Thursday 21 October 2021 – La Minute Monocle
Column / Fernando Augusto Pacheco
Good clean fun
For a telenovela enthusiast like me, leaving Brazil has not been easy. Watching the country’s outrageous soap operas has always been difficult in the UK: the choice between grainy Youtube clips, home-released DVDs, or expensive Byzantine subscription services. That was until last week, when Brazil’s biggest streamer, Globoplay, finally launched in Europe and Canada.
Along with more than 20 million Brazilian subscribers, I now have access to TV Globo, which broadcasts all the most popular soap operas, and 10 other channels of the group offering not only fiction but also documentaries, comedies and Brazilian music programs.
This most recent international expansion follows a launch in the United States last year, which means Globoplay has grown exponentially since its inception in 2015. Profits rose 68% in the second quarter of this year. The company is Brazil’s largest streaming service and was forced to step up its game after Netflix started making serious forays into its home market, with the US giant even poaching well-known telenovela actors.
But I’ll leave the drama of the actual audiences to them, because for now I’m more than happy with full access to my favorite soap operas and programs. The archive is a special treat, from the iconic Tieta To Tudo Valley, one of the most visually striking soaps of all time and a great thriller. In the 1980s, Brazil didn’t care about JR. Instead, the whole country stopped to ask, “Who killed Odete Roitman?” Want a more current recommendation? The second series of Verdades Secretas (on the picture) premiered yesterday and all I can say is that if Blondie’s 1 minute soundtrack teaser was anything to go by, it’s even more over the top than the first.