Thursday, January 29, 2009

Spanish TV

This is a report, a rather amusing report if I do say so myself, that I wrote for my Spanish class probably about a year ago. At that time, my brother known here as Draik was still living at home.

“Hey mom.” “What?” “I need to watch TV in Spanish again.” “Oh.”

With that, my mother, usually fastened to the couch or rocking chair from 4-10, departed for her bedroom. I shrugged and turned on the TV just in time to catch the beginning of our ‘favorite’ Spanish game show, A Que No Puedes!

“What does that mean, anyway?” Ty asked.

“Something like, ‘you can’t do this,’” I replied.

My dad had wandered into the room. “So they do all these stunts, and then the contestants have to try to do them?”

“Yeah, something like that.”

My sister Random turned from the TV to me with an odd look on her face. “bob, did he just…”

“Yes, he did just stare blatantly at that woman’s chest. They do that a lot on this channel. I’m sorry, I would watch a soap if any were on.”

Dad grinned. “You mean that ‘Diablo con los Guapos’ or something?”

“Or the Spanish ‘Desperate Housewives’?” Draik added.

“Yes. Like that. Now be quiet so I can watch this. I need to write a paper on it for my Spanish class.”

All was quiet for a while, as a typical game show got on much how a typical game show does, in Spanish or English. Only the ways to win money change; in this case, contestants get it by doing stunts.

“bob, why are there scantily clad dancers?” Poor, innocent, 12-year-old Ty was purposefully looking away from the screen.

I shrugged. “’Cause they can. Honestly, all the shows I’ve watched, aside from the soaps, have scantily clad dancers for apparently no reason. Apparently the Spanish channels don’t have as much of a sense of propriety as Americans do. Or, perhaps, Americans swear and are more violent on TV, and Spanish channels are more sensual. Oh, nobody watch this commercial.” I turned off the TV for a couple of minutes.

As A Que no Puedes! ended, Random looked at me again. “Who won?”

“I don’t know. Maybe the Spanish shows care more about the spectacle than the winning of money. Oh, look, the clown show is on!”

Draik turned away from the computer, where he was facebooking as if his life depended on it. “What? Why clowns? What happens?”

“I don’t know. Stuff.”

“bob, why are there scantily clad cat dancers?” Ty couldn’t get past the dancers, apparently.

“I don’t know. Aw, man, they didn’t do the armpit dance.”

Dad had wandered into the room again. “Armpit dance?”

“Yeah. The cat dancers go along in front of the front row of the audience and show them their armpits, while everyone pretends they are really stinky.”

“Why?” It doesn’t matter who said this, since everyone was thinking it.

“I have no idea.”

“Hey, bob, what are they saying?” This was Danny, looking up from the DS long enough to notice that there was something going on in the living room.

“Oh, the clown dude is instructing that other dude to profess his love to the cat dancer, as if they were actors in a movie or something.”


At this point, I turned my eyes heavenward. “I really don’t know. In fact, I don’t know why most of the things that happened on Spanish shows happen. They seem to have no purpose whatsoever. Makes you wonder how all these apparent traditions got started.”

“So a key factor in being a Spanish show is that you don’t make any sense?”

“Yeah, something along those lines.”

Danny went back to his DS-ing. “Spanish people are weird.”

I shrugged, which is something I seem to do a lot while watching Spanish TV. “Oh, look, they’re going to have people sing now.”


“If someone says that word again, I will send you all to bed. I don’t know why. It’s kinda like American Idol auditions, though, except it’s all a joke.”

“Is that one old woman really a man?”


“They’re putting honey on that guy’s head!”

“Yeah, they do that while people sing.”

“Put honey on their heads?”

“Well, do odd stuff in general. Like put wigs or sunglasses on them, or tie them up, or dump stuff on them. Oh, look, now the clown guy is going to sing. He has a good voice.”

“What’s he singing about?”

“Um… his heart, and how it belongs to a girl, and something about going to a restaurant.”

Draik gave me a skeptical look from the computer. “Don’t you know Spanish?”

“Not that well! I’m working on it, mmkay? And anyway, he’s singing kinda fast and stuff. Oh! Hey! I recognized that phrase – I learned it in Dance of the Cucumber. What a great song. I wonder if I could get extra credit for singing it in Spanish class. I could certainly use the points.”

“bob, are you almost done yet?”

I raised my eyebrows at Random. “You could go to bed.”

“I don’t want to go to bed.”

“It’s past your bedtime. Oh, nobody watch this commercial.” I turned off the TV again. This time, I forgot to turn it on for a good ten minutes. “Blast, now I’ll have to watch more.”

“Why are you watching TV in Spanish, anyway?”

I gave Random an exasperated look. “I think I already went over this. I have to for my class, for a cultural activity. I have to observe something and write about how it differs from our culture, as well as noting any new words or phrases I learn.”

Random looked dismayed. “So you’ll have to do this again?”

“No. I can only do it once. Now hush, I need to pay attention. I don’t know if I’ve yet learned and observed enough to fill a page.”

Out of all that I learned from watching Spanish TV the other day, I think the thing I will remember the most is that I should never watch it with all my siblings in the room. Not only is some of it a little to adult for some of them, they can’t keep their mouths shut!


Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

Something you might enjoy is El Chavo. It's a comedy and makes a bit more sense than other tv shows.

Goober said...

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Sam, The Nanti-SARRMM said...

For some reason Goober, that reminded me of the laughing dude from Mario Party 8.

Fredjikrang said...

This post is hilarious. Just so you all know. :D

wv: Hysta- Short for hysterical! (See, even Blogger thinks it is funny! ;D )

Danica West said...

O_o As I read, I was terrified to realize I've seen parts of that show. Several times while channel surfing. And it always scares me and makes me glad I'm studying Japanese instead of Spanish, because their game shows are typically more about humiliating the contestants and less about clowns and scantily clad women. :)