15 November 2008 | ramonnevarez
The first true Spanish sitcom I've ever seen....
Being a Latino, who's a great fan of American sitcoms, I'm very pleased to be able to enjoy a real one for the first time in Spanish. And this is a true original Spanish sitcom in it's own right that has nothing to envy to the American or British ones. And they have achieved it without doing remakes or copying jokes and scripts.
I'm sick and tired of Latin American, especially Mexican, versions of American sitcoms that are only sanitized, watered down caricatures of the original ones. The Mexican or Argentinean versions of shows like "The Nanny", "Married With Children" or even the Mexican version of "Betty La Fea" just look like poor sketches for a cartoon show played by actors. Where's the originality?
Living in the US, it's amazing to be able to enjoy Aida on TV. Fortunately, the FCC does not go after US Spanish cable channels the way it goes after English media. Otherwise it's dialogues and subject matters would be mercilessly massacred and fined millions of dollars by the FCC. Aida have been able to portray their characters in a more authentic way American actors and writers could only dream of. It's also a peek of how much better US sitcoms could be if there wasn't so much puritan censorship in the US. In Latin America and the US it's all double meanings and euphemisms. In Europe they just tell it like it is.
The show has crated some great archetypes that may remind you of some our favorite US sitcom characters of all time but original in their own Spanish flair. Worth mentioning are:
-Aida's character working class antics. Is like a bit of "Roxanne", Carla from "Cheers" and Peg Bundy from "Married with Children" all in one.
-Her mother, Eugenia, has that delicious Mediterranean "dark humor" of Sofia from "Golden Girls"(although more crass), along with the gluttony and nosiness of Sylvia from "The Nanny".
-Mauricio is the neighborhood bar owner who's a loud, conniving, grouchy mama's boy in the Danny De Vito "Brooklyn Italian" tradition with a touch of "Archie Bunker's" political incorrectness. A racist opportunist chauvinist, who hates labor unions and environmentalists and is always trying to make an easy extra buck, even at the expense of taking advantage of women, friends and his poor illegal alien employees. But you got to love him.
-And Luisma, hilariously played by Paco Leon, an actor who has created a character that should be added to the best dimwits of all time like Woody from "Cheers", Jim from "Taxi" and Jeff from "Coupling". Luisma's constant pursuit of Paz, and Paz rejections, are as good as Sam Malone's pursuit of Rebecca in "Cheers". He's simply brilliant.
-On an interesting note, Fidel is the first openly gay teenage character I've ever seen on TV. Although played a bit campy by Eduardo Casanova, the show manages to deal with this delicate subject and portray the character in a respectful, non offensive way, with his struggles, dreams and desires. Chema, Fidel's loving single father who was abandoned by his adulterous wife, makes for some hilarious moments by being the only one in the neighborhood oblivious to his son sexuality.
Along with great production values and a catchy theme song, this show is definitely a must watch for all sitcom lovers. If you can't get it on TV, you may want to check it out on You Tube. They have all the seasons.