Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Mexican Television

The Economist on some pieces of data in Mexico's census:
The Mexican home has been transformed. In 1990, one in five dwellings had a bare-earth floor. Now only 6% do. Virtually all have electricity, whereas 20 years ago one in ten went without. A tenth still lack sewerage, but this is better than the figure of one in three in 1990.

More interesting still is what Mexicans put in those homes. More houses have televisions (93%) than fridges (82%) or showers (65%). In a hot country with dreadful television this is curious. Communications habits are interesting too: despite some of the world’s highest charges, two thirds of Mexicans have a mobile phone—though only four out of ten have a landline.

Television is awful? How dare he?! This is the country that brought Rubí to life! He should be deported ASAP.

I'm not a big fan of Mexico's reality television, but as far as telenovelas go, I think Americans/Brits are too quick to discount them because of the unrealistic dialogue and melodramatic direction. It's a little jarring to anyone who thinks The Sopranos is the pinnacle of drama (I include myself in that group), but gritty realism isn't the only way to tell a story. Lots of popular narrative, from Hemingway to Shakespeare to any musical play, is larded with human interaction that is completely unrealistic, but people manage to overlook the realistic shortcomings and enjoy such works on their own terms. If you can get past the surface silliness in most novelas, there are some that are quite well done. (Not on the level of The Sopranos, perhaps, but that's a high standard.) Some, however, are crap through and through.

1 comment:

Fred Dawes said...
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