Spanish television series 14 de abril. La República (“14th April. The Republic”) began on January 24th 2011 on Spanish TV channel RTVE1. It is a Spanish period drama set during the times of the Spanish Second Republic which was legally established on April 14th 1931. The Spanish Second Republic was an attempt to build a modern Spain and lasted until April 1st 1939 when the successful military rebellion led by General Francisco Franco brought to an end the Spanish Civil War. The constitution of The Spanish Second Republic was groundbreaking in the history of Spain and changed the face of the country.
The Spanish Second Republic was the first true democracy in Spanish history. It passed many reforms, including women’s right to vote and separation of church and state, greatly welcomed by some, hated by others. The constitution of the Spanish Second Republic was based on the absence of religious involvement in government affairs in order to build a secular society. The new constitution established freedom of speech and freedom of association, allowed divorce and stripped the Spanish nobility of any special legal status. It also established legal procedures for the nationalisation of public services such as land, banks and railways. The Constitution failed to agree with the conservative right and the Roman Catholic Church and this eventually led to the downfall of the Republic.
Spanish television series 14 de abril. La República gives an extremely interesting insight into one of the most important periods in Spanish history. It is a spin-off of another Spanish television series called La señora which finished in 2010 and featured some of the characters also in 14 de abril. La República. The first season of 14 de abril. La República ended on April 18th 2011 and dealt with the years 1931-1932. The second season of the series will air in 2013 and will consist of 17 episodes, dealing with the years 1932-1936, up to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War.
The main plot of 14 de abril. La República centres on the De la Torre family, a prestigious and wealthy family living in Madrid during the period of the Spanish Second Republic, and the love triangle which develops between Fernando de la Torre (Félix Gómez) and Alexandra Prado (Verónica Sánchez) and Mercedes León (Mariona Ribas). Fernando eventually has to decide between Alexandra and Mercedes and in doing so has many problems also with his best friend Jesús Prado (Alejo Sauras). In the thirteen broadcasts of the first season of 14 de abril. La República the show attained an average audience of 3,515,000 viewers with a 17% audience share. RTVE was understandably happy with this positive reception, but had to put the release of the second season back until 2013 to meet with budgetary cutbacks to the Spanish national channels in the face of economic downturns.
Star of the show is probably Feliciano Gómez Hernández (Félix Gómez) who plays Fernando de la Torre. Félix Gómez was born in Sevilla, Spain, in 1977 and has worked on numerous Spanish television projects since his debut TV series Plaza alta which was produced by Andalusian regional channel Canal Sur. His film debut was in the Spanish comedy Besos para todas (2000), starring Emma Suárez and directed by Spanish director Jaime Chávarri. Félix Gómez has played large roles in many very popular prime time Spanish television series such as Herederos and Amar en tiempos revueltos. He was also directed by Antonio Banderas in the 2006 film El camino de los ingleses, alongside Victoria Abril, Raúl Arévalo, Alberto Amarilla and Fran Perea.
The great thing about Spanish TV is that it is freely available on the internet via the websites of the major Spanish TV channels such as TVE1, TVE2, Telecinco, Antena 3 and Cuatro, no matter where you live in the world. With all of my posts here on The Spanish Blog about Spanish TV I include direct links to watch the discussed programmes free online. This is a fantastic way to practice your Spanish listening skills and pick up lots of vital vocabulary and expressions. Watching television in another language is never easy at first, but stick with it and be patient, it will be well worth the effort. The key is to try and find TV programmes that you are genuinely enjoy and are interested in. When you really get into a programme you forget that you are also “studying” and your command of the foreign language improves in leaps and bounds. Click here for a full list of all the other Spanish TV shows I have covered so far.