This Turkish Novela Is a Huge Hit in Chile

Lead Photo: 'Madre' images courtesy of Mega
'Madre' images courtesy of Mega
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In case you needed any more evidence that telenovelas are a genre that transcends borders: a new Turkish series airing in Chile has become a ratings sensation. So much so that after only airing two episodes it was already ranking as the fourth most-watched Turkish TV show in Chilean history. That’s right, the country clearly cannot get enough of imported TV fare. As if that didn’t add credence to the fact that novelas are a global phenomenon, Madre (Anne) is in itself an adaptation of Yuji Sakamoto’s Japanese drama Mother. Looking at its premise, it’s clear why it’s primed to be such a worldwide sensation.

Madre, which is dubbed for Spanish-language audiences in Latin America, has all the trappings of a must-watch saga. Zeynep (Cansu Dere) is a young substitute teacher with innate motherly instincts. She soon finds out that one of her students, seven year-old Melek (newcomer Beren Gökyıldız) is being abused at home. Her stepfather mistreats her, while her mother doesn’t seem to care enough to keep him from beating the young kid, who shows up with bruises at school. In a rare moment of bravery, and when a serendipitous moment arrives, Zeynep decides to kidnap the girl. She hopes to take her away and have her live as her own daughter, away from the violence of her actual home. But their happily-ever-after will be fraught with the type of intricate storylines you can only find in family melodramas (they involve police investigators and long-lost mothers). Plus, seeing Cansu and Beren learning to behave like mother and daughter is as tearjerking as you can imagine.

Tackling issues of domestic abuse, it’s clear that Madre struck a chord with Chilean fans who not only made its debut episode a hit but who improved the show’s ratings in its second outing. This is after it also catapulted Argentinean channel Telefe to record numbers in the neighboring country in July. How long do we think until American producers learn of this latest global hit and announce a remake? In the meantime, check out the trailer below and a slew of tweets from Chilean fans who cannot get enough of this latest Turkish sensation.