Spanish TV needs a makeover
© Alan Diaz/AP
I stayed with my senior parents at a hotel this weekend and, out of love, I participated in a Saturday ritual of theirs of which I hadn't been part in years.
We watched hours of the longest running show in Spanish television. You know, the one with the host everybody calls "Don". The show has always made me cringe for the cheap, slapstick humor it abuses. But this particular edition really pushed the envelope beyond that and activated my gag reflex.
Three women, their faces stricken by grief, competed for an awkward who-has-the-sorriest-story title that carried a $5,000 prize. Sad woman number one had an autistic son, number two was alone with her children with no income because Dad had been deported and number three was an elderly lady caring for her grandchildren who had been neglected by mom. The women were each been represented by former models of the show who put up pitiful performances on their behalf-one sang an off-tune version of Pedro Navaja , another "danced" while sitting on a chair because of a broken ankle- to earn the poor ladies "points" that the audience awarded based on whose act they liked.
Spanish TV needs a makeover. Between shows like this, endless novelas and shallow morning shows, it fails to appeal to the multitude of Spanish speakers who want quality. But this could soon change. American television biggest players are taking notice of our large population in a way they hadn't before and are betting big money to go after Hispanic viewers for whom the current offerings fall short.
The Walt Disney Company and Univision recently announced that they will launch the first-ever 24-hour English newscast that targets Hispanic. With a player like Disney in this equation, there's hope the bar would be set higher than the current standard of appealing to the lowest common denominator. Another one jumping in the game is FOX, which also recently announced that it will team up with Colombian company RCN to create a new Spanish-language network that offers quality entertainment options that aren't there now. Telemundo has said it too is reinventing itself.
I can't wait to see what the media landscape will look like in a couple of years. Hopefully, next time I'm stuck with one TV with my parents they will let me change the channel because there is something better on.
I completely agree. There's a new generation of US born Hispanics (1st, 2nd and 3rd gen) and we want stimulating news, not skimpy demeaning shows that have zero educational value. It makes us look bad as if we don't have the mental capacity to appreciate intellectual news. I myself refuse to watch these shows that my parents used to love. We need an NPR like show targeted at Hispanic audiences.
people people poeple..... first of all his name is not Don.... thats like sayin someones name is "Mr." They call him Don Francisco but that does not mean Don is his first name. second of all Don Fransico is not a low level television show. That show has been around llonger than most of the ppl that are commentating have been alive. Savado gigantes target audience is for idk.. 30-70 year old ladys without education. that does not make it a low level television show. and if u think it is, it is probably because u dont fall in that category and because uve become too americanized to see latin culture clearly. 3rd of all.... shows like this have a huge demand other wise they would not be there.
we have the novelas for ladys all ages ( although they are full of crap young girls n boys shouls not be watching), football for guys ( and by that i mean soceer), and there are news (some of wich are low quality like primer impacto and al rojo vivo but the majority are good. CNN is decent and several of the Univision's are too.). Not because i highly dislike the today show or glee or danncing with the stars makes them a bad show- thay are simply not targeted to me. However, we do need more shows for ppl like me, a 22 year old, male hispanic, college student and such audiences. Oh and also.. yes not everyone is from mexican descend but, the graat majority are and its about the money, its a business.