This is by far the best soap opera that I have ever seen (and I just grew up on soaps and have been watching them for a good 32 years now). No schmaltz, no cheap sentimentalism. What you see is true people with true emotional and existential problems, to a point that the spectator is often challenged by his/her own prejudices and insecurities as portrayed on the screen, not by the irony and pessimism of your average sitcom character, but by the self-defeating irony and helplessness of real people like the spectator him/herself. Forget the search for gold and social position. Here people are searching for happiness within the illusions concocted by their own selves, which they are quite ignorant of, much like the average spectator. The set of characters include, on the lead role, a cynical psychic young man with strong, innate premonition skills without a clue as to what these skills are meant to mean to him anyway; disembodied spirits desperately in search for revenge or for the meaning of life and for the light beyond; greedy and unscrupulous men and women trying to outsmart one another; a bashful young man suffering from sexual impotence and a female friend who tries to help and wonders if she actually loves him anyway; a depressed woman suffering from chronic relationship problems; a keen psychotherapist who takes care of many of the characters and leads them to important insights, which the spectator ends up benefiting from (actually I was myself strongly influenced to become a therapist as I am today by this character as I watched this soap at age 7). In a nutshell, all common problems and the hidden sense of helplessness within every heart of modern life are deeply approached by a thoughtful plot and excellent acting in this anthological masterpiece of the Brazilian soap opera industry. Really worth reviewing by the beginning soap opera writer. It remains uncertain, though, if copies were saved from a serious fire on the TV TUPI building in the late 70's.
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