Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mexican Television

I have this very unique friend who shall go unnamed since Gringos have the habit of attacking anyone who bursts their Gringolandian Bubble. So, to protect my friend I will not name him.

Anyway, he has lived in Mexico for more than 50 years. He is a 77-year-old American who moved To Mexico when not many Americans were doing so. Gringolandians didn't exist. Only genuine expats and my pal most certainly qualifies as a real expatriate.

He is, for all practical purposes, a Mexican in an American wrapper. We got his college education in Mexico City and developed his Spanish fluency. He went on to work in Mexican television in Mexico City and Guadalajara. He knows Mexico and this culture better than a lot of Mexicans I know.

I met up with him recently for coffee and laughs and finally remembered to ask him why Mexican television is run like no one knows what to do. I've written of this in this blog before.

Mexican television is an adventure. They will cut to a commercial in mid-dialog, play 35 advertisements, then will often come back in the middle of another television program all together. What I mean, and in all sincerity, is that you could be watching Dr. House, cut to ten minutes of meaningless ads, then come back to the middle of CSI: NY.

So, I asked my friend just why this happens. His reply is sure to make Gringolandians seethe:


These were the words my friend uttered which is why my wife I have assumed for the last seven years we've lived here.

He went on to elaborate that they, the ones responsible to cut at the appropriate place in the program you're watching, will sleep in the control room, leave for an extended bathroom break, be on the phone, when suddenly, out of the blue, it occurs to them they are suppose to run some commercials. Then, they have no sense of drama or scene and will just cut the program off in mid sentence or action. Then they will run commercials for ten minutes making it impossible for you to figure out what program you were watching much less where it left off.

Basically, my friend who worked in Mexican television for decades, said they have no sense of time, time means nothing to Mexicans, and it is reflected in how they run the control booth in a television station.

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