Verano azul

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Coordinates: 36°44′49″N 3°52′44″W / 36.74694°N 3.87889°W / 36.74694; -3.87889

Verano azul
Genre Comedy-drama
Teen drama
Created by Antonio Mercero
Starring Antonio Ferrandis
Miguel Joven
Pilar Torres
Juan José Artero
José Luis Fernández
Miguel Ángel Valero
Gerardo Garrido
Cristina Torres
María Garralón
Theme music composer Carmelo Bernaola
Country of origin Spain
Original language(s) Spanish
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 19
Production
Producer(s) Eduardo Esquide
Location(s) Nerja (Málaga)
Running time 60 minutes
Production company(s) Televisión Española
Release
Original network TVE1
Original release October 11, 1981 – February 14, 1982
External links
Website www.rtve.es/television/verano-azul/

Verano azul (English: Blue Summer) is a famous Spanish television drama series directed by Antonio Mercero that was first broadcast on La Primera Cadena of Televisión Española from October 11, 1981 to February 14, 1982.

The series tells the adventures of a group of youngsters between ages 9 and 17, while on summer vacation in a small coastal town on the Spanish Mediterranean Costa del Sol.

With 19 episodes it drew up to 20 million viewers in Spain (Televisión Española was the only television network available in Spain until 1983) and has been re-run several times since then. It has left a deep impact over several generations of viewers and has become part of Spain's common cultural memory. It was also broadcast in Latin America, Portugal, France, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Poland and Czechoslovakia.

Characters[edit]

The main characters include the children and teenagers Bea (Pilar Torres), Desi (Cristina Torres), Javi (Juanjo Artero), Pancho (José Luis Fernández), Quique (Gerardo Garrido), Piraña (Miguel Ángel Valero) and Tito (Miguel Joven), as well as two adults, the retired sailor Chanquete (Antonio Ferrandis) and the painter Julia (María Garralón).

Production[edit]

The series was filmed in 16 months, between August 1979 and December 1980, mainly in Nerja in the Province of Málaga with additional footage filmed in Motril and Almuñécar in the Province of Granada. There were 20 episodes initially planned but one of the episodes (titled "The Excursion") had to be cancelled during filming due to difficulties in its production.[1]

List of episodes[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Encounter" 11 October 1981 (1981-10-11)
Julia, a lonely painter, comes to Nerja in search of tranquility. There she meets a group of kids spending their summer vacation in town. After which they meet Pancho, a kid who works in his uncle's store. Finally they meet an old retired sailor named Chanquete. A bond of friendship is created. At first Javi and Pancho compete to win Bea's affections, until Javi gets trapped by the tide in some rocks and Pancho risks his life to save him.
2 "Do not kill my planet, please" 18 October 1981 (1981-10-18)
Tito and Piraña find many dead fish on the beach and run to tell Chanquete. He thinks it is the work of a chemical factory that every so often pollutes the river. Together they go to city hall to tell the mayor to send a complaint to the factory. The boys form a cleanup patrol with the slogan, "Operation Clean Our Planet" to educate people not to pollute the beach.
3 "Pancho Panza" 25 October 1981 (1981-10-25)
Tito tells Pancho about a dream Bea had, where a masked rider rescued her from bandits. Pancho thinks about making the dream come true by getting a horse and disguising himself as the masked rider. Meanwhile, Pancho hurts himself and cannot deliver milk. The boys decide to help him make his route. Pancho, unable to use his bike, has to ride a donkey, earning him the nickname "Pancho Panza", by which he is not at all amused.
4 "Eva" 1 November 1981 (1981-11-01)
A group of hippies leave the beach, with only a girl named Eva staying behind. Javi is attracted by Eva's beauty and asks her to stay with the gang. Eva has been abandoned by her boyfriend because she is pregnant and has decided to have the baby despite his lack of support. The children, Julia and Chanquete help her not to feel lonely. Meanwhile, Tito and Piraña are curious about what it is like to have a child without being married and turn to Chanquete for an explanation.
5 "Maybe" 8 November 1981 (1981-11-08)
The kids are upset by their parents' rules and punishments, and decide to do something. They agree to go on strike and keep silent, not saying a word to their parents. But with this method they get punished repeatedly. They change tactics several times to no avail until they hit upon the idea of speaking in reverse. After an incident on the beach sees them run into the police, the parents are reconciled with their children.
6 "Rainbow Smile" 15 November 1981 (1981-11-15)
Julia is depressed by the rain and locks herself in her home without responding to calls from the boys when they go to see her. Later, Chanquete seeks her out after being alerted by Javi and Pancho who heard her crying. He gets into the house by breaking a window. Julia tells him her about her past. Her husband and daughter were killed in a car accident two years ago, on a rainy day, just like that one. Chanquete tries to comfort Julia and reminds her that after the storm comes the rainbow.
7 "Beatriz, Mon Amour" 22 November 1981 (1981-11-22)
Bea falls for an older guy older and goes for a ride on his bike. Pancho and Javi are jealous and do everything possible to boycott the events and are joined by the other members of the gang. Bea's parents worry that their daughter goes out with an older boy and prohibit her but she does not agree.
8 "The Visitor" 29 November 1981 (1981-11-29)
Desi's father visits her and brings a gift, a motorcycle. Desi is excited by the possible reconciliation of her parents. However, the relationship deteriorates anew and she suffers for it. Meanwhile, Tito and Piraña think having separated parents is a great idea because of the many gifts they may get and plan on how to make Piraña's parents separate.
9 "The Bubble" 6 December 1981 (1981-12-06)
The boys go on a trip to Cala Chica and Bea is dragged away by the current and cannot get back to the shore. A strange man appears and saves her life. When Javi and Quique talk to him, he tells them that he comes from another planet and is waiting for their comrades back in "The Bubble" to pick him up. Some people from an asylum come and catch him. Everyone thinks he's crazy but that same night some strange lights appear on the water.
10 "The Green Cat Cave" 13 December 1981 (1981-12-13)
The kids walk alone on a trip to La Cueva del Gato Verde. Pancho gets trapped in the cave while exploring. Quique and Desi go in search of Chanquete and the Civil Guard so to rescue Pancho. As they are taking their time coming, Javi goes into the cave attached to a kite string and rescues Pancho. The boys unwittingly uncover new caves of great geological value. For his part Chanquete helps Julia to sell some paintings and thus prevent her from leaving for lack of money.
11 "Bottles" 20 December 1981 (1981-12-20)
A bottle with a message inside appears on the Cala Chica beach while the kids are playing. The message says "I love you Beatriz." Each day a bottle arrives on the beach with the same message. Bea is happy but the boys are jealous. Javi discovers that is Pancho who leaving the bottles for Bea. In the end the two boys fight on the beach.
12 "The slap" 27 December 1981 (1981-12-27)
Javi goes with her parents to the house of a wealthy man. His father intends to do business with this man but Javi embarrasses him, and his father slaps him. Javi, angry, goes to Chanquete and asks him for money and so he can run away. Chanquete gives him the money with one condition: he spends one last night at home and reflects before taking the money. Javi spends all day thinking it over. At night a conversation between his parents makes him change his mind.
13 "The knife" 3 January 1982 (1982-01-03)
Some thugs come to town causing commotion with their bikes and breaking telephone booths. Later two other boys fight in the Jar Tarbena and one of them pulls a knife. Aggression hovers over the village. Chanquete gets sick and Julia takes care of him.
14 "The last performance" 10 January 1982 (1982-01-10)
The kids play dress up for performances at Javi's home. Pancho is making his milk route when he passes by an abandoned house and sees a figure leaning on a window. Running scared to tell the others, together they explore the house. Bea sees the figure of man in the mirror and gets scared and runs away. Later the kids go back with Chanquete and find out that the man, the son of former owner, is a great magician who wants to invite the whole group to dinner and perform his last show for them.
15 "The Idol" 17 January 1982 (1982-01-17)
Bruno, a handsome singer and teenage heartthrob, comes to town to shoot a video. Bea and Desi are mad about him and the boys are jealous. Bruno is famous, handsome and rich but not happy and takes refuge at night on the beach where he meets Chanquete and admits the reality of his life.
16 "The Party Dad" 24 January 1982 (1982-01-24)
Enrique, Quique's father, makes efforts to reach out to his son and joins the group to get to know his child better, but all his efforts are useless. He goes to Chanquete for advice. The other parents follow Enrique's example and decide to do the same with their children. They organize a cocktail party and go all together, but the parents have more fun than the children.
17 "We shall not move" 31 January 1982 (1982-01-31)
Promovisa is a builder who wants to build a new housing project, but cannot do so because Chanquete's garden and La Dorada are in the middle of the proposed site. He meets with Chanquete and makes him a considerable offer but Chanquete refuses to sell his land and leave his home. Promovisa then employs some men to threaten Chanquete into selling, but he still refuses. Later he gets a digger to demolish La Dorada only to find Julia and the boys occupying the site, chanting "we shall not be moved" and defending the ship.
18 "Something dies in the soul" 7 February 1982 (1982-02-07)
Chanquete goes for a medical examination and is told that his heart is in a delicate state, and he has to go to hospital for some tests, but he refuses. Julia later convinces him to do take the tests. A few days after leaving the hospital Chanquete seems to be recovering, but dies the following day. The children, Julia and all of the others mourn Chanquete.
19 "The end of summer" 14 February 1982 (1982-02-14)
The kids are saddened by the death of their friend Chanquete and by the end of the holiday. They decide to do something special as it is their last day together, but cannot think of anything and get bored. Julia invites them to her home for lunch and then they go along to La Dorada to see how it is. They plant a tree. The next day they all say goodbye until next year. Julia is the last to leave town and gives Pancho a very special gift.

Cultural significance[edit]

[original research?]

For Bulgarians and Poles born in the early 1970s to early 1980s, "Verano Azul" introduced certain serious teen themes that had never been seen on TV under the socialist system, such as the hippie lifestyle, parental divorce, and the death of close friends, among others. It was one of the very few youth-oriented TV shows behind the Iron Curtain whose liberated atmosphere contrasted with the usual ideological indoctrination of the programming.

References[edit]

External links[edit]