6 January 2003 | khatcher-2
Rabal + Álvarez = an endearing TV series
Certainly one of the most endearing TV series shown on Spanish TV, `Juncal' is one which would seem best to encapsule the set foibles in a traditional sense, as well as characterizing masterfully the one-time bullfighter and his nostalgic claims to past glory. In his shoeblack - Rafael Álvarez - the `maestro' matador Paco Rabal finds a sympathetic ear and simple adoration.
I cannot think of two actors who combine so magnificently in playing their parts as these two; if Álvarez is just the perfect epitomy of a simple boot-cleaner going from bar to bar, Paco Rabal's interpretation of the maybe once great bullfighter gone down somewhat in the world is simply sublime. I say this as he combines so many of the popular traits of characterization which might just be summed up as `Spanishness' in a unique and totally inoffensive way. There is good drama and plenty of humour, but not the heavy-handed kind: it is more `templado', deftly avoiding the ridiculous, skillfully interweaving so many complexities of just simply being Spanish, which audiences here immediately understand and feel so warmly for.
An excellent seven-part series which should be shown again. Frankly it is for me just about the most perfect `Paco Rabal' you will see - including his more well-known films.