Lost in Translation

Online blog of life in Barcelona for a English guy making a life for himself out here and trying desperately to have a good time, become fluent in Spanish, and most of all - not be constantly mistaken for a tourist!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Crap TV

I made the mistake the other night of turning on the TV back at the flat.
After flicking through a dozen channels (which were all showing adverts on a loop) I came across the Spanish version of Strictly Come Dancing called Mira Quién Baila (Look who’s dancing). Obviously I’ve no idea who the Spanish celebs are, but it didn't matter as I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the professionals and the amateurs! Not because the amateurs were so good, but because the whole thing was so crap! This may surprise some people now but believe it or not, I’m no Angela Rippon (although I was once mistaken for Rosemary Ford), so I’m not in a position to criticise anyone’s ballroom performance, but these people were all seriously rubbish! Once they'd done their little turns, the panel of experts (one of which was a guy who must’ve weighed at least 30 stone, so I’ve no idea what qualified him to give an opinion) gave their views as normal, but then it all went really strange. The female presenter was passed a box of chocolates from off screen, which she opened and started to coo over as if the Milk Tray Man had just burst in, and then some other people came on to pass more chocolates around the audience. I then noticed that the word “publicidad” had popped up in the corner of the screen, so figured this must be how programs are financed in Spain – by blatant plugging of random products in the middle of programs! (If this catches on in England, we'll no doubt have Bruce Forsyth plugging Tena Ladys!!) Suddenly, the reason for the 30 stone panel-member became clear (obviously, he’d been doing this program a long time and eaten a lot of chocolate!) Clearly, not much money must’ve been made on these particular chocolates because we then went to a proper break (presumably to bring in some serious advertising revenue), so I went to the toilet, casually made a brew and sat down and waited for the program to come back on. And waited… And waited… Few more adverts… Must be coming back soon… Few more adverts… (This has been going on for nearly 15 minutes now…) …still waiting. I thought maybe I’d sat on the remote and turned the channel over by accident, but no, this seems to be a fairly normal length ad break over here!

The TV over here really is awful to the point of being unwatchable. It’s frustrating but I have to at least try to watch a bit of TV each day to learn the language from it. I saw a talk show yesterday that was saying how something like 87% of all motoring offences in Spain are committed by men. The audience were nearly all women so there was loads of cheering, until the presenter said that the other 13% have all been committed by just one woman! (I’m sure that’s not realistically possible so maybe I miss heard the percentages, but it definitely wasn’t far off those figures). They then brought out this little old lady called Rosario who was in her late 60’s at least and looked like all she was missing was her mop and bucket, who is apparently the cause of this crimewave. The presenter then read out some of the highlights of her driving record and she just nodded and agreed with them all!! I lost the plot of what was going on after this, but they then took a “surprise” call from (I think) Rosario’s son who confessed that the offences where all his and that his mother was taking the blame for him to save his skin! Mental!!

Then of course, there's the Soap Operas (Telenovelas). If you thought Eldorado and Crossroads were bad, wait until you see these things! The highlight of the one I watched was a scene where an actor with a heavy moustache walked on, clearly tripped up quite severely, and then carried on with his lines as if nothing had happened!! The acting is truly awful but no-one seems to mind at all and it's all part of the fun. Presumably, they’re under a tight budget and only have limited time to churn out each episode, so quality has long since been forgotten!

Right, I'm off now to find out if Manuela's second cousin twice removed really is pregnant by the local Paella shop owners son!!!


At September 27, 2006 10:24 PM, Blogger Steve said...

When I lived with a TV here, I'd quite often forget what I was watching during the 20 minute ad breaks.

At September 27, 2006 10:27 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

It's crazy isn't it? And not only are the adverts annoying, but the times that they put the shows on is ridiculous too. In England, I'm used to prime-time being roughly classed as 730pm-10pm, but here it seems that they put their best shows on (I use the term "best" loosely) at about 1130pm or even later. Bonkers :-)

At September 28, 2006 2:03 PM, Anonymous Kate said...

Just testing....have never even seen a blog before, I'm a bit behind.

At September 28, 2006 2:21 PM, Anonymous Grandma Fernazez said...

It sounds like the USA, 3 minutes of programs and 30 mins of adverts, I wouldnt mind but I was brainwashed into buying a glow in the dark tea pot with matching loo seat. Although very handy as the electricity often gets cut here, not due to a 1980s style coal strike, but commoners wiring up there homes via a B&Q extension cable to lamp-posts. We cant wait for christmas when from the air Wythenshawe looks like Las Vegas with all the flashing santas, all paid for of course by the national grid.

At September 28, 2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Lost in translation said...

You've gotta love Wythenshawe. During the summer, it's full of scrotes on unlicensed mini-motos and then during the winter it's like something out of a Jean-Michelle Jarre concert! Have any of your neighbours put their lights up yet? It is October next week you know, so it's about time. Mind you, some of them never take them down!

At October 01, 2006 12:31 AM, Anonymous grandma fernandez said...

Well the christmas like switch on in Wythenshawe usually coresponds with the changing of the clocks. Poundstretcher and B&M Bargins have their christmas range in already with reports the 12ft inflatable santas and 3 million bulb pifco light sets are sold out! Anyday now we expect a test switch on to which 4 streets will loose power and the airport will close due to runway light confusion.On a lighter note bonfire night started this week with regular firework throwing. This is expected to last until march when the nights get lighter. Share and industry news now, fags went up by 10p in Bargin Booze, but following a street riot, benifts also went up to compensate. Gay steel and disco vinigar is trading well.


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