By: Gabriela Yareliz
There are shows like Grand Hotel (and telenovelas, in general) that attract the masses. They are deliciously dramatic, salacious and mysterious.
Part of what makes the storyline what it is are the layers and layers of family secrets and deeds that are being hidden from the audience and others in the story. What I feel isn’t emphasized is enough is just how damaging family secrets can be and the destructive power they can have. It’s not glamorous or intriguing as much as it is painful.
When aspects of your family life seem to crash and burn, I promise you, it’s not as exciting as episode 3 of Grand Hotel. Novelas come to a conclusion when matters come to light and certain things are resolved. It may be some random character coming back to life/ reappearing (don’t ask. If you know, you know); a character dying; something restored or a secret unveiled (ie: someone realizes they are X’s secret child). There is usually a clear victor in the whole ordeal. There are also, usually, some clear losers. In real life, however, does the winner take all? Or if there is a winner at all, is he or she left with a sense of loss, despite victory? (There is my Carrie Bradshaw question).
Ironically, something that makes things more painful, sometimes, is seeing clearly. Sometimes, it’s seeing that can bring us the most disappointment and pain. Yet while seeing can drastically change everything in a negative way, it also means you have the ability to harbor a profound vision of something else that gives you hope.
Regardless of the pain, lies and secrets life may bring into our midst, seeing is everything. Truly seeing means truth. And while someone who has lied will feel imprisoned by truth and all coming to light, and what may follow is an attempt for self-justification and more manipulation— we only make excuses for mistakes— the truth can do something for those who had been groping their way through the darkness.
“And then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
The Grand Hotel is home to selfish characters with misdeeds, secret identities, secret pasts, webs of lies and people trying to protect one another. We must not forget that for the characters who end up tangled in these webs, the Grand Hotel is not home, it’s exactly that, a hotel. At a hotel, you decide when it’s check out time. (And best to do it before one of these characters who resides at the hotel kills you off. Kidding. We are speaking metaphorically, here).
So, if you find yourself in the Grand Hotel, listen closely, because as my friend Milica would say, I am only going to say this once:
Pack your bags, take a souvenir soap to wash off the filth, and turn in your key.
It’s time to go home.