Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rare 1970's PBS Sitcom "¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?" Available on DVD

¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.? La Completa Collection
¿Qué Pasa, USA? was America's first bilingual situation comedy. The program explored the trials and tribulations faced by the Peña family of Miami as they struggled to cope with a new country and a new language. The series focused on the identity crisis of the members of the family as they were pulled in one direction by their elders - who wanted to maintain Cuban values and traditions - and pulled in other directions by the pressures of living in a predominantly Anglo society.

The series was bilingual, reflecting the mix of language often heard in Cuban-American neighborhoods - from Spanish in the home and English at the supermarket to the inevitable combining of both into "Spanglish."

¿Qué Pasa, USA? aired on PBS nationwide from approximately 1977-1981. A total of 39 episodes were produced over 3 seasons. The show was produced and taped live before a studio audience at PBS affiliate WPBT in Miami, Florida. In recent years, the series has been shown on Galavisión.

The cast included Manolo Villaverde as Pepe, Ana Margarita Martin-Casado as Juana, Luis Oquendo as Antonio, Velia Martinez as Adela, Rocky Echevarria (now known as Steven Bauer) as Joe, and Ana Margarita Menéndez as Carmen.

¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.? La Completa Collection is available to purchase on the official site via their store. The 5-Disc Collector's Edition includes all 39 episodios of the ground-breaking comedy series. It will set you back mucho dinero: $99.95 plus $6 shipping and handling. This seems like an internet-only offer. You won't be able to order it on Amazon.com or buy it in stores.

The site, owned and operated by WPBT Channel 2, includes a number of other goodies including a photo album, desktop wallpapers, video clips, and an addicting Qué Pasa Concentration Game.

Related Links:

  • ¿Qué Pasa, USA? Official Site
  • TV.com Episode Guide
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Wikipedia
  • Jump The Shark

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    Friday, July 3

    The Dick Van Dyke Show - Now in Living Color! - (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
    CBS will honor the memory of legendary actor, producer, director, writer, comedian and Emmy Award winner Carl Reiner with THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW – NOW IN LIVING COLOR! A SPECIAL TRIBUTE TO CARL REINER, featuring two colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the beloved 1960s series, Friday, July 3 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. As series creator and co-star, Carl Reiner personally supervised the original colorization of the episodes.

    The special features “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” which ranked #8 on TV Guide’s list of the “100 Greatest TV Episodes of All-Time,” and “October Eve,” which Mr. Reiner considered to be one of the series’ funniest episodes. Both were written by Bill Persky and Sam Denoff.

    In “Coast to Coast Big Mouth,” Laura Petrie blurts out a top secret on a national television quiz show, revealing that comedian Alan Brady wears a toupee. The episode, which was the show’s fifth and final season premiere, was originally broadcast on Sept. 15, 1965. “Coast to Coast Big Mouth” won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 1966.

    In “October Eve,” a painting of Laura returns to haunt her when, despite her having posed fully clothed, the artist (played by Carl Reiner) takes the liberty of “undraping” her. The episode was first presented on April 8, 1964, during season three.

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