I was bored the other day and somehow ended up watching Univision for hours. It left me wondering a few things…
Why is everything terrible?
I don’t speak Spanish and I’m not Hispanic, so it could just be a cultural disconnect that every single thing I saw on that network – including the news – seemed like an intentionally bad parody of a real thing instead of a real thing, but I’m not sure.
I’ve watched programming from a variety of cultures around the world and short of technical quality, they all seemed good in spite of me having no idea what was going on.
I know there are tons of incredible Hispanic actors and I’ve seen some amazing foreign films out of Spanish-speaking countries, so it’s not like they’re incapable of creating quality content. Why does it seem like Univision specializes in tripe? Is it because it’s just an American network geared toward Hispanics? Did we do this?!
Why do so many of them look like white women who went under the knife?
I’ve never seen that many faces that pulled back with noses that thin and brows that raised in one place before – unless you count pretty much every American television show about women over 30 married to rich men.
It wasn’t all of the women, obviously. It was just enough of them for it to be noticeable and jarring, like ants converging on a piece of candy stuck to the ground.
I’m not used to such a high concentration of overly-contoured, artificial-looking faces and the verdict is: I don’t like it. It’s like RuPaul’s Drag Race lost some contestants and Univision found them.
The male aesthetic wasn’t much broader. The appearance categories seemed restricted to pouty-lipped Calvin Klein model, elderly mariachi, or Puerto Rican Donald Trump.
Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something disturbingly deliberate about how everyone looks on that network. It’s almost as if it’s targeting a specific demographic.
Why do so many of them look white in general?
Rather – is Univision the network equivalent of every pre-2000 music video to feature Brazil that somehow had no dark-skinned people in it in spite of Brazil having one of the world’s largest populations of people of African descent outside of actual Africa? The CW has a more diverse representation of color than Univision and that’s saying something.
I don’t know what it’s saying, but it ain’t quiet.
Why did I keep watching it if I wasn’t into it?
At first, I suppose I was fascinated. Not oh my gawsh, Pegasus works at Wendy’s and is real and flying horses shouldn’t serve food kind of fascinated. More like what is this… fascinated.
Then I entertained myself by muting it and making up my own narrative for everything, voices and all. Once I start doing that, there’s really no limit to how long I can watch something I’d otherwise hate.
What is Un Camino Hacia El Destino about? I have no idea! I don’t even know what that says. I’m guessing it’s something to do with destiny. But I know what I made the show about!
Luisa is a sweet, naive, aspiring nun who lives and works in a convent where she regularly sneaks about the grounds for fear of being caught going to the bathroom since pees and poops are a sin against God.
Carlos, Luisa’s love interest, is the in-house doctor who specializes in face lifts, replacing organs with inanimate objects, and being so for reals serious.
Marissa, Carlos’s mother, is a powerful matriarch running an even more powerful business with her right and left hands – namely, Luis and some other guy I’ll call Other Guy.
Luis is a top man at Marissa’s company, trusted to lead due in no small part to the roundness of his head, which is a very important trait in their line of work.
Isabela is a transsexual prostitute turned madam and international spy who spends most of her day trying to convince Carlos that she isn’t a man even though he’s so for reals serious that she is.
In the episode I watched, Luisa really had to pee, so she was hiding from the head nun, ducking behind potted plants, until a cute little plump nun caught up to her and tried to warn her that the head nun was going to find her if she didn’t scram.
Luisa freaked out, so the plump nun suggested that Luisa call the head nun on the phone and tell her that she’s traveling somewhere else to throw her off the scent. Luisa liked that idea, so she went to the lockers and asked some random chick if she could use her phone.
She called the head nun, spinning a tale about how she’s going into town and totally not trying to pee at the convent or anything, and the entire conversation took place while the phone was visibly on the lock screen, which made me wonder. Is Luisa insane? Was she imagining it? Yep! Because being bad with props isn’t nearly as interesting.
Meanwhile, Marissa was having a business lunch on the veranda with Luis and Other Guy. Other Guy was trying to convince Marissa that he should be the second in command and while Marissa agreed, she couldn’t ignore the fact that his head is too flat.
Other Guy continued to argue his strong points while Luis looked on smugly, eventually interjecting with a reminder that unlike Other Guy, his head is round and she knows it. It gave Marissa a lot to think about, but she was obviously rooting for Other Guy, so she went to see Carlos and begged him to perform his head-rounding surgery.
Carlos refused, remarking that replacing a man’s lungs with pottery and car keys is one thing, but head roundometry is so for reals serious. It’d be irresponsible of him to even try it. Marissa hugged him, agreeing to let the matter go, but in her eye was a look of cold calculation.
I don’t know about you, but that’s a show I can get into it!