When you say that hackneyed phrase “Spanish series cross borders” we never stop believing it. But there’s ‘The paper house’ and its new Korean spin-off, the Yankee versions of ‘The Mysteries of Laura’, ‘Gran Hotel’ or ‘Red Bracelets’, not to mention the many productions that were born from ‘The Serrano’ and ‘Aida’ or even the Russian version of ‘El internado’. Come on, when it is said that Spanish television is in fashion, it is not saying: It has been in fashion for many years.
But it is possible that the best-known series in other countries, without us knowing it, is ‘There is no one living here’, which saved so many confinements by dint of watching it over and over again. The curious thing is that it did not happen only in Spain: beyond the dubbing in Finland, Serbia, Bosnia or Bulgariathere have been so many adaptations around the world, that we can practically speak of the multiverse of real madness: that of ‘There is no one living here’.
Eugenio Derbez, a famous Mexican comedian, was in Spain in 2005 when he came across ‘Aquí no hay qué viva’ on Antena 3. He liked the concept so much that he bought it and took it to his country, only he decided to do something completely different: Derbez called it ‘Neighbors’ and it doesn’t have a single character or plot in common with ours. The best? It is still broadcasting.
Among the protagonists, in a huge cast, there is from a goalkeeper (whose catchphrase is “Here your star concierge takes care of everything”) to a fading actor with an air of grandeur named Frankie Rivers. ‘Neighbors’ just finished its 12th season completing like this over 220 episodes, and is one of the most beloved of Televisa. So much so that they even inserted the Covid into the plots. Almost nothing.
‘There is no one living here’ (Argentina)
In Argentina they adapted the series in their own way in 2008, in a season of 39 episodes that completely changed some plots, the most striking being that here Paloma (better known as Graciela or Grace) does not die. Telefe had a huge audience hit on its hands, but it was losing strength due to the different programming changes (It went from weekly to bi-weekly, it varied from schedule every two to three…). Each episode began, like ‘South Park’, with a “The facts and/or characters of this program are fictitious. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental” which was quite disorienting.
In the end the share was so low that they had to speed up all the frames to give it an ending. It must be said that although some episodes do were based almost entirely on Spanish scripts, others were totally Argentine and that even several adapted episodes were remakes in which little remained of the original. Of course, almost all the characters changed their name. For example, Emilio and Mariano Delgado became Román and Hipólito Bobadilla and Concha, Marisa and Vicenta (now three sisters) became Raquel, Nélida and Tomasa. If you add the deepest darkness with which it is recorded and that some characters from later seasons already appear in episode one, you are left with a very rare version of our series.
‘Faites comme chez vous!’ (France)
The French also decided to change the name to ‘Nobody Lives Here’ for ‘Make yourself at home!’. It lasted 24 episodes in 2005 and although the name of the episodes varied (‘Welcome to hell’ for ‘Once upon a move’ or ‘Sex, lies and… coming out’ for ‘Once upon a rumor’) and the characters, the series with the president of the community Christian Costa it was practically the same, even in the hairstyle and the clothes of the actors. Some plot mixed here and there, but nothing remarkable. Interestingly, there is a nostalgic little move in France in her favor, but practically nobody remembers her.
‘No one lives here’ (Chile)
Francisco Bobadilla, who would later adapt ‘Modern family’ to Chile, was commissioned in 2009 to do the same with ‘Aquí no hay qui viva’, a series that has already aired in original format by Chilevisión four years earlier. It premiered on November 24 without much hype, and for good reason: basically a copy of the original series with some Chilean arrangements… And with three doors per floor instead of two. Also added canned laughter, which only made fans of the original point it out with more rejection. It lasted only eleven episodes.
‘No one lives here’ (Colombia)
On August 25, 2008, RCN Television broadcast the first episode of ‘There is no one alive here’, the series about the residents of the Salsipuedes building. The series had 99 episodes, 9 more than the original, although it has a trick: although the adaptation of some episodes was suppressed (‘Once upon a Christmas Eve’, for example), others were divided into two and even three parts, especially when they reached the end of the series. Also, to add pressure, the episodes were not weeklybut practically daily.
The series gave rise to controversy: Senator Víctor Velásquez accused her of violate the code of adolescence and childhood. The reason? Indeed: Mauri and Fernando, the gay couple in the building. RCN relented and the series went from being broadcast at nine at night to an hour later, when children are supposed to be in bed. Two steps forward and three steps back as usual.
‘Here we don’t have to live’ (Portugal)
Teresa Guilherme was already familiar with adapting Spanish formats: she presented ‘Un, dos, tres’ and in 2006 she also did ‘7 vives’. ‘Aqui não há quem viva’ was a complete success, but it only lasted 52 episodes, ending in ‘Erase some statutes’, which was divided into two parts. Fans of the adaptation created several online petitions in 2010 to end the series with a worthy special episodebut the death of several actors and the mess of contracts made it impossible.
Curiously, the series began to stand out after its first revival, precisely in 2010, when it was already too late to be able to renew it. The episodes, by the way, were practically the same, both in costumes and in sets, lighting, scripts and characters. Only the song at the beginning was missing!
‘Η Πολυκατοικία’ (Greece)
Literally, ‘The building’ was the Greek version, which aired from 2008 to 2011 and did have a song at the beginning, only it was a honeyed ballad by Michalis Hatzigiannis that contrasts sharply with our a cappella version. The Serie lasted 132 episodes: 90 adapted from the Spanish and 42 completely original. And if they lived here in Desengaño 21, there they do it in Atenas, in Alamanas 19, with characters like Thanasis Balafoutis (Juan Cuesta), Takis Peristeris (Roberto Alonso) or Manolis Galatsanos (Emilio Delgado). No, here Paloma Cuesta (Margarita Balafouti) does not die either.
It was such a success that reached a 43% share in its first season, although it was lowered especially when it came to exclusively Greek episodes, such as ‘Once upon a Brazilian’, ‘Once upon a prophet’, ‘Once upon a dwarf’ or ‘Once upon a tiger mosquito’. The curious thing is that Greece has bought the rights to ‘La que se avecina’ to make a remake of his own series. The multiverse expands.
Not everything is going to be hunky-dory: in 2012, José Luis Moreno assured that they were about to make an American version under the name of ‘I hate this place’. In the end it came to nothing, just like the Italian version, ‘Qui non si può vivere’, it could not be broadcast due to a law that did not allow the character of Marisa to drink and smoke: from there they saw the problems they could have and decided abandon her In the same way, Venezuela was going to call her ‘Like dogs and cats’… But it ended in nothing.
we already have material for fifteen more confinements. A little please!