Spanish TV?...Help me get past telenovelas y Sabado Gigante
June 14, 2008 11:56 PM   Subscribe

I want to watch some Spanish-language TV shows, and I want to get past telenovelas and things like sabado gigante (no offense!). I have Directv and a few channels such as Univision and Telemundo. (I could add the ParaTodos package if you can show me the light on some cool programming). I'm in the Denver area so I have access to several terrestial spanish language channels as well. I'm not interested in dubbed stuff from English, so Discovery Channel Espanol type stuff is out.

CSI/Courtroom/Hospital-type Dramas? (but not necessarily telenovelas)
Nature/History shows?
Investigative reporting?
Jeopardy-ish game shows?
Anything that there is a buzz about?

Me explico? :)

I'm not TOTALLY against trying to follow a telenovela--if it is really good. Really good.

mil gracias...
I referred to this AskMeFi post and will pick up the DVDs of Epitafios.
posted by wogbat to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Cuéntame cómo pasó is pretty good, especially if you're interested in Spanish history around the time of the 70s towards the end of the Franco era. It deservedly won quite a few awards.

Amar en Tiempos Revueltos is essentially a telenovela but it's set during the civil war in Madrid and the sets and costumes lift it up out of the average standard of telenovelas.

beware.. both are quite addictive..
posted by rose selavy at 2:51 AM on June 15, 2008

if you can find it Epitafios was pretty good.
posted by anansi at 11:44 AM on June 15, 2008

I don't know if it's still on the air, but a few years ago I was a fan of Saber y Ganar (Spanish quiz show at about a Jeopardy level of challenge).

For a series on DVD, I really liked La antorcha encendida, an epic set in the Mexican War of Independence.
posted by PatoPata at 3:17 PM on June 15, 2008

I was just wondering yesterday why US Spanish-Language television didn't seem to have procedural crime dramas: No Ley y Order, no Veracruz Vice, as it were... Thanks for asking this.

There's some game shows on the Liberman Broadcasting stations, and also a Jerry Springer style talk show. These are all pretty silly low-budget affairs, but for awhile we were watching them just to be amazed how low and awful TV could go. This is broadcast on a local station here in Houston

There's a show called Vida Salvaje on Galavision. It think it's co-produced with BBC, but it's not re-dubbed from Discovery.

There's also Aqui y Ahora on Univision, which is a sort of newsmagazine. Univision used to show "Hoy," a sort of "Today Show" in the mornings, but it seems to have been switched to a strange hour, if it's still on.

Finally, I've actually had Telefutura's "Escandalo TV" on in the background sometimes while I'm working at home in the day. There's nice eye candy, and the celebrity gossip (yes, I know) is the easiest thing for this Anglophone to follow. Having said that, a little bit of Niurka goes a long way.
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:06 PM on June 15, 2008

Keep em coming...anyone. The suggestions are great so far, but there MUST be more...right? Hundreds of millions of people on four continents (equatorial guinea counts, right?) can't all be watching telenovelas, can they?
posted by wogbat at 8:15 PM on June 15, 2008

No, most of us buy cable and watch CSI and The Gilmore Girls with subtitles... I doubt there's enough budget to make a good La Ley y el Orden. We had a Mexican version of Cops though. It even had a "Chico malo" song. Words can't describe it.

I like Once TV, it's a Mexican university channel. They mostly have cultural programs.

HBO LA is airing Capadocia, a series about a women's jail. I've heard good comments, but I've never watched it.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:49 PM on June 16, 2008

You'd think that if they had the budget to make Amas de Casa Desesperadas (Univision's scene-for-scene refilming of Desperate Housewives) they could make other programs that were one hour a week instead of five. How much does it cost to make a procedural crime drama or a courtroom or medical show?
posted by Robert Angelo at 3:32 PM on June 17, 2008

I think Amas de casa... is Mexican (TV Azteca), and I'm pretty sure it's awful. They also have a clone of The Nanny. But you are right, it shouldn't be so difficult, except for the CGI effects. Maybe it's because nobody believes in police in Mexico.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:18 PM on June 17, 2008

Amas de Casa... was developed by Disney/ABC for Univision, licensed to rewrite the original scripts. If you like Desperate Housewives, it's funny to see the same characters and scenes redone in Spanish. "Susana" behaves just like "Susan," mannerisms and all. There was a write-up in the New York Times, which notes that the show is expected to be exported to Mexico.
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:24 PM on June 18, 2008

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