Spanish TV is Painful.

Since I’m on a “Complain about Spain” streak, let me complain about television over here. I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I do try to use it to enhance my listening skills and vocabulary. But there are three things I absolutely cannot stand about Spanish television that inevitably will make me turn it off after a few channel rotations:

1. Dubbing television shows and movies here is standard. Now, I cannot stand dubbing in the first place. Give me sub titles any day or make me try to figure out the story on my own by looking at the images.

But the problem is not the dubbing in itself. It is that there are two people (one man, one woman) who do all the language dubbing for programs bought from foreign (American) markets. I am so sick of hearing their voices I want to scream. And not only because they are overused voice “actors” and rarely fit the character on the program. And also not because I know that Brad Pitt does not sound like a 50 year old radio announcer.

It’s because they aren’t actors at all. I swear they don’t even try. They sound like two people reading a bedtime story to some kid, altering their voices to portray different characters and doing a shitty, lazy job of it. Imagine whiny, cranky sounding whimpering when someone on Law and Order is weeping over someone’s death. I’ll wait. OK, got it? It’s worse than that.

2. The music put to news stories never has anything to do with the story. Example. Today a story about a credit card scam was backed by – ready for this bit of production genius? – Huey Lewis and the News, Power of Love. I am serious, and this is not an anomaly. That dumb-ass song has the line “don’t need no credit card to ride this train”. And therefore the professional editors felt it appropriate to use this jaunty tune to enhance a story of thievery.

Another brilliant example is the use of the 1960s song “California Dreamin'” every. single. time. the state of California is mentioned. And as a location too, not the subject of a story. If you must have the word California in a song, there are around 700 other songs to choose from. Does another, more un-newsworthy song exist with the word California in it? No. And how amateur (or lazy?) is it to just use a song about California instead of the theme of the actual story? Where do these media people learn their craft?

3. Did I mention there are only 2 people working in the dubbing department for every single movie, Simpson’s episode and Sex and the City re-run? Because there are. Only two. Ridiculous.

4. Belen Esteban with her bright yellow, home hair-dye job, and her horrible, smoke ravaged, heavily made up face with it’s protruding lips and eyeballs is on the TV constantly. Girl, I have some advice for you: skip the lip collagen and plastic surgery and invest in some Botox, and maybe a facial peel or two. It may also be time to start using some sunblock. (Note: link on her name goes to a Facebook page dedicated to her “old” face, the one before she lost a lot of weight, had a bunch of plastic surgery, and evidently started smoking so much and baking in the sun Enjoy.)

I think I’ll stick to the news for practicing my listening skills, since the irrelevant music is the least offensive of the three crimes. I’ll just crank up the volume and sing along with Huey next time one of his songs backs a story (which is often) since it’s gonna remain in my head for the next week regardless.

Or at least until California is mentioned in the news again.

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6 thoughts on “Spanish TV is Painful.

  1. Reminds me of PR tv.. Menudo was PR boy band.. it drove me nuts when I lived in PR.. they played them ALL the time.. arghghghg. But, you gotta take the good with the bad. Apparently there’s a price to pay for living in a culture that is relaxed and accepting.. that price is slow service, and an apparent lack of effort involving adapting entertainment to foreigners.. 😉 As long as the motorcycle related job opportunities keep arriving.. I’d put up with it. 😀 Hey.. at least they have TWO people working to dub.. better than Krusty the Klown doing ALL the dubbing.. or.. wait.. maybe not. Krusty doing all the dubbing would be entertaining!! Oy Vey!

  2. just witnessed another clueless example of using media to enhance the message. Commercial for a local property management company using that 80s favorite “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners throughout the entire commercial. Lyrics and all.

  3. Im from spain i like watch tv shows and films with subs but, i have to say i think the dubbing in spain is great, i think they are really great actors and do a good job, i dont know why do you think that they dont, maybe because in english people whispers all the time at leasts in fims and series and in the dubbing they speak like spanish people not speaking soo low, and i even didnt notice that they have the same voices in all tv shows..im not saying dubbing is the best thing, i prefer subs but sometimes im lazy and i prefer just watch tv without have to read.

    • People don’t whisper in the US imports which comprise nearly all dubbed movies and series come from. The Brits are pretty mumbly but we Americans are generally on the loud side.
      If you think those two voice actors are good, lucky you, because they are everywhere and have cornered the market on voice overs. I personally cannot tolerate the sound of their voices for a second much watch anything they do, ever. Those dubbers sound like they are reading lines off a page while practicing for a high school play.

  4. Pingback: Pet peeve or despicable rudeness? « Britt at Large

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