where Brazil is vexed and humiliated in this way was a sad thing, even though this is a point to which I am totally immune, insofar as I am Portuguese, so I am not a Brazilian citizen to feel offended in my patriotism. Even so, I think the Brazilians, in this soap opera, have turned their country into a sort of second-rate nation, glorifying the US in a deeply idiotic way. I am the first to say, even being a foreigner, that Brazil owes nothing to the United States, even though it is a country with immense economic, social and political problems. These are problems with solution if there is a serious investment in the subject. I am not in favor of an exacerbated and blind patriotism, where our country is good at everything and there are no problems. Do not get me wrong! I am in favor of a patriotism where our love for our country is channeled to try to make it better. This is something that is lacking for the Brazilians (and also for many Portuguese).
Another problem with this soap opera is the woody way the actors played. Deborah Secco is beautiful, but she was still trying to become a serious actress and not just a pair of boobs to attract male viewers, so she still didn't have the talent to be protagonist. At this point, I think her choice was a casting mistake. Murilo Benicio was well enough and Christiane Torloni too, although she may have had little good material to work with. Edson Celulari was just like himself, and that is bad for an actor in that it makes his character totally unlikely.
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