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Goodbye, “Malhação”: Remember 5 Iconic Seasons Of The Brazilian’s Most Loved Teen Telenovela

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

[A personal note from a devastated author and fan] I’d like to stress here that this was one of the hardest lists I’ve ever made. I love soap operas and Malhação will always be one of my sweetest TV memories. This teen telenovela has been in my life for a long time – to be honest, for the most part of it.

It all started with my brother, who simply loved “Vagabanda” and used to spend hours talking about Cabeção and Mocotó. It was a family obsession. 

The soundtrack also hooked me. I mean: Charlie Brown Jr., Strike and many other fantastic bands, which were not only the theme song, but in the whole soundtrack.

So, I gathered my favorite seasons in this list to honor the teen soap opera which rocked kids of our generation and, now, is saying its last goodbye.

1 – Malhação 1995: The First One

This list couldn’t be started any different: the first Malhação of all time has to be the head. This was the season which gave the name to the soap opera that would last 27 years. 

“Malhação” can be translated to “workout”, and that was the theme of the first season. It was centered on a gym called Malhação.

Everything starts when Héricles Barreto (Danton Mello), a sweet and naive young man, moves to Rio de Janeiro and gets a job at the gym as administrative assistant. The countryside man starts to live at Malhação, and struggles with living alone and being accepted by the gym youth, while falling in love with Isabella (Juliana Martins), a swimming student. 

Virginity, abortion, social prejudice and sexuality were the main topics of this season, and what makes it really special is not only the fact that it is the first one, but also because it is where we are introduced to our beloved Alexandre Ferreira, better known as Mocotó (André Marques), who stays in the cast until 1999 and is one of the most iconic characters of all time.

It aired from April 24th, 1995 to March 1st, 1996 and was a perfect kick-off for the other 27 seasons which came after it.

2 – Malhação 2002: The “Ogromóvel” One

From April 22nd, 2002 to April 25th, 2003, Pedro (Henri Castelli) and Julia’s (Juliana Silveira) story was told, a couple which is the perfect definition of “young love”. They fight and pretend they are not attracted to each other, but, obviously, they totally are. 

When they finally accept this fact and get together, a car accident happens and Julia’s father, Otávio (Odilon Wagner), has to operate on César (Kadu Moliterno), Pedro’s father. After the procedure, everything seems fine, but Otávio made a big mistake, which left César without being able to walk. Then, the romance gets shaken and the young couple falls apart. 

Besides that, Maumau (Cauã Reymond), a surfer and a Pedro’s huge friend is new at Múltipla Escolha, the school which is a part of Malhação’s story for many seasons (even before this one). He befriends Cabeção (Sérgio Hondjakoff), one of the fans’ favorite characters, and they buy the “Ogromóvel”, another iconic element of the Malhação universe. 

3 – Malhação 2004: The “Vagabanda” One

If you’re not a fan of “Vagabanda”, you are clearly living the wrong way. Who is the Mexican RBD compared to Gustavo and Natasha’s successful group? 

The 11th season aired from January 19th, 2004 to January 14th, 2005, and was a big hit! The main plot was Letícia (Juliana Didone) and Gustavo’s (Guilherme Berenger) turbulent love story. She is the sweet and hard-working daughter of the street cleaner Jorge (Ricardo Petraglia) and the Múltipla Escolha inspector Lúcia (Tássia Camargo). He is a troublemaker, who comes from a rich family and plays guitar at the rock band “Vagabanda”.

When Gustavo gets closer to Letícia, he starts to change his bad ways. As he matures, they fall in love. The “Vagabanda”’s bass player, Natasha (Marjorie Estiano), doesn’t like this at all. She has a major crush on the ex-bad boy and has always been jealous of the couple.

The band was a success on and off-screen. In “Malhação”, they won a music contest and recorded an album. In real life, their song was released to the public on the internet and was a download champion. Meanwhile, Marjorie Estiano was the official interpreter of the songs and started a singing career outside the teen telenovela.

4 – Malhação 2008: The Longest One

The 15th season of Malhação is very meaningful to me. It was the first one I’ve watched from the beginning to the end, without missing any episodes. I’ve even watched Caio Castro’s selection to the show, which happened after he won the Caldeirão do Huck “Casal Malhação” contest. Thank God, because I was cheering for him hard.

Caio Castro entered the cast in 2008. Before that, the main plot was the love story between Angelina (Sophie Charlotte) and Gustavo (Rafael Almeida). Their relationship was a very difficult one, since Angelina, a poor girl, wasn’t accepted by Gustavo’s rich family.

The couple forms a rock band, “The Banda”, and have Débora and Yasmin’s (Natália Dill and Mariana Rios) pop band “Faniquito” as rivals. Later, Caio Castro’s character, Bruno, arrives and a love triangle begins, which results in Angelina and him dating. Later, the couple struggles with an unexpected pregnancy. 

My favorite character in this season is definitely Yasmin. She is the one who makes this season one of the best! The “Jesus apaga a luz” catchphrase (Jesus turn off the light, in free translation) and her amazing singing voice are in every fan’s head and heart. The funny and troubled love story between Peralta (Jonatas Faro) and her also deserves a mention.

The longest season of Malhação aired from October 15th, 2007 to January 9th, 2009. It was also in this season that our beloved Gigabyte, another iconic scenario, closed its doors. 

5 – Malhação 2012: The Fatinha One

The oldies may say Cabeção or Mocotó are the best characters, but it is actually Fatinha (Juliana Paiva). You all know I’m right, come on. Fatinha was a supporting character in Lia and Ju’s story.

The 20th season of Malhação was centered around the love triangle between the best friends Ju (Agatha Moreira) and Lia (Alice Wegmann) and Dinho (Guilherme Prates), the popular kid. 

However, the provocative and extremely funny Fatinha took us by the heart. She was amazing by herself, but when she falls in love with Ju’s brother, Bruno (Rodrigo Simas), they form my most loved couple on Brazilian TV. I told you this season was a really big deal! 

“Brutinha”, as the couple was called, is sweet, passionate, intense and with the right amount of troubled. Bruno resists this love at first and Fatinha makes many mistakes and bad calls, but they overcome all the adversities and, among many ups and downs, manage to accept their love and be happy.

Besides “Brutinha”, Léo Jaime is a special guest in this season. He is one of my favorite singers in Brazil and, at the plot, he owns the “Misturama”, a bar where the characters hangout.

Well, it’s safe to say I cried, I laughed, I cheered and I suffered season after season, story after story, couple after couple. All of them have a place in my heart, they all make part of my story as the proud “noveleira” (how us Brazilians call people who watch a lot of soap operas) I am.

Thank you for everything, Malhação. See you around, I guess. 

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The article above was edited by Helena Cardoso.

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Giulia Howard

Casper Libero '24

Jornalism student at Casper Libero who loves to talk about movies, tv series, books and anything related to entertainment and culture.
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