Once upon a time, American series were all the rage in Spanish TV. Every single day, at prime time, there was an american series: SWAT
, Charlie's Angels
Then, Spanish series overcame them. They came and went; very few survived more than a season, and some were cancelled right after a few episodes were aired, canning the rest of them.
Nowadays prime time is taken by musical soft-pop shows, yellow-press like programs and reality shows. Also soft-pop reality shows, and yellow-press reality shows, and debates about shoft-pop yellow-press, reality shows.
But what I really wanted to talk about is about Thursday night in a typical Spanish home. There are two shows at the same time, one in TVE1
, the state-owned channel, and another in Antena 3, a private channel: Cuéntame
, and 24
It's nice to see them face to face, since they are both quintesential American/Spanish series, and represent the best and the worst of what each TV has to offer.
24 is based on thrills. It's violent. There's a bit of torture and quite a lot of mayhem in every episode. There's also fraternal love, but on the side. There's a lot of work. Indeed, they work for 24 hour straight! It's cut at 10-minutes intervals, so that American channels can insert commercials (that's not respected in the Spanish version).
Cuéntame is based on emotions. It's the story of a family during the last days of Franco
's regime. The mother is an entrepreneur, the only girl becomes a hippy... I'm not going to tell you the argument. But it's not violent. In fact, there's some violence, but it comes from the regime itself, and is always on the side. There's a lot of fraternal love. And there's almost no work at all. People work alright, but the most important stuff happens is when they meet in the bar, or at home during dinner. There is quite a bit of product placement, which is kinda difficult, since it can be done only with products that were already sold in the 70s, and using original packaging. It's product placement with a twist, and it blends nicely with the series.
I know there are some series like that in american TV; I also love Friends, and there's a lot of love, no violence, and no product placements.
However, guess which one wins the most viewership?