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14 June 2010

Cheers to That!

Tonight I had the most amazing discovery! I discovered the way to enjoy Italian television...it goes by many names, but the one I prefer the most is: cocktails! I don't know why I never thought of it before, but now that I spent the evening laughing (dare I say enjoying?) at the usual, banal, substance-less variety show with aged men vying for the attention of 7 foot tall buxom beauties...I feel like I have made the discovery of the decade!

Now, I didn't make this discovery sooner because I am not one that drinks much. I love wine, an occasional martini...but my body just can't handle more than that. I get sick faster than I can get tipsy. But since I have been diligent with taking my liver support herbs and eating a fairly healthy diet...I think I can get away with a drink or two now and then.

All our meals with my husband's family involve sitting around the television. I would even go so far as to describe the T.V. as the fifth person at the table. So even though I don't watch much television myself (especially here in Italy because I find it rather offensive), with them,  I am subject to some of the most "popular" shows on tv.

For lunch, there are the daytime shows, with a target audience of housewives, so there is a soap opera called "Cento Vetrine" which is really just a series of close ups of characters giving their best shot at looking perplexed and upset. Then there is the jewel of the Italian nation, "Uomini e Donne" which is like mixing "The Dating Game", "Blind date" and "Jerry Springer" into one show, with a blond diva in a gaudy throne and feather boa as the head mistress (she is a lot like a real version of Miss Piggy). Then there are the "People's Court" type shows, which I cannot bear and is the only one that I insist on changing. It is popular here because it gives people a reason to argue and make a lot of noise about someone else's problems--it's a national pastime. Well, that about covers our lunchtime programming, as we are usually done by the time "Walker Texas Ranger" reruns come on. Grazie a Dio.
  


Prima serata, which is Italian prime time, is all about the variety shows, reality shows and game shows. There are about four hosts across the networks, and they take their turns hosting all these shows. These are the ones with the scantly clad women dancing around purposefully jiggling in front of the camera (yes, prime time--meaning while we are eating dinner). Even the occasional serious show will still have these ballerinas to bring us to and from commercial break. Maybe they think they can't get anyone's attention without some T&A? And so passes our dinner with bright lights, shaking booties and overflowing cleavage.   

 

After almost a year of quietly enduring these spectacles, trying to ignore my inner voice protesting the objectification of women--tonight, with a delicious lychee martini that I made in hand, I didn't mind so much and I was even enjoying the program! Brilliant!

Do I regret that Sicily has driven me to drink?
The only thing I regret is that it took me this long to figure it out!

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