Globo: “Débora Shows the World Her Golden Globos as Titty-Bar Explodes!”

“… In truth, the soap opera depicts the international fashion for pole-dancing … Such themes [current fashions, inserted into works of fiction] are inevitable if one is to depict contemporary society, with the proviso, of course, that they be treated ethically and seriously, exactly as TV GLOBO is doing in its soap opera DUAS CARAS.”

I am for obscenity and against pornography. Obscenity is a cleansing process, whereas pornography only adds to the murk. –Henry Miller, in George Plimpton, Writers at Work (1963)

Women: Down with sexism! Down with sexism!
Man 1: Look at all those feminists.
Man 2: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? [they both reach for bottles of beer, shake them up, and spray the foam on the protesters. This magically turns them into bikini-clad party animals.]
Both Men: Yeah! Yes! All right!
–Duff beer commercial, The Simpsons, February 1993 (Episode 9F14)

Executive summary: This Duas Caras (“two faces,” “two guys”) soap opera (Globo network, Brazil) is basically a family-hour TV revival of the pornô xanxado genre.

There was heavy anticipation in our viewing household last evening as Globo prepared to air the episode of its current prime-time soap opera, Duas Caras .

Screenwriter Aguinaldo “Why Doesn’t the (world-famous, astonishingly gifted Afro-Brazilian music-promoting) Minister of Culture Go Back to Africa If He Likes It There So Much?” Silva had promised, on his blog, to blow up the strip club in the mafia-controlled shantytown!

This, you recall, was the Brechtian whiskey bar where Alzira had performed the pole dance that got the program in hot water with those humorless bureaucrats at the government content-ratings office.

Globo argued it was depicting an exercise fad.

But Alzira was not wearing exercise clothing in that scene. And how.

See

Having followed the issue in the news, we just had to see that apocalypse at the titty-bar.

For one thing, we wanted to note down its advertising sponsors.

We believe one sponsor was Antárctica-brand beer, but we still need to swap notes and confirm that. (It was Schincariol, which I believe is handled by Fischer América.)

First, however, we had to sit through another subplot that has been developing over several episodes.

The head of household of a poor family that earns its living selling cold beer out of a styrofoam coolers on a Zona Sul beach convinces Débora — some sort of ditzy, scantily clad, hard-bodied house guest, but I forget exactly why she is sleeping on Bernardo’s couch, making his wife, Amara, comically jealous and his son, João Batista, comically horny — to promise to show customers her tits!!!!!

But only if they bought a lot of beer from Bernardo first.

Nail-biting suspense:

  • Will Débora live up to her promise to her customers and show the entire assembly of hooting men, dressed only in Speedos, her tits??????????????

I guess the alleged ethical dimension of the scene has to do with honest business practices: Promising something — If you buy my beer, I will show you my tits!!!!!! — without delivering it, that would be false advertising and breach of an implied contract.

Globo’s official synopsis describes the moment we get the thrilling answer to that question — Will Débora show the entire beach her golden Globos????? — with uncharacteristic economy of expression:

Débora e Bernardo comemoram o faturamento. Amara se irrita com o olhar de Bernardo, mas João Batista impede que ela faça confusão. Amara arma um escândalo e faz uma guerra de areia com Débora.

Débora and Bernardo celebrate excellent sales. Amara, Bernardo’s wife, is irritated by Bernardo’s [ogling], but João Batista prevents her from creating a scene.

JB is Bernardo’s son.

He is also, I think, the pool boy who, ogled from hiding by the aging desperate housewife, performs a striptease for her benefit, in an earlier episode. I think. Generic Globo hunks and hunkettes sort of tend to remain sort of fuzzy around the edges, and more or less interchangeable.

The synopsis omits to mention that Débora finally — finally; she has been threatening to for three episodes now — proceeds, yes! yes! yes! to show everyone on the beach her tits!!!!!!!!!

(With her back to the camera.

Cue moans of disappointment.)

The synopsis continues:

Amara creates a scandal and enters into a “war on the sand” with Débora.

That is to say, the comically jealous Amara marches down to Bernardo’s beach barraco and shows everyone on the beach — but not the cameraher tits as well!!!!!!!!

Copious swapping of insults over who has, and has not, had silicone breast implants, ensues.

Verbal catfight!

Wikipedia, inifinte font of all practical wisdom, defines the term as

… a term for an altercation between two women, typically involving scratching, slapping, hair-pulling, and shirt-shredding as opposed to punching or wrestling. It can also be used to describe two human females insulting each other verbally or being otherwise nasty to each other. The many ways that women compare themselves to other women and compete with each other are also referred to as catfighting (or cattiness). Catfights are different from other kinds of fights involving women because they usually involve competition between two or more women, usually over men.

See the collected works of Jerry Springer and João Kleber for illustrations. Jerry Springer is about ten orders of magnitude more tasteful and restrained, however. See also

In the fotonovela version of the scene posted to the program’s Web page on Globo.com, the caption for the scene states that the two women involved in the catfight “armam um barraco na areia.

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Catfight: Amara and Débora armam um barraco.

Armar um barraco means “to set up a tent” — Bernardo runs a beach barraco, a common small business on Brazilian beaches, where chairs and umbrellas are rented and snacks and drinks doled out — but it is also a common euphemism for causing a man to have an erection.

An erection of his penis, that is, in case you were not familiar with the technical terminology there.

There is a beer commercial out there that uses this joke as well: Some lads are out camping and some cute girls come along and say they need help to armar o barraco. Comic pause, double-take and nervous gulp. “Armar o barraco, you say?”

Wink wink. Nudge nudge.

Later in the same episode, in a dream sequence, another (Globo-standard foxy mulata) character dreams that the character played by the hunky Lázaro Ramos, to whom she is attracted, deliberately provokes a “catfight” between her and his jealous girlfriend.

He then leans back and watches the catfight he has carefully and deliberately set up, with a lecherous smile on his face, sipping champagne.

She wakes with a start from her Snow White-like slumber and says, “Wow, I guess it was only a dream!”

Later, after Débora shows the entire beach her golden Globos, we are treated to a scene in which João Batista hoses Débora down at the beach shower of a Zona Sul condominium, while men who live in the condominium stand out on their balconies, hooting and ogling her.

Hoses Débora down at length.

From various angles.

A long, slow, loving hosing — down — of Débora’s bikini-clad hardbody.

Long.

Slow.

Hosing.

Itsy-bitsy.

Teeny-weeny.

Bikini.

[Insert Homer Simpson appetitious drooling sound effect here]

Débora closes her eyes in sensual rapture.

Water trickles along various, ahem, grandes veredas.

Men out on their balconies, leaning far out to catch a glimpse, their tongues hanging out. Metaphorically speaking.

[Insert standard pre-code Warner Bros. cartoon sight gag: Zoot-suited wolf, eyes bug out, tongue unrolls to the floor like a Turkish carpet. Voiceover: “HUBBA HUBBA HUBBA! Aoooooooo-ga! (pant pant pant!) Yowza! 23-Skiddoo!” Sound effect: Spike Jones fire alarms, police sirens, and nuclear explosions.]

It actually reminded me of that scene in Cool Hand Luke, with Paul Newman and George Kennedy, where the curvaceous housewife soaps up her car while the chain gang, laboring in the hot sun under the shotgun of the walking boss, ogles her and moans in frustration.

Later, Luke escapes from the chain gang and sends his old comrades a magazine clipping of himself with two gorgeous women in a big-city speakeasy.

When he is recaptured, however, Luke admits to them that the photo was a phony: He paid the women to pose with him, in order to create a comforting illusion for his old friends on the chain gang.

That (great, classic) film, in other words, implies, very powerfully and dramatically, the ironic distance between the puerile sexual fantasies it depicts and reality.

This moment of disillusionment might even be fairly called its moment of anagnorisis.

If I may be allowed to use a $10 word there.

Most of the other scenes in Globo’s episode synopsis were just, short, perfunctory 30-second plot advancers — scenes that waste the talents of the likes of the legendary José “The Man in the Black Cape” Wilker disgracefully.

The lion’s share of the airtime is spent lingering over the tantalizing possibility of drinking lots and lots of beer and seeing Débora’s tits!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sponsored by a beer company.

Lots of gostosas rebolando at the local escola de samba, naturally, where Juvenal Antena, the local mafioso — the character seems to be sort of weird mixture of militia leader, Antônio Carlos Magalhães, and Stedile of the MST — is the King of Carnaval.

We have nothing against gostosas who rebolam, by the way. We like to rebolar ourselves.

Globo always includes an escola de samba in its soap around this time of year. Last year, it was (the fabulous) G.R.E.S. Beija-Flor, which wound up winning the competition, but having the victory clouded by charges that the result was fixed by the jogo do bicho gambling rackets.

See

This year, the escola de samba featured is fictional, but if I am not mistaken, its emblem looks a lot like the blazon of the (mighty and exalted, de puríssima tradição) G.R.E.S. Portela (saravá).

Last year, the escola de samba featured in two Globo programs recorded before carnaval — the primetime soap (I forget the name, was it “Tropical Paradise”?) and Big Brother Brasil (BBB) was later crowned champion in a competition to which the city government gave LIESA — presided over by Captain Guimarães and Anísio of Beija-Flor, the biggest bicheiros in Brazil — permission to grant Globo a monopoly on the broadcasting and international licensing rights to.

I find that configuration of infotainment business relationships astonishing. Especially as to the notorious mob ties of the organization the city government and Globo have the contract with.

Globo, and the municipal government of Rio, seem to be doing a booming business with a racketeering-influence corrupt organization, LIESA. (LIESA heatedly denies that characterization applies. Captain Guimarães is a misunderstood former military torturer, controversial legitimate businessman, and victim of media-driven gabbling ratfinks.)

Doesn’t it at least seem that way to you?

Please: correct me if I’m wrong.

Will the pattern repeat this year?

So, look: Basically, the program seems to be a contemporary reengineering of a cheap, cheerfully profane exploitation genre from the 1960s and 1970s known as pornô chanchado or pornô xanxado.

A sort of very, very (very!) cheaply produced, slapstick-imbued softcore sexxxploitation film.

Which are actually very amusing to watch, as an example of dictatorship-era cultural kitsch.

We enjoy these films, in a funny way, but there is nothing especially erotic about them. In any event, we are plenty old enough to watch them, and we also enjoy the PG-rated neoburlesque stylings of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. In which we even marched this year (clothed, wearing our cangaceiro hats). See

My wife, in fact, as a pop culture-soaked writer, is well versed in such matters, and, as a comix collector, also has an enviable collection of the works of Carlos Zefiro — the Brazilian apostle of the “Tijuana Bible” genre. A pornographic Tupi Jack Chick. You know what I’m talking about.

But still: Our five-year-old nephew and our preteen (but not “tween”) Tupi-Chilean nieces do not need to see this sort of behavior — not the nudity so much as women offering to show leering men their tits, for a price.

Now, as to the explosion down at the titty-bar …

Let me get some coffee first.

But don’t touch that dial!

You do not want to miss the explosion at the titty-bar!

Or the stereotypically evil, mincing, eye-rolling faggot’s sadistic, misogynist blackmail scheme!

The image “https://i1.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/cutears.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
The apex of Brazilian surreality TV: IBOPE ratings for “the husband who put out the eyes and cut off the ears of his wife,” Ratinho (Record), March 5, 1998.

I was not able to confirm — I had had my evening dose of the agua que passarinho não bebe at that point and was getting sleepy — whether the message “strangler of bitches” was found at the scene of the titty-bar explosion, as previewed extensively by Globo’s print vehicles.

This would all be mildly humorous if it were not for the fact that for the last three decades or so, there has been little else to watch on the Brazilian boob tube.

The Brazilian TV viewer is essentially in the same position as Alex, in A Clockwork Orange:

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/alex-clockwork-orange.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

See also

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