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    The hit television series telling the world about Colombia

    Colombia loves its soap operas, known locally as telenovelas, and the country’s biggest hits tend to get everyone talking. But […]

    Colombia loves its soap operas, known locally as telenovelas, and the country’s biggest hits tend to get everyone talking. But behind the tears, tantrums and torments lies the truth of the nation itself, with many of Colombia’s best-loved television series’ based heavily on the country’s culture, passions and pastimes. Here are four hit television series that told the world about Colombia.

    Yo soy Betty, la fea (Ugly Betty)

    Ugly Betty (Yo Soy Betty, La Fea in Spanish) is the most successful Colombian soap opera of all time and the first to be remade for international audiences. It was aired in its original form in hundreds of countries and remade for dozens of markets including the US (Ugly Betty) Mexico (La Fea Mas Bella) Japan, India and Russia. The series extols the value of intelligence over beauty and made stars out of Ana Maria Orozco, Betty in the original Colombian series and America Ferrera, who played the lead role in the US. The series was created by screenwriter Fernando Gaitan and first aired on RCN in 1999. (You can also read: Yes we Cannes: Colombia’s hottest movie directors)

    Café, con aroma de mujer

    Café, con aroma de mujer (Coffee, with a woman’s scent) was another Gaitan brainchild (there is a reason the man has won so many awards) and the first series to unite Colombia’s city dwellers with its countryfolk. The series told the story of “Gaviota” (Teresa Suarez, played by Margarita Rosa de Francisco) and her mother who travelled across Colombia working as coffee harvesters, before Gaviota had a doomed love affair with the aristocratic son of one of her employers. Colombia was said to be “paralyzed” every time the show aired and it was much praised for its authentic view of Colombian coffee culture, from the slopes of the coffee district to the exportation business in Bogota.


    Popstar Carlos Vives is a national treasure and it was the Escalona series that propelled him to fame, a series based on the life of vallenato singer songwriter Rafael Escalona in which he played the lead role. The show, first aired on Caracol Television in 1991, covered elements of Escalona’s life and the much-celebrated songs he wrote, such as Jaime Molina, La Casa en el Aire and La Flor de La Guajira. The series won numerous awards and aired in Venezuela, Panama and Mexico. It was directed by Sergio Cabrera, the man behind hit movies La Estrategia del Caracol and Golpe de Estadio and was much-loved for being a celebration of Colombia’s passion for music. (You may also enjoy: Must-see Colombian movies)

    Los Reyes

    Colombia has a deeply family orientated culture and Los Reyes (The Kings) captured the national sentiment perfectly. This 2005 telenovela aired on RCN and told the story of the humble Reyes family who, thanks to a bizarre twist of fate, ended up moving to a luxurious mansion and watching their lives change in funny and tragic ways as they struggled to adapt to their new circumstances. The series made stars out of many of its protagonists and featured several cameos from well-known Colombian personalities. Reyes always remained together as a family despite the adversities, as every Colombian family. (You can also read: Five hilarious Colombian movies)

    Popular programs that reflect the lives and passions of their people? Live this experience in Colombia. If you liked this article please feel free to share it on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.

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