A Lugar ao Sol came to an end this Friday (25) with the worst audience in the history of Globo’s telenovelas. Licia Manzo’s story had everything to succeed, but at some point it failed and did not win the public’s favor.
In order to arrive at possible explanations of the reasons that led to this, I raised some points with the most impacting errors in the soap opera.
When Um Lugar ao Sol started, there was barely any talk about the soap opera on Globo. With little publicity, Lícia Manzo’s plot only became an article in Fantástico one day before the premiere.
Pantanal, which will come soon after, has been a topic on the network since 2020, as it would initially premiere in 2021. Three months before Um Lugar ao Sol airs, Alanis Guillen, who will play Juma Marruá in the remake of Pantanal, gave an interview eight minutes to Fantástico.
The feeling is that A Place in the Sun came to fill a hole. If not even the broadcaster believed in the potential of the soap opera, the public would not believe it.
2. Floating schedules
In addition to suffering from the publicity, Um Lugar ao Sol struggled with the station’s schedule. In the first week, which is crucial to win over the public, the soap opera started at very different times. The feeling was that the plot could air at any time of the day, making any kind of programming difficult to follow the story.
3. Characters with little or no charisma
The cast of A Place in the Sun is amazing and gave a show of acting at various times. The characters left much to be desired. With the proposal to escape the Manichaeism of good versus evil, they all became detestable on some level. It became impossible to root for anyone, especially the protagonist. And in a story that unfolds for months, we need to root for someone to keep following it.
4. Scenes a la Frankstein
One of Licia Manzo’s qualities is creating hooks at the end of chapters to make the viewer come back the next day. It was like this most of the time, but, in the middle of the final stretch, the soap opera was cut to last longer than expected, since Pantanal suffered some delays due to the pandemic. From there, the story got a little confusing and didn’t have the same appeal as before.
5. Film photography
The photograph with bluish and darker tones generated strangeness from the first minute. A Lugar ao Sol didn’t look like a soap opera and didn’t look like a soap opera. Despite being beautiful, it did not please most of the public. Over time, it changed a little and became clearer, but perhaps it was too late.
6. History going in circles
The premise of A Place in the Sun is very interesting, but it started to get boring as the story stopped moving forward and got stuck in vicious circles. In the text, this may even be beautiful and poetic, but in practice it has become exhausting. The feeling is that we were stuck in a groundhog day.
7. A fat reduced to being fat
Nicole, played by Ana Baird, is one of the characters who walked in a circle throughout the entire novel. Her role was to be fat, breathe like fat, think like fat and have sex like fat. She could even repair an attempt to address fatphobia, but Nicole and the audience listened for months to heavy fat-phobic slurs, without any kind of counterpoint. We need to portray the story of women like Nicole, but not by summarizing fat women just to her body.
8. Lack of continuity
Some themes were thrown out to the public and didn’t receive proper attention afterwards. At the beginning of the novel, Ravi, played by Juan Paiva, had a certain learning difficulty due to childhood trauma. However, there was no explanation of the diagnosis at any time. And worse, this difficulty disappeared and appeared as if by magic.
Another story that appeared and disappeared out of nowhere was the rape that Cecília (Fernanda Marques) suffered in a nightclub. She got pregnant, was admitted to a hospital, but it seems they left out the way it all happened. The silence about the rape sends the wrong message: that the scene we saw was of a consensual relationship. Which is not the case, since she was very drunk and unable to say yes or no.
9. Emptying the plot about domestic violence
Stephany, played by Renata Gaspar, was a victim of violence from the first moment she appeared in Um Lugar ao Sol. As a secondary character, that was her story. However, in the final stretch, she became a kind of villain when she discovered Christian’s secret (Cauã Reymond). She proceeded to blackmail him in every way possible. The sudden change in the character just before she was murdered by her ex reversed the values of the plot that was being built.
10. Delay to present outcomes
Much was left to be resolved in the last chapter of the novel and there was not enough time for the public to appreciate the story. I could have made Christian reveal that he wasn’t Renato much earlier, so we could calmly follow the consequences of his actions and his suffering. They left the best for the 45 in the second half. Didn’t need it.