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Benidorm

By Mr Grumpy - Fri 8th Apr 2011

I know of many people back in the UK who are friends of the sitcom ‘Benidorm’, and, in my experience, many of them seem to be split into two distinct camps :

Firstly, there are those who fail to see the humour in it, and instead see a ‘sit-com’ that is based on completely unrealistic characters who find themselves in unbelievable situations; and secondly, there are those who find the sitcom hysterical for exactly the same reasons.

Aside from the obvious ‘artistic privileges’ whereby the writer, Sr Litten, expects us to believe that the exact same of characters holidays at the exact same hotel at the exact same time every year, I can well believe that there is nothing exaggerated about many of the characters. I am, however, left wondering how he intends to explain the same ‘mass coincidental holiday’ scenario if and when a third series is commissioned.

I live about 30 mins up the road from Benidorm, and then a further 15 mins inland and as such I am reasonably familiar with many parts of the Town, in different seasons of the year – with and without the holidaymakers.

Many people do have a preconceived idea of the Town being a downmarket and somewhat tacky resort that is past it’s best – somewhere that is used to serving endless pasty white Brits with all-day breakfasts washed down with a pint of John Smith’s. The sad thing is that this is largely true – the many stag and hen parties alone prove that – and because so much revenue from tourism relies on this very demographic, the town seems reluctant to change its popularly held image in any way.

To a certain extent it is this stereotype that the sitcom upholds. There is no reason why it shouldn’t: like Basil Faulty didn’t represent all Hoteliers and Del Boy didn’t represent all Market traders, there is no reason why a writer shouldn’t be able to write about whatever he chooses without having a responsibility to depict the yin and yang of each and every situation – it’s just sad that many people don’t have the ability to see beyond the programme to see that there is more to the town itself.

Now I’m not going to get all ‘Judith Chalmers’ on you, nor am I trying to promote tourism in the resort – Benidorm as a town isn’t even really my pot of Tetley’s.

...But I do know that there is a side to the Town that many people don’t know about and many tourists don’t get to see.

Back in the 60’s Benidorm first became known for its beach and you would be hard pressed to deny that it is still an excellent and well kept beach today very kid friendly and with some good facilities. Those that can be bothered to stagger away from the ‘Rose & Crown’ or ‘Pride of Scotland’ bars with their all day Sports channels, happy hours and belly-buster breakfasts may be in danger of discovering the old Town. Here tapas bars and heladerias are more common in the narrow and winding cobbled streets than English bars are, and it is partly for these reasons that the resort is equally popular with the Spanish.

So if anybody is watching the sitcom and hasn’t ever been to Benidorm, I’d urge them to consider that it is a pretty good depiction of just one part of the Town – not of the town as a whole.

... and yes, I do know that I’m the last person who should be preaching about stereotypes.

Comment on this Blog

 
Did you know there is an iphone and android phone and tablet travel guide app called Benidorm Now! and a video on You Tube showing how it works?
Mel Castle - Sat, 4th Feb 2012
My money is on somewhere in China.
Mr Grumpy - Sat, 10th Sep 2011
As you know benidorm well can you find out for mr where the handbag and shoe/boot stalls get their products from. Thanks Julia
Julia West - Sat, 10th Sep 2011
I met with clients in Benidorm on Sat afternoon so took the family along to make a day of it. I am kind of split here : I love the (old) Town, the beaches, the fact that it is one of the few placesin Spain that you can get decent Fish & Chips (for when those once-a-year cravings come along) but the people spoil it for me. Most of them look like regulars on the Jeremy Kyle show,
Simple Simon - Fri, 27th May 2011
It´s on the box NOW :)
Derek - Sun, 10th Apr 2011
A couple of days only Derek. I obviously stand corrected about the no. of series and need to pay more attention next time it's on the box.
Mr Grumpy - Sun, 10th Apr 2011
How old is this blog as it mentions weather or not seriers 3 will be commissioned and series 4 has just aired.
Derek - Sun, 10th Apr 2011
4th series ? - I blame the TV stations for confusing the hell out of me by playing different Episodes of different series on different days of the same week - How the hell is anyone supposed to keep up ? I don't doubt for one minute the increase in tourism it has brought to the area either.
Mr Grumpy - Sun, 10th Apr 2011
'if and when a 3rd series is commissioned' - the 4th has just finished. According to travelsupermarket.com, bookings to Benidorm increase 159% when Benidorm is on tv than the nights its not. Benidorm has generated interest in various places and sights that people never knew about, especially on the outskirts. As someone who goes out in Benidorm most weekends I can verify such characters - and worse - do exist. Thanks for the helpful website. (posted from a mobile so I apologise for any typos)
Large Man With Hat - Sun, 10th Apr 2011

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