Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lost in Translation or: Why I could never be a TV critic.

I don't speak Spanish, but this does not stop me from enjoying the occasional telenovelas, or movie they happen to play on Univision. (I once saw the last ten minutes of El Padrecito, and giggled so much I could hardly stand it. There was a priest, obviously, trying to force a drunk mule to do something. Suffice it to say, hilarity ensued. I should see if that is on netflix so I could watch more than the last ten minutes...) Tonight while I was at the gym the two tvs closest to me had The Food Network and Univision going. While Alton Brown is delightful, having to read subtitles in order to understand what was going on seemed like a super lame idea, (especially since he was dressed up as a cowboy) compared to re-reading my new Vogue. But on Univision, a telenovela called Cuidado con el angel was on, this I could give a shot. Now again, I don't speak Spanish, so what I'm about to report could be completely fabricated, but between the images and a few context clues from the closed captioning, this is what I gleaned...

Marichuy grew up in an orphanage, but her parents are still alive. She married Juan Miguel, who thought he was a widower, but now his wife is known to be alive and is in prison (I'm pretty sure that was his wife he was visiting, but I couldn't figure out why she was in there, but in any case, she is alive) and the marriage between Marichuy and Juan Miguel is nullified, despite the fact that she is pregnant with his child. (Oh snap.) But at some point, Marichuy figured out that Juan Miguel was the same man who attacked her when she was living on the streets years ago, making her lose all faith in men, and they had a falling out - probably after she got pregnant.

Juan Miguel is hanging out with yet another girl, but aside from her pretending to walk with a limp for half of their walk down the sidewalk, and seeing him make fun of her eating an ice cream cone, I can't tell you what was going on there.

Marichuy happened to need a house, and coincidentally moved in with her biological parents and a another girl they took in, believing to be their daughter. Now, there's some real convoluted mess here because I think one of them, either Marichuy or the other girl, is thinking they are the reincarnation of her grandmother. Maybe that's where the "con el angel" part of the title comes from?

All the while, there is some guy holed up out in the sticks with an injured leg, and an old guy taking care of him. One of these guys, though I'm not sure which, was called "El Leopardo" who I am pretty sure was in love with Marichuy, but she's still hung up on Juan Miguel.

As an aside, the injured guy and his care taker were the best part of this show. All tense looks between them, and then a climactic shot of the injured guy trying to stand for the first time in a long while. And of course, he falls as soon as the old guy lets go. I don't know what they were saying, but they had a really long conversation with the injured guy on the floor for like three scenes. He looked like a turtle on its back. DELIGHTFUL.

I'm just really concerned for Marichuy. Will she figure out that her parents are her parents? Will she find love? Will she be able to forgive the man she loves for anonymously attacking her years before? Will she take El Leopardo's offer of marriage for the sake of her baby? Inquiring minds want to know (but not enough to seek out this show).

I think language barriers are fun.

----I couldn't find the mule scene, but here is 2 minutes of El Padrecito where you can witness really bad facial hair, and really bad pretend organing.


Britt said...

Maybe not a TV critic...but you could write Cliff's notes versions of shows no prob. We used to watch a soap opera in high school Spanish class...but it was like made for teaching, so they would stop at the end of each episode and ask questions to the camera. Great way to learn the language!

deanna said...

It's like the scenes in The SImpsons episodes when they turn the channel to the spanixh station and the bumble bee is always being chased by a giant flyswatter or the policia....you don't understand but it's amazing!

KaitlinE said...

I love you Molly! This made me laugh so hard. Just what I needed this morning for sure! I am a big fan of Spanish soap operas...so much better than our own.We should have a party!

haylie said...

Molly, your blog is basically my favorite. Unfortunately, I listen to everything but rock organ. So... you know... lame ;-)

beckie said...

Molly, my dear, sometimes you are the best part of my morning.

Michael and Natalie said...

Okay I speak spanish and I usually don't understand telenovelas that well. Good for you Molly!