Peru’s taste in television is as diverse as the people who watch it. There are all the expected hits such as The Simpsons, CSI, and variety shows, but Peru also offers viewers shows that are entirely their own. From captivating telenovas to investigative journalism and surf shows, here is the lowdown on what they’re watching in Peru right now.
El Wasap de JB is a Peruvian sketch comedy show similar to Saturday Night Live. The show offers imitations and parodies of political and sporting figures, both Peruvian and international. No subject is off-limits to Jorge Benavides, the show’s creator, and his team of writers. The show has recently received criticism for its unflattering portrayal of Peru’s indigenous community. Nonetheless, the show has remained very popular in Peru and has just begun another season.
Part American Idol and part karaoke, in Yo Soy, contestants pick an artist to impersonate for the entire show. Contestants dress up like their singer of choice, and even put on fake tattoos to match those that the real artists have. Before each performance, a contestant walks out and says, “Yo soy Kurt Cobain” (“I am Kurt Cobain”) – or whoever their artist of choice is. It truly is the ultimate in karaoke.
Crime drama is hugely popular, and it sells. CSI has remained a popular show in the USA for a long time, and so have its spinoffs such as CSI: Miami. Peru is no different, and the crime dramas are just as popular here. No matter where you live, crime drama is always riveting.
El Gran Show is a dance-reality show similar to Dancing with the Stars and the Mexican television series Bailando Por un Sueño. Celebrities are paired with “dreamers” (amateurs) to compete against other teams. The “dreamer” who wins gets their dream realized; the show focuses on social needs and assistance that the dreamers need. Eleven couples (dreamer and hero) compete over 10 weeks. Each week, the couple who receive the fewest telephone votes are eliminated.
Cuatro Poder fills Peruvians in on the current affairs that take place each week. The show is one of the most trusted news programs in Peruvian television, and is hosted by Sol Carreño and Augusto Thorndike, accompanied by an excellent team of reporters and investigative journalists.
Peru Surf is the first program produced in Peru dedicated to showcasing surfing and bodyboarding to a national and international audience. The show gives glimpses into the best beaches, waves, and surfers that Peru has to offer. As well as showcasing local Peruvian surfers, it also welcomes international competitors, and has helped to grow Peru’s surfing community.
Head to the store during the day and the chances are someone their will have the TV tuned to a soap opera. Often, you’ll be left waiting to pay for your groceries while the person behind the cash register watches their soap. Before Brazilian soap operas became the thing to watch, Peruvians were captivated by their own telenova hits. Luz Maria, the most expensive Peruvian soap production, attracted large audiences in Peru as well as in Spain. Other notable Peruvian telenovas are Que Buena Raza and Pobre Diablo.
No country is immune to the joys of The Simpsons. The show has sustained continued success in the Peruvian market, and shirts that read “Duff Beer” and feature the characters from the show can be seen all over Peru.