HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban television network “Tele Rebelde” has again started showing prime time reruns of the legendary American series “Little House on the Prairie.”
Successful on several continents in the 1970s and ‘80s, with talented and multi-award winning actors as well as an occasionally interesting plot, the length of the series conspired against its own continuation (208 episodes of about one hour each).
For the Cuban people, rather than a soap opera deserving to be reshown twice in a span of less than three years, it exists more like a museum fossil.
Due to the passing of time, its image quality is no longer the same. Similarly, the expectations of the public are not the same, given the technological advances over the past three decades. Even the voices, presumably dubbed in studios in Spain, sound a bit distorted.
And even if we think about the economic limitations — because “we don’t have the budget” for buying any better material — it’s still hard to believe that this series is the only alternative existing in the archives of ICRT [Cuba’s public broadcasting umbrella].
The fact is that other channels (such a Multi-vision, despite its insistence on dogs and cats, and its spending so much on documentaries that never lead to anything) have better programming at any time of day.
During my childhood, the TV time-slot between 6:00 and 8:00 in the evening was sacred. They would show Russian or American cartoons (either of the two was infinitely superior to what is put on today), followed by an intermediate-level educational program and then some action-adventure series.
For a long time, maybe 20 years, those time-slots haven’t been important for children – at least not the children I know. It’s true that the world has changed and people with it, but what has also happened is that the time slots between 6:00 and 8:00 have declined in quality thanks to ideas such as televising the marathonic Little House on the Prairie with such insistency.
But returning to the issue of the budget, and to conclude, I also have to question the quality of the adventure programs, which still continue to be produced for domestic consumption. An evident disinterest on the part of foreign viewers for watching these types of Cuban productions shows that we’re spending money on something that’s a waste.
These sums could better serve for acquiring transmission rights to one or another series that’s actually interesting. However, these would have to be “carefully selected” of course, meaning without “potentially harmful” ideological content or scenes that are “morally reprehensible” – except for violence, which is something the censors see no problem with and give us more than our fill.