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News from Santos and Baixada Santista

News from Santos and Baixada Santista

If he had made a career in the United States, Silvio Santos would have already had dozens of works produced on him. Books, documentaries, and who knows, even the movie that will earn the lead actor an Academy Award.


In Brazil, on the contrary, resumes are rare. True, the volume has grown for quite some time now, highlighting show business figures such as Hebe Camargo, Renato Rosso and Ellis Regina. But one name remained untouchable: it is precisely the most famous name on our television, Silvio Santos, who built an empire from almost nothing and today, at almost 92 years old, still refuses to retire.


Silvio himself popularized the myth that his imitators would need special permission, which is not required by Brazilian law. Such was the case of Marvio Lucio Carioca, who boasted of obtaining the approval of the owner of the SBT. But then Marcelo Adnet appeared doing a completely unauthorized imitation, and Silvio could do nothing to stop him. After that, it seems that a portal has opened, and several projects of plays and films depicting the businessman appeared.


One of them, which is still in production, is The Kidnapping, which focuses the script on a specific episode – the kidnapping of Patricia Abravanel, Silvio’s daughter, in 2002 – and features presenter Rodrigo Farrow in the lead role.


The most ambitious is the series “The King of TV”, which covers the entire career of the SS and whose first season is shown this Wednesday (19) on the Star + platform.


The report managed to reach three of the eight episodes. The first, “A Geleia É Minha,” shows a teenage Abravanel feline in the lower middle class of Rio de Janeiro, in the mid-1940s. Soon the son of the Jews of Greece and Turkey, the boy showed business initiative.

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With a strong voice and an unbreakable face, he became one of the most successful street vendors downtown. In a short time, he had the money to fill his house with goodies, including his favorite strawberry jam.


Episode Two, “Kanta, Peru!” , depicting the beginnings of Silvio Santos – the stage name for which he is best known – on radio, in the early 1950s to 1960s. (In this case, it was the turkey itself), a type of traveling circus that was performed in the suburbs of Rio and São Paulo, the young hall artist had the upper hand and developed his own peculiar style.


Also at this time, Silvio acquired from one of his mentors, broadcaster Manoel da Nóbrega, a semi-bankrupt company called Baú da Felicidade, which became the basis for his range of business.


The third episode, “O Rei dos Domingos,” finally shows Silvio Santos’ arrival on television, as he leads on former Paulista Television (currently Globo de São Paulo) the program bearing his name, still broadcast today, SBT.


These three seasons are framed by a crisis that occurred many years later, in 1988, when a polyp in the throat caused Silvio to lose his voice and no longer able to take on the marathon that was his Sunday programme, broadcast live.


The medical emergency is compounded by another problem: SBT’s rising star Gugu Liberato is being investigated by Globo for taking charge of the Carioca announcer on Sunday afternoon, in direct competition with its finder.


These two dramas didn’t happen exactly at the same time, but the writers took the liberty of putting them together for additional drama. Some names have also changed: Bonnie, the former Globo influencer, is now Russian, to avoid potential legal troubles.

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Very well written, produced and directed, these initial chapters show Silvio Santos as a quick-witted person, able to offer surprising solutions to any unexpected problem. But he is no saint: he displays racism in front of a black employee and is able to tamper with the outcome of a competition to ensure the success of his program.


The program’s presenter also reveals that it is absurd and insecure. When Silvio was asked to narrate that his show would be presented by Gogo Liberato while he was treating his vocal cords, Silvio ended up declaring that his absence would cover a “replay of the best moments”. To the wrath of Gugu, who immediately called Globo.


Mariano Matos, who is still unknown, fills young Silvio Santos with enthusiasm. But it is veteran José Rubens Chacha, who plays a mature presenter, who pulls off the weight of a turbulent, albeit highly successful career — which, at the time, was still halfway through.


Produced by Golan and directed by Marcos Baldini, “O Rei da TV” evokes the emotional memory of the Brazilian viewer, who always used to see Silvio Santos in the video. The first three episodes don’t bring much revelation and can even be approved by the “chief” himself.


It remains to be seen whether and how the series will tackle more controversial topics, with the SS’s nomination for the presidency, in 1989, or the Banco Panamericano scandal, in 2010.