I don't know how well known Destinos is to those who didn't take Spanish in school or those who randomly see it on late at night on PBS, but it is very well known to me. Not only did it help me use Spanish in a more conversational way, but I believe it was the first series I watched from start to finish, in order.
Many years before I watched LOST, Spaced, Dinner for Five, and Twin Peaks chronologically, I watched the worldwide travels of Raquel Rodriguez, searching for the long-lost son of Don Fernando. I saw all fifty-two episodes. And watched the series twice over the course of my six years in Spanish classes split between high school and college. Now that's dedication, even if we were required to watch the episodes.
Destinos follows the soap opera formula: nothing really settles down because something new and earth-shaking pops up. That said, I still think fondly of the show's mix of humor, melodrama, and application of the Spanish language. Unlike a certain daytime soap I was once addicted to for its campiness ("Marlena's possessed!" "Hopefully John will be wearing the goggles" "Sami, you're pregnant?"), I would actually want to watch Destinos again if I had the chance. Arturo and Raquel falling in love! Pati and Juan fighting! Gloria has a gambling problem! Don Fernando has doubts these are his grandchildren! La Gavia must be sold!
I might be wrong, but I believe up until I watched the show, I had never watched a series in order. I think I saw every episode of The Monkees, The Brady Bunch, and the original Scooby Doo mysteries over the course of a few years thanks to syndication. Almost of those shows have self-contained episodes, so it was OK to see the series out of order. But not with Destinos.
So I guess I can chalk up my patience and willing to watch the shows I watch now to something I had to watch as an assignment. Wow, not everything I'm forced to do means bad things down the line. Then again, I never resisted watching the show . . .