From my previous blog about how we tend to watch most of our television in English, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I’m pretty lazy to not watch shows in German. Because it’s a great way to learn. But as I said, it’s disconcerting to watch a show with an iconic actor (think Sean Connery), and have him open his mouth to spout out sentences of German rather than the rich Irish lilt we’re all used to. So I stick to my guns. I watch English shows in English and German shows in German. It makes sense.
But I understand the advantages of watching TV in German. Not only can it help me learn the language, I can easily do it while I’m on the exercise bike, for example, or sitting in the sauna. The only pre-requisite is that I can see the screen the understand the subtitles if I need them. So I looked beyond English and German… and I discovered something else – Spanish dramas. Ok, let’s be honest, it works with any foreign language. French, Italian, Russian… anytime there’s a show I want to watch that’s available in something other than English or German, I simply change the audio to German and watch it like that. Because I don’t need to learn French or Italian or Russian.
Now, when it comes to period dramas, I’ve come to the conclusion that no one quite makes them like the Spanish. Obviously I’m just getting fed whatever is available on Austrian Netflix, but from what I’ve heard, I’m not the only one watching them! And hey, this is not high-brow watching, but it is fun, and you need that when you’re watching in a different language.
Here’s a few of my favourites:
The classic story of a daughter from a prominent family, who falls in love with a penniless servant, putting the future of the family’s hotel in jeopardy. There’s murder, there’s mayhem, there’s drama around every corner and secrets that run from the humble servant’s quarters to the affluence of high society. Ah… it’s so great!
Alte Mare (High Seas)
This time we’re still in high society but we’re on a ship in the middle of the ocean, where a series of unexplained murders lead to a thrilling investigation. Packed full with melodrama, family secrets and of course a forbidden love affair, it was the obvious choice for me after Grand Hotel. It even includes several actors from the aforementioned series – it’s like being back with old friends.
The Cook of Castamar
I guess you’re sensing the theme with these Spanish dramas now… romance, intrigue and something forbidden. This time enter Diego, a widowed nobleman who falls in love with Clara, the cook who bewitches him with her delectable culinary skills and her shy lust for life. There is only one season so it doesn’t outstay its welcome and at the end everyone is happy… except for the bad guys, of course.