Monday, June 2, 2014

Educational Television

So, it would appear that I've been sucked into a vortex of sorts.

I'm blaming this one squarely on Debbie, who recently posted about studying Spanish.

You see... CatMan and I have been studying Spanish together for nearly 20 years now. It's been so long that I can't even remember how or why we got started - but it's something we both enjoy very much.

Over the years we've done lots of things En Español, including reading books together, studying grammar, learning songs in Spanish, and, or course, watching the Spanish language television stations.

CatMan likes to watch the news in Spanish as well as the variety shows.

But the ones that always suck me in are the telenovelas - and none more so than one made around 20 years ago called Corazón Salvaje.

So when Debbie asked about how people have gone about studying Spanish, I mentioned the show, and went to see if I could find a clip on YouTube. And lo and behold... I found that someone had posted the entire series up there.

So naturally, I've had to watch the entire thing... all 80 episodes. And I'm ashamed to admit that when I was done... I had to start all over from the beginning. Because, you know, there might have been a few words that I missed in there, and this is, ahem, a purely educational endeavor!

Seriously, it has NOTHING to do with Eduardo Palomo who plays Juan del Diablo.

RIP Eduardo Palomo - the actor died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2003 from a heart attack.

It also has nothing to do with the steamy love scenes between Juan and Monica.

Seriously though, I'm not sure what exactly it is about this particular show that gets to me, but I just LOVE it. It's a sordid tale of love and betrayal between two brothers and two sisters.

This particular version (the story has been the basis for several movies and more than one telenovela) is set around the turn of the century in a small village on the Mexican coast near Veracruz.

And eye candy notwithstanding, I just love the entire ambiance of the production.

There's just something quiet about it all... the tropical setting, in a time before cars and telephones and televisions and radios and all sorts of noise making devices.

People travel by carriage or horseback.

People walk to the markets to do their shopping carrying their goods home in a basket.

And people live in these wonderful adobe houses that feel quiet and cool just looking at them.

I dunno... just imagining living in that world sorta makes some part of me unwind on a fundamental level.

Of course... it wasn't all romance and palm leaves back then. There's also the fact that people regularly died from things like falling off of horses or infections, or childbirth.

And, there's the enormous societal inequity...

And if you were a woman, your choices were to get married, be a servant, be a prostitute, enter the convent... and that's about it.

And seriously, can you imagine having to wear a corset... in a tropical climate no less?

But don't bother me with the facts, I'm busy enjoying my irrational glorification of a bygone era! Besides... this is a purely, ahem, linguistic study.

Now, if you'll pardon me, I seem to feel the vortex of episode 16 sucking me in...

So how about you? Do you ever have an irrationally rosy picture of what the past must have been like?


  1. I somethimes think 'wouldn't it be nice to live in a medieval cottage'...I think because of the absence of modern technology, the absence of excess stuff and my perception that it would be 'simple'.
    But then I remember that I like not dying from infections, and all the other good stuff that modern life brings!

    So maybe I need to recreate the good bits (as I see it!) from my imagination of the past whilst enjoying modern healthcare, freedom etc!

    1. I think you've hit the nail on the head. It's just so hard to find modern life's "off switch" sometimes!

      Now, if I could just find a way to recreate Eduardo Palomo. Sigh.

  2. I love to watch old detective shows/movies that don't have all of the modern technology so the show is driven by smarts and logic.

    1. Oh me too... I particularly love the Thin Man ones!

  3. I think this explains the obsession many (myself included) have with Downton Abbey (or, as my 8-year-old refers to it, "Down-town Abbey"). Some series just do a beautiful job of filming and I get visually sucked into it--Downton Abbey is one, and the Anne of Green Gables PBS series from 20 years ago is another. There is acknowledgement of the harsher sides of life in both series, but the emphasis is more on genteel manners and kindness and pretty outdoor scenes and Isn't Gilbert Blythe a Cutie and Will Mr. Bates and Anna EVER Know More Than a 24 Hour Period of Happiness and ... well, let's just say that I'm going to stay ignorant of Eduardo Palomo because I might enter your same vortex!!!!!!!!!! :)

    1. Ha! I watched the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix and I kept thinking that it was just like a telenovela, only in English! Seriously, all it needed was some impoverished person to end up being heir to the fortune, and a character coming back from the dead (or at least reappearing after everyone thought they were dead) to clinch the deal!

      I've never seen Anne of Green Gables - had to go look up Gilbert Blythe. Hmmm... he looks awfully clean cut for my tastes. I fear I'm a sucker for the long hair, rough around the edges, bad-boy type. You know... like Juan del Diablo! :-)

    2. I think the appeal for me with both Mr. Bates and Gilbert Blythe is the subtle but tangible way they adore the women in their lives. :) You just KNOW that this is it ... the love of their lives ... you can see it in their eyes and in their single-minded pursuit of the woman ... ahhhh.

      Hmm, what does this say about both of us? You like bad-boys and I want to be quietly adored???????????? :) Although we never quite know if Mr. Bates has a bad-boy past--it adds to the mystique ... funny thing is, I'm really not a lover of romantic book or tv scenes, but there's a lot of appeal for me with both of these men.

    3. Oh... I think there's a hopeless romantic in you somewhere! I'm not sure what the bad-boy appeal is for me - living out some sort of a rebel fantasy I suppose!

  4. I'm famous!

    Yes, that show does look very pretty. Tempting! Not like the shows I was thinking of.

    In general, I would say no, I don't have an irrationally rosy idea of what the past was like. However, lately I've been taking walks off-campus during my lunch break and having an irrationally rosy idea of what it's like to live there. All the buildings are unique and they are mostly pretty. And there is a lot of pedestrian activity, with little shops and restaurants mixed in with the apartments and houses.

    Then I remember what it's like to be a renter. And how there's no room to park there. And without a car, you can't really get to most of my favorite things in town.

    1. Ha! Perhaps it just goes to show that imagination is generally better than reality - whether one is imagining a historical era, or a modern neighborhood. I sorta think that when it comes right down to it, the setting of one's life is infinitely less important than the substance of it - but it's just soooo easy to get caught up in the scenery, isn't it?

    2. Totally--and so often we end up ignoring the scenery anyway.

  5. I think you might have convinced me to switch my 'Duolingo' (app) off French and onto Spanish!

    I am slightly obsessed with past eras and regularly think I could go Amish quite happily!

    1. I've spent my fair share of time being obsessed with the Amish - then I saw the reality series "Breaking Amish" and it gave me serious pause. I think the part about the girl having all of her teeth pulled at about age 17 was the kicker! Yikes!

  6. I used to try to convince my parents to live a "pioneer" day quite frequently as a kid and they never went for it. Then I thought maybe they'd let me be a boxcar kid (have you read those books?) in the backyard, which would be very similar to pioneer living. That got vetoed as well. And now when I think about it, the escape of imagining these things is great, but I'm sure daily life as a pioneer or boxcar child would lose its appeal quickly. I really enjoy hot showers, dishwashers, and my big comfy bed!

    1. Ha! Yes, I'm sure the romance fades remarkably quickly when you've cold, hungry and uncomfortable!

  7. interesting. Most of my Spanish exposure comes from reading or watching sci-fi in Spanish. I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on the entire Star Wars series of films in Spanish. So I suppose I live in the future there, where we're more worried about "Did Han Solo shoot first?" than "oh by the way, we totally trashed our planet 1000 years back and now we're living on another one." I do have a number of friends and family who are eschewing their college educated lives and buying and running successful farms. Yes, there are days when I long for that lifestyle, especially because I'm allowed to telework. Perhaps someday I will move to a farm and work remotely, and try to live off the soon as I figure out how to do that!

    1. La Fuerza, Luke. ¡Confíe en la fuerza!

      CatMan and I read all of the Harry Potter books in Spanish - and then we watched the movies... but I had a devil of a time understanding the British accents. Believe it or not, I understood better when we turned the DVD to Spanish and watched it overdubbed! Plus, I thought "Mortífero" was a much better term than "Death Eater!"


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