Pass me the remote, please.

I’m sitting here watching the Brazilian TV channel on Sky, Record TV (Channel 810). No disrespect to any Brasileiros out there, but it’s made me determined to install a satellite dish when we get to Manaus. The current programme is one of the Brazilian soaps, or novelas, called Bicho do Mato (rough translation: ‘wild animal’- describing someone from the country – a yokel). As with all Brazilian novelas, the producers have the interesting ability to make any set – no matter how technically sophisticated – look remarkably like a set. And the acting, for the most part, is as wooden as it comes – as I write, a guy is doing “an evil laugh” to camera. (It probably says in his script something like “laughs evilly to camera”.) Not that I’ve anything against the concept of the novela – much better (imho) than the concept of the soap, the novela has a beginning and an end. A complete story. Bloody marvellous – not like Eastenders, for example, which just seems to be an interminable exposition of improbable human suffering set in vaguely unpleasant social circumstances.

No, the main problem with Brazilian TV, I find, is that it’s 78% infantile nonsense (assinine game shows, banal chat shows and the like), 10% appallingly biased, patronising news and current affairs programmes (see photo – a dynamic production, focusing on the engrossing subject of bad breath), 10% sports programmes where in-depth analysis comprises the word “goooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal” screamed into the microphone for periods in excess of 10 seconds at a time, and 2% stuff that’s actually not bad (Fantastico, for example). The model is based primarily on the talentless rubbish that comes out of the USA, but with a lot of the talent removed.

But then I suppose all TV’s going the same way – a quick flick through the UK terrestrial channels just now reveals the spellbinding “House Traders” (people who buy and -yawn – sell houses, BBC1), Snooker (fine if you like it, BBC2), Supernatural (yet another new series from the good old US of A, ITV) ER (pain, blood and social commentary on a stupefyingly uninteresting scale, C4), and 50 Ways to Look Great Naked (sitting in front of the telly with a packet of crisps, translucent folds of flab cascading over your privates, perhaps, C5).
Bloody hell, maybe we’ll just not bother installing a TV at all. Which reminds me, I must write to the Beeb and ask them what the best way would be to pick up the BBC World Service (while it’s still running). Now that’s quality.
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