While curing a November cold I have watched a lot of Spanish TV, like Menuda Noche and La Tarde Aqui y Ahora on Canal Sur. These shows, hosted by popular presenter Juan y Medio, are among Spain´s most popular talk shows, combining entertainment and actuality. Menuda Noche is a program for children and their families. One cannot but admire the spontaneity and self esteem of these Andalusian children, aged from three to about twelve, singing, telling jokes and dancing flamenco with all the fervour and stamina it takes. I cannot help but compare them to our rather shy and serious Scandinavian children. They can also perform, but with shyness and sincerity. Every culture has its charm.
La Tarde Aqui y Ahora, also with Juan y Medio is aimed at an elderly audience. It is a talk show, combining actuality and entertainment with helping lonely people to find company. It is fascinating to see what a good listener and analyser Juan y Medio is, trying to examine the situation of these people who really put themselves out in front of a big audience. Some of the participants have found a partner thanks to Juan y Medio´s ‘matchmaking.’ Curious about Juan, I looked him up in Wikipedia. He has university degrees in both Sociology and Law, and started his career as a lawyer before becoming an actor and later a famous TV personality.
I must confess that I sometimes watch old classical (and, alas, dubbed) Western movies on Paramount Channel, especially those with John Wayne in the leading role. Dubbed films in general are not my favourites. In Spain, the women’s voices in the dubbed versions are very shrill and affected. It’s as if they would use the same voice for every actress. Imagine Lauren Bacall with her deep tobacco voice talking like that. Spanish women talk very fast and their voices have a higher pitch, but it ´s important when dubbing to choose the right type of voice and personality. In many countries, like Sweden, Finland and Norway, foreign films on TV are in the original language with subtitles in the national language. This has proved to be a useful tool for learning foreign languages.
Now to TV-News. Corruption is the only thing they are talking about today. How to fight it and who the corrupt ones are. Lists are given out containing names of politicians, builders, celebrities and authorities of every category and political colour. I am now aware that there is a judge in Seville called Mercedes Alaya. When I first saw her on the TV, appearing umpteen times in the same place, near Seville’s court house, rolling a bag on wheels, each time wearing a different beautiful outfit. First, I did not understand her role, because the media approach got me confused. But now I have learned that she is a judge who faces the mammoth task of presiding over
Andalusia’s worst corruption cases, and that the bulging bag behind her was full of discriminating legal documents. Clever girl.
When writing this, I listen to news about the death of the flamboyant Duchess Cayetana de Alba, one of Europe’s wealthiest and most titled aristocrats. She had a fantastic life, with three marriages and six children. Her last husband is 24 years her junior. During her last 20 years she became a bit hipiosa as she expressed it herself in a TV interview. With her frizzy cloud of white hair, hippie dresses and face marked by plastic surgery, she was rarely out of the Spanish gossip magazines. She was quite a character, modest and friendly, and the people of Seville adored her.
Wishing our readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2015 with lots of good things.