We’ve already clearly established in previous posts that Chileans are hilarious. Something about the mix of geographical isolation and a glut of American television in the 1990s has allowed our Chileno brothers and sisters to develop a particularly mischievous sense of humor that the rest of the world has yet to give its due valuation. Over the years, television shows like Plan Z and and 31 minutos have showcased a self-deprecating brand of comedy tinged with surrealism and political satire that would make the Brits blush with envy, while even cruder fare like the Fuerzas Especiales films often surprises with its subtlety and wit. Now as we ring in a New Year of limitless possibilities, it seems Chilean comedy may finally be poised for its international break-out moment.
A 2013 webseries entitled Gringolandia and starring local funny man Koke Santa Ana has migrated to Netflix as the first Latin American, and second webseries ever to be made available on the digital streaming platform. The story of an entrepreneurial but cash-strapped Chileno who moves to NY with his gringa GF and opens up a Chilean-style completo hot dog stand has racked up 4.4 million views on YouTube over its two seasons, and with its subtitled mix of Spanish and English the show has plenty of crossover appeal for a new generation of Brooklyn transplants.
Produced by Chilean engineer-turned-film-impresario Cristóbal Ross, a large part of Gringolandia‘s success no doubt hinges on Santa Ana’s masterful mix of charm and dopey obliviousness, as well as his dexterous play on Chileans’ unintentionally comical use of La Lengua de Cervantes. The original Youtube series features short, 4-5 minute capsules that have been combined into proper 23-minute episodes for Netflix and include previously unreleased material.
It was just a few months ago that Ross and his team announced production on a third season, and now it’s available to add to your queue. This time, they skipped YouTube and went straight to Netflix to share their newest episodes exclusively with the streaming giant’s subscribers across the U.S. and Latin America. If you haven’t already seen it, do yourself a favor and catch up. Some day you’ll be able to say you were on Gringolandia since waaaay back.