Forget the exhausting river baths, the heated sex scenes and the nudity of Juma Marruá (played by Alanis Guillen). “Pantanal” in the 2022 global version is more straight and conservative. And it seems that the change in direction has paid off. The growing audience of “Pantanal” is a reason for celebration at the Rio station. On air for five weeks, the plot has an average of 27.5 (SP), five more than the previous one, “Um Lugar ao Sol”. Still, it doesn’t beat the reruns that aired during the pandemic – “Empire”, for example, scored 27.90.
Who followed the first version of the soap opera, in 1990, on the extinct TV Manchete, with text by Benedito Ruy Barbosayou certainly remember Juma (then lived by Cristiana Oliveira) swimming naked in the rivers – scene she repeats in her boyfriend Jove’s pool (played by Marcos Winter), as soon as he takes her to Rio de Janeiro, which scandalizes the whole family. On TV Globo, in a text adapted by Bruno Luperiforget about showing breasts in the heat of Mato Grosso or under the scorching carioca sun.
In the scene that aired this Thursday, 5, for example, Juma and Jove (Jesuit Barbosa) exchange kisses and caresses during a river bath at dawn. Only the couple’s heads are above the water. The sensuality of visible bodies so present in the first version gave way to a romanticism in the contemporary outfit.
Ana Paula Gonçalves, a teledramaturgy researcher at PUC-Rio, argues that it was not just “Pantanal” that over the last thirty years has separated the two versions of the soap opera, but open television as a whole. “The soap operas of the late 1980s were produced in a country that was experiencing post-military dictatorship freedom and TV, which was so much a victim of censorship, saw its main product as a source of innovation. In an election year, with the country so polarized, it was a comfortable choice for the broadcaster to revisit a great serial, without polemicizing with the present”, she says.
For the specialist, this choice may be related to the low ratings of “Amor de Mãe”, highly praised by specialized critics, but which was too controversial with our political reality. Another soap opera that would be a problem nowadays, in his view, is “Vale Tudo” (1988). “I can’t imagine being produced today. That’s why this version of ‘Pantanal’ focuses on everything that escapes politics in an election year”, says the researcher.
Recently the character Juma appeared armed in some scenes. Bolsonaristas used this fictional image to defend the armament policy on social media. It does not mean that Juma is up to date with the current dilemmas in Brazil, but an example of how images are decontextualized. “Juma is a wild character, who lives in an environment full of men and animals, hostile to women. There, the presence of weapons is cultural. Bringing Juma and his gun to defend weapons policy makes no sense. Whether the current Juma is a peacemaker or a Bolsonarista is too early to say”, comments Gonçalves.
Continues after advertising