Just like in the United States, television is an important part of Spanish culture. The people of Spain are very proud of their language so every Spanish channel is broad casted only in Spanish with no subtitles or dubbing. They also have English channels, such as BBC America and CNN, but Emma and I don't really watch those because we feel like we're cheating!
One of the shows we watch during lunch is called "La cocina de Karlos Arguiñano en tu cocina". Karlos is a world-renowned chef from the Basque Country of northern Spain. He cooks traditional Spanish food but usually with his own twist. He also likes to infuse his show with humor and random entertainment; he dances and sings in between preparing the food. After he's done cooking, he plates the food first in a "media racion" and then in a full "racion" style, which is typical in many Spanish restaurants. His food always looks delicious and he's so fun to watch! I'll miss the whole lunch experience here where me and Emma watch his show over a heaping plate of macarrones or sopa while staying warm with the space-heater under the table.
Right after "La cocina", "De buena ley" comes on the same channel. Emma described it perfectly as a cross between Judge Judy and Jerry Springer but classier than either show. Two people argue their cases in front of a judge (who I'm pretty sure is not legit) and then the audience gets to weigh in on their arguments. The battles can get pretty heated, which makes for some awesome television! My favorite person on the show is a recurring guy in the audience who looks like a character straight from Jersey Shore - he's ripped and wears skintight shirts, usually from American tourist attractions like South Beach or New York. He always gets air time and he always yells at someone, either in the audience or on the stand. But I have yet to see a full episode since I always have to leave in the middle for my (stupid) afternoon class!
Another one of my/ our favorite shows is "Fisica o Quimica" on MTV. It comes on at night while we eat dinner and we usually squeal when we finally find the channel. It's set in a high school here in Spain and it's about the students and teachers of the school and all of the crazy love triangles (and squares and pentagons...) that ensue. As you can imagine, the story lines are pretty complicated at this point and we only started watching it. And it's even harder to follow because it's 100% in Spanish but it's getting easier. Plus we get to see some Spanish eye candy ;)
I don't have much time to watch TV here but it's still really cool to experience another part of the culture. And even though I'm missing basically a whole season of American television (Pam and Jim having their baby, American Idol, Villians vs. Heroes on Survivor...), television here forces me to listen and hear some vernacular Spanish, which is awesome practice for talking to everyday Spaniards. When else will I get this opportunity to be so immersed and surrounding by this language? It's really starting to hit me that we only have 25 days left so I have to live it up and soak it all in :)