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Why Antonio Recio is the Biggest Villain in TV's History
By: NudgeNudge | Part of a Column: Spain is Different
Tags: Spain, TV

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.


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.
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