Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The blond and the parrot - São Paulo

Ana Maria Braga and her parrot friend Louro José.    Photo credit: globo.com

After recent feedback to my blog that I am nannering on an on about a variety of subjects all in the same post, I have separated my fun times yesterday into two posts. First up is Ana Maria Braga, and tomorrow I will cue up my feedback about a certain Swedish car dealership. 

Okay, so Ana Maria. I have to be SUPER careful here ("Super" added for the delight of one of my British fans who is made crazy by Super, Hyper, and Mega. Did I mention I mega like winding up Brits? Oops, here I am digressing again). I have to be careful for two reasons: 1. Ms. Braga is capable and successful in suing people who mess with her and 2. Some people really like her. And her parrot. 

Background for those of you unfortunate (ahem) enough to never have enjoyed her program "Mais Voce" ("More You" in direct translation): Ana Maria Braga works as a "journalist" in a "talk show" Monday through Friday on Rede Globo, the biggest baddest media network in Brazil. Her show runs from 8:28 am until 9:56 am (if you think I am kidding, please look here). Unfortunately for me, this coincides always with the time that I am in the car service department. And the car service departments are always on Rede Globo. I don't know why. Do car people like parrots? Do car people like inanity? (I mean that in the nicest way, Ms. Braga). Is it a coincidence that when I spell-checked "inanity", it came up with "insanity"? 

Now we have our fair share of inane morning shows in the US. Offhand, I could be sued by four networks. But in my memory, the car service department there had the TV normally tuned to CNN or local news (more inanity) not a talk show with a large parrot. 

So let me get to it. Ana Maria interviews people, makes food with guest chefs, and talks with a large puppet parrot named Louro José. And Louro disagrees with Ms. Braga sometimes (though I don't think he gets sued for it) but mostly is known for his pithy comments and, according to wikipedia, my favorite source, he is known as the "comic element" of the show. I find the whole show comic.

There he is! Louro José!

Yesterday I was treated to the interview of one of my favorite Brazilian actresses, Claudia Raia. That girlie can do evil, I tell you. I saw her in one of the novelas (soap operas), in fact the only one I ever watched, called A Favorita (the favorite). First she was a nice lady, then she was bad***, and then she was nice again. Good fun. Apparently the goal of Ana Maria's show was to make her cry. So she did. Her son Enzo told Claudia something that made her very emotional (sorry I am loose on details here because this was the moment that the service guy told me it was time for a test drive of BH's ailing car).

Claudia gets emotional. Photo credit is mine but the show is "Mais Voce"

By the time I had gotten back from showing the car guys that the car sounds like a herd of buffalo are under it, Louro had done his work and made Claudia laugh again. Yay, parrot! You may be in my nightmares, but you make Claudia happy!

Claudia pulls out the happiness and Ana Maria serves more coffee

Now I feel a little bad about making fun of Ms. Braga when she was one of the reasons I started my blog.  It's true. I was sitting in the Honda service center watching Ms. Braga show off a new driver-less car (in a driver-less car situation,  exactly WHO takes it to the service center? I could like this idea) when "aconteceu um improvisto" (something unexpected happened) and the car backed up and bonked her, causing the need for stitches. I will always know the date I took my car in for service because I saw that one live. Ms. Braga is no spring chicken (though she dates one) so it was a seriously bad scene. But of course when I posted this on my facebook page, I got lots of comments about the cultural differences between Brazil and the US (where to my knowledge, we have no talk shows with foot-tall parrot puppets) and made me start to think about blogging.

In reality, I have little against Ms. Braga. Okay, I hate her hair. If you are not a natural blonde, I believe you are supposed to take action against dark roots. It is a contract you need to sign to get your hair colored (I have no personal knowledge of this, as I have only once lightened my hair and I am far too lazy and cheap to do it again--though clearly I could follow Ms. Braga's plan of re-applying the dye. Lasts forever. Or not). I don't even care that she dated/married someone 20 years her junior. Why not? Men do it all the time. It is more that I feel her show lacks a little ummm, there there.

Ironically (when you consider her current TV partner at least), Ms. Braga graduated with a zoology degree before turning to "journalism." Also she and Louro have separate renewable contracts with Globo. You can't make this up. Or rather, you don't need to.


  1. Hahaha - thanks for the nostalgia - I suffered Ms Braga for 3 years a few times a week courtesy of SAH's Rehab sessions at the Hospital. I will stop here since you said it all!

  2. Great post Kristin. I have been suffering her show every morning for the past half a year it seems. Any waiting area with a tv seems to be on Rede Globo and I always seem to be in a waiting area at the time of her show! Recently she has been showing videos of people singing in the shower and, although horrendous, I do have to say that it definitely gave all people in the waiting area a good laugh:)

    1. You're right--it's not only car service centers. It's everywhere! I might have to check out the singing in the shower feature...does Louro sing along?

  3. That parrot is ugly. All can see is that enormous beak. Md. Braga sounds as though she is unique. Therefore, there will be no others like her, anywhere!

    1. She is unique. And definitely funny in her way...

  4. Great Post!
    It's my first time reading your blog, and I love it!

    One story I`ll never forget about Ana Maria is when I stumbled upon her show on the television of the "lanchonete" near my old job.
    At that time, a new law had just passed, limiting the domestic work to 8 hours/day (in other words, freeing them from slavery).

    On Ana's show, a "really really sad" story was shown, of a business women, that had employed her domestic worker for years, to the point she was "almost family".
    But now, with the "new terrible" law, both were so sad that she couldn't afford her anymore, and had to let her go...

    That show is a time machine back to the 18th century.

    1. Yes, she seems to be a little out of touch with reality sometimes (okay, often). Remember when the price of tomatoes went way up, well, at least in São Paulo they did? Well, one morning she wore a necklace with huge red glass beads that looked like tomatoes. And she pranced around a bit and exclaimed "look at me, I am so rich, I have a necklace made of tomatoes!" A little not humorous. I admit I did not see that clip but this was told to me by a friend.

    2. And thanks for liking the blog! :)

  5. I have really spend time wondering about that parrot. Did Ana Maria first become famous and then someone came up with the idea of the stuffed parrot to jazz up the show? Were producers sitting around and were like --I have an idea to improve ratings--a talking parrot!! Or is Ana Maria and the bird some kind of act, and the bird some sort of comic sidekick, like Dr. Chris and "Hozay" on KC101? Kristin, please tell me you recall/know of Dr. Chris and Hozay, if you so you will be the only person in Brazil who understands...Christine

    1. Okay, here's the good and bad news. Yes Ana Maria was already on her own show on Rede Record when SHE invented Louro Jose in 1997. In 1999, she was hired away by Globo, as was Louro Jose... and the story is that she invented the character for a comic book where she turned people she knew into various characters. And I have no clue who is Dr. Chris and Hozay...sorry...