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Why Antonio Recio is the Biggest Villain in TV's History
By NudgeNudge | 19th December, 2014 | 10:58 am | Spain is Different

Spain is Different
Why Antonio Recio is the Biggest Villain in TV's History

I've already talked about Spain's quiz shows, reality shows, and variety shows. That's where the weirdness is, mostly. Today, however, I'm going to talk about what may very well be the most popular comedy series of our time, La que se avecina (if you Hollywood producers are reading this and you decide to make an english language version of it, I'd use the title Hell Next Door. I don't know why, it just sounds nice. Also you're welcome).


LQSA is arguably a situation comedy, where the situation in question is just an ordinary apartment block. The cast is quite large (episodes are 90 FREAKING MINUTES LONG! FOR A COMEDY SERIES!) and it has changed a bit with every season (ALL EIGHT OF THEM). I won't explain every character in detail, since most of them aren't really necessary for the purposes of this article. We'll focus on this guy:

Not pictured: the perfect neighbor

That guy right there is Antonio Recio: a megalomaniac, racist, homophobic fish and seafood distributor. According to him, he's basically a fish trade emperor. In reality, he basically has one truck and, later on, a store. Oh, and a huge billboard with his face on a lobster's body that moves its pincers right in the entrance of the apartment complex.


LQSA, like many other sitcoms, doesn't really have a plot: every episode is mostly self-contained, although there are obviously multi-episode story arcs. Most of the ones that involve Recio end up in crime.


Well. I haven't watched every single episode of the show, but I've probably seen 80-90% of them. Any list of crimes that I could write would be terribly incomplete. So I'll just write it down as it comes:

Of course he does.

    - Countless breaking and entering crimes. most of them to his neighbor Enrique's house.
    - Countless impersonations and stolen identities, including a world famous psychiatrist, a civil guard (like a cop, but cooler) or a priest.
    - Regarding the priest thing, I'm pretty sure he's an accomplice to an assault towards the Pope. Long story short, he broke into the Pope's room (during a visit to Spain, I assume) disguised as a priest, in order to make his ex-wife meet him. Berta, his ex-wife, is a really, really devout catholic. Antonio and Berta break up because you know, Antonio is an awful person, but Antonio can't really live without her, so he thinks helping her meet the Pope would make her forgive him for his wrongdoings. Of course, Berta thinks it's all a set up and she starts punching the not actually fake Pope... So yeah, I'm sure Antonio commited some crimes here.
    - Countless frauds, including turning the whole complex into a casino, or faking miracles (Mother Mary appeared to his wife, long story...).
    - Of course, the way he treats his wife counts as psychological abuse.
    - Grave desecration, most certainly.
    - He planted a bomb on a Ferrari.
    - Vigilanteism.
    - Constant hate speech.
    - Drugging people against their will (chloroform and scopolamine).
    - Disobeying basically every labor law in every country, including the weekly hours rate and the minimum salary for his employees.
    - Hit and run.
    - Countless kidnappings, including his own son.
    - Harboring an alien, I'd say, whom he also exploited.
    - Placing drugs inside someone else's establishment in order to get it closed by the police.
    - Countless privacy breaches and eavesdropping.
    - Last but not least, he ruined a stork's nest.


And again, it's by no means a complete list.

Swore allegiance to ISIS?

I've tried to calculate what sentence he'd get in the U.S. for all that, but I'm no lawyer, so I don't know where to look or even how U.S. law works. Fortunately, every calculator I used just screamed "LIFE SENTENCE" at me repeatedly as soon as I started with the nun-tasering.

You're safe... for now

If this was a perfect world, someone would have created a chart called "Fictional Characters and their Prison Sentences", so I could compare Mr. Recio to Walter White, Nucky Thompson or Dexter Morgan. He's certainly a stiff competitor prison time-wise, and the all-time leader of criminal creativity since the freaking Joker. He tasered a nun. I can't stress how evil that is (ok, he actually had kind of a reason to, but what's the fun in that?). He blew up a car for no real reason! He broke into the Pope's chamber!

I don't know what to think about him anymore. He's definitely an insane criminal, but he's thoroughly entertaining. And I think that the fact that, as far as I'm concerned, he has been imprisoned ONCE, speaks highly about our justice system. And moreover, the fact that he's a beloved character (not just considered funny, but actually /beloved/), speaks even more highly about how Spain works.

AND WHAT'S MORE: you know what's the other show that can fight for the "most popular comedy" award? That'd be AĆ­da. And what's the most popular character there? Obviously another cartoony fascist.

Does Spain love farcical representations of Francoists, or do we love /actual/ Francoists?

I don't know the answer to that question. I'm not sure I want to know.

Tags: Spain, TV 15

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