SEASON 1 | EPISODE 7
Hello and welcome to Brazilian English Podcast, I’m your host and teacher Derek Noble and in this podcast we talk about Brazilian culture and entertainment to help Brazilian students of English reach fluency in English and to spread our values and beliefs worldwide. Every episode is full of rich vocabulary for all levels of English also full of content related to a universe that, as we know, is enormous and interesting: I’m talking about Brazilian culture.
Hey, guys, how are you doing today? Nice to have you here. In today’s podcast, we’re gonna talk about television in Brazil. Do you watch TV? What is your favourite TV show? Do you like soap operas1? What about reality shows? Let’s learn a bit about the history of Brazilian television, shall we?
Well, I personally was a huge fan of TV when I was a kid. I used to watch it with my mom during our evenings and also the whole Sunday. I guess everybody does or used to do that, right? Hehe, good old times of watching Sessão da Tarde and Malhação when I didn’t have to work hard.
Nowadays, Brazilian TV seems to have become a bit boring. The soaps are much of the same, with similar plots2 and audience-dependent, meaning they would even kill a character in case people don’t like him or her, you know? In the past, telenovelas were based on classical books of Brazilian Literature like “Escrava Isaura”, for example. My favourite soaps were “Vamp” and “Olho no olho”. Do you remember these ones?
Another show I used to watch a lot was “Fantasia”. This was a game show which the audience would participate by making a phone call to play games with the hostess3 and earn some money if they got the correct answers or if they were lucky enough. Great show!
Ok, enough of nostalgia. Let’s hear a bit of history. Well, Brazil was the first country in South America to manufacture TV sets and to broadcast4 a show. On September 18, 1950, Assis Chateaubriand founded the first brazilian and south american tv channel, Tupi TV channel 3.
The first image to appear on TV Tupi was that of five-year-old Sônia Maria Dorce, who, dressed up as an Indian, said: “Good evening. You are in the open TV channel of Brazil”. The symbol of Tupi was a Native Brazilian kid. At that time, the broadcastings were amateur and the advertisings5 were made live. By 1956, 200,000 TV sets were already in use in Brazil. It was a considerable amount6, don’t you think?
In spite of this number, it was only with the Military Dictatorship that television became a mass medium. The military government saw television as a form of social control and as a tool7 for creating a national identity. It was also during the military rule that Globo, the biggest TV network of Brazil, was created. Under the military government, censorship8 of news was a common practice but the government would also encourage the production of shows that portraited9 brazilian culture instead of imported ones, which is a good thing.
From the early 1970s to late 1980s, Globo dominated both the audience and the development of television programming such as the famous telenovelas and popular shows like Cassino do Chacrinha, a hit in the 80s. Abelardo Barbosa, aka Chacrinha will have his own episode on this podcast, for sure. Aka is an acronym that means also known as, it is used to refer to the most famous name of a person, instead of the person’s real name. If I say Abelardo Barbosa, you may not know, then I say aka Chacrinha, then you say “aah”, also known as Chacrinha, all right? I hope you understand it.
By the end of the 80s, Rede Globo had gathered the biggest share of the television market but failed to support the movement for direct elections called Diretas Já. It decided to join the movement later and broadcast protests after noticing a significant loss10 in audience. If you’re curious about this period, there is a documentary called “Beyond Citizen Kane” by the BBC England and it’s available on Youtube.
Anyways, the 90s were a bless in terms of novelty. MTV Brasil was founded and it changed the way brazilians would consume television. Video clips were more appealing than the radio and the VJs became famous for their cool style and slang11. It was also the beginning of an increase in the consumption of American music here in Brazil. That was how I first listened to Britney Spears’ songs, oh my God, I love her.
U-hum, sorry, back to track. It was in the 90s that cable TV started to work around here. I was lucky to have acess to that and got to watch a lot of series every day. I learned a lot of English like that. Trust me, you should do the same!
Well, guys, to sum up, according to research from 2016, 77% of Brazilians watch TV every day and spends an average of 60 to 120 minutes in front of it. How about you? What do you like to watch the most? Do you prefer the TV or alternative video broadcasters such as Netflix and Youtube? Think about these questions and leave your contribution in the comments.
That’s it, guys, for today. I hope you have enjoyed listening to this podcast and I’ll talk to you guys later with a lot more culture and curiousities about this beautiful country. For transcriptions and more culture in English, visit my website, www.inglescomderek.com.br/podcasts and subscribe to our VIP email list. Thanks for listening guys, it’s a pleasure to teach you and have a great day! Bye bye!
1 – soap operas – novelas
2 – plots – roteiros
3 – hostess – apresentadora
4 – broadcast – transmitir
5 – advertisings – propagandas
6 – amount – quantidade
7 – tool – ferramenta
8 – censorship – censura
9 – portraited – retratar
10 – loss – perdas
11 – slang – gírias