Multimedia

Creative production of Brazilian telenovela fans on Twitter

Daiana Sigiliano and Gabriela Borges

Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Juiz de Fora, Brazil

[0.1] AbstractAnalysis of content creation by fans on Twitter based on the narrative arcs of Lica and Samantha, characters in the Brazilian telenovela Young Hearts (Malhação: Viva a diferença) (TV Globo, 2017–18).

[0.2] KeywordsHomophobia; FSNNA 2020; LGBTQIA+; Limantha ship; Malhação: Viva a diferença; Young Hearts

Sigiliano, Daiana, and Gabriela Borges. 2021. "Creative Production of Brazilian Telenovela Fans on Twitter." In "Fan Studies Pedagogies," edited by Paul Booth and Regina Yung Lee, special issue, Transformative Works and Cultures, no. 35. https://doi.org/10.3983/twc.2021.2077.

1. Introduction

[1.1] Developed since 2017 by the Audiovisual Quality Observatory (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil), this research aims to analyze content creation by fans on Twitter based on the narrative arcs of Lica and Samantha (aka Limantha), characters of the Brazilian telenovela Young Hearts (Malhação: Viva a diferença) (TV Globo, 2017–18). Young Hearts was created in 1995, and each season focuses on a different narrative, with different characters, environments, and themes.

[1.2] Analysis of tweets by fans of the telenovela indicates that the show's content elicits critical thinking on the part of fans about the fictional universe as they question how the LGBTQIA+ community is portrayed in the narrative, in particular when represented by the Limantha ship. Fans also comment and riff on the canon, adding new details to characters' trajectories. Such activity is particularly prevalent in issues regarding sexuality and teenage conflicts and insecurities.

[1.3] The creative production conducted by the fans reframes the plot with memes, making fun of the differences about the way Limantha and straight couples are portrayed. It also explores intertextuality through crossovers with other Young Hearts narratives, other Brazilian telenovelas, and North American TV shows. Additionally, fans select certain scenes to edit and make them available with subtitles in various languages, such as English, French, and Spanish.

[1.4] After the end of the telenovela in March 2018, fans continued to mobilize on Twitter, especially around social issues such as the criminalization of homophobia in Brazil, the #ForaBolsonaro movement against sitting president Jair Bolsonaro, and the preservation of public universities. Mobilizations around the fictional universe were also directed toward the production of a spin-off based on the original telenovela. Fans campaigned in a variety of ways as they asked Rede Globo to continue the story. In 2019, the network announced the story would come back with a spin-off, Forever Five (As Five), commissioning the production of two additional seasons.

2. Multimedia

Slide deck for poster presentation on Brazilian telenovela fans on Twitter