Malena Pichot Taught Me Spanish
By Sharon Salt.
Malena Pichot, Argentine comedienne extraordinaire, is basically my Spanish teacher. (Well, her and my boyfriend.)
Having never taken a structured Spanish class, I was desperate to find examples of Argentine Spanish in everyday life that were easily accessible (at the time I had no TV) and, preferably, also funny and fresh. Malena was exactly what I was looking for. Between her stand-up material, CUALCA sketches, and two TV series – Jorge and Por Ahora – she’s taught me all the Argentine Spanish I had hoped to learn and more.
Malena first entered the spotlight in 2008 when a series of Youtube videos about the aftermath of her breakup went viral. It was called La Loca de Mierda, and after its success, MTV Latin America was knocking at her door. From there, Malena began developing video shorts for MTV, which eventually led to CUALCA, which eventually led to creating and starring in several TV series.
The first time I saw Malena (in a video, though I have also seen her in person at a party and tried my very best not to be a creep) was in Piropos, or Cat Calls, which is probably the best known of the CUALCA sketches:
But it’s not just Malena’s sass and strength that pulled me in. It’s that, at the time, each CUALCA sketch was exactly the right length for me to watch over and over again – something even I, a notorious one-view-only kind of girl, looked forward to. CUALCA even has a video or two about slang terms, the kinds of things you only fully understand after having seen several applicable situations in a row:
Once you’ve built up a good ear for dialogue and feel you could sustain your concentration for a full half hour, you can move on to one of her two TV shows: Jorge, an eight-episode series, and/or Por Ahora, a thirteen-episode series, both of which aired in 2013.
Jorge is about a man in a rut, directionless and uninterested. After the death of his father and an emotionless breakup, he begins to wake up, trying to cope with his own drama while creating a makeshift family out of his new friends and kooky roommates.
Por Ahora, on the other hand, is about a woman named Norma and her friends – the exact cast of CUALCA, in fact – as they come to terms with what it means to be an adult. Throughout the series, they face new responsibilities, despite the fact that they don’t seem to know when they want to grow up, if at all.
Lucky for you, Jorge is available in full on Youtube and Por Ahora, which originally aired on Spanish Cosmo TV (??!), is available from the links posted on this blog.
Happy watching! And remember – it’s all in the name of learning Spanish!