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Serves its purpose well
WeaselWoman134 May 2004
Sure, everyone in our class pretends to hate "Destinos," and I'm sure our Spanish-speaking foreign exchange student is comatose through these things, but I think they're rather fun. The story itself could probably have been played out in a half hour, but they drag the plot out so much it keeps you in suspense. I seriously care what happens to Raquel in the next episode, though it's rather frustrating in how roundabout a way they choose to present the story. One mustn't forget these are, above all, educational, rather than taut thrilling dramas, and they serve the former purpose quite well. I think they really have helped to improve my Spanish, especially my listening skills.

And they're funny. They're not really supposed to be, but they are -- like any soap opera, the acting is bad and the story is a little overdramatic. Throw in Raquel's hideous outfits, the ineptitude of the characters, the repetitiveness, and the number of episodes that are entirely about food or numbers, and you've got some wonderful opportunities for mockery -- and I don't say this disparagingly; it's endearing how cheesy it is.

So, if you're a Spanish teacher or just someone who'd like to improve their Spanish listening skills, I'd give this series a thumbs-up. If you're looking for real entertainment, I'd look for a real telenovela. ; )
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¡Destinos es lo mejor!
gbisaga3 January 2005
OK, I admit it: I love this series. There, I've said it. Sure, it's a cheesy soap opera. But it's a cheesy soap opera that teaches you to understand the language. And it does this job very well, and even enjoyably.

I've read the whole range of comments about this series. Let me deal with each objection one at a time:

Poor plot: As an actual telenovela, it probably fares pretty poorly. However, it seems to me that it's not fair to compare it against programs designed primarily as telenovelas. This is primarily a LANGUAGE LEARNING TOOL. It just happens to take the form of a telenovela, in fitting with the goal of introducing the viewer to Hispanic culture as well as language.

Cheesy: What telenovela isn't cheesy? If you want cheesy, try Rubi or Tres Mujeres.

No budget: Unfortunately, the authors of these comments know nothing about TV/movie production. Filming on location is insanely expensive. And Destinos does it effectively - I honestly want to visit most of the places they filmed.

Raquel's horrible wardrobe: While I agree that her "clown suit" is a little over-the-top, she was pretty fashionable for 1991. Something to think about: ten+ years from now, if you consider yourself fashionably-dressed, what you're wearing today will look as bad as Raquel's wardrobe does today.

Sleazy characters: Luis is supposed to be greasy. Jorge is even worse. But Arturo - a sugar daddy? He's trying to show Raquel his affection in the only way he knows how.

Boring: I think this comment pretty much sums up my view on the series. If you're engaged primarily in mocking, you will be bored. If you accept Destinos for what it is and actually learn from it, I guarantee you won't be bored. You may even learn to love it like I have!
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8/10
sort of a novela but the goal is to teach Spanish, not just entertain
robinjt7 August 2006
I am fascinated with how they managed to include a story, drama, comedy, romance, history and a few others to work around Spanish vocabulary for the new-er student. They also were able to show differences in various Latino/Hispanic countries. I thought the location shots were pretty good considering, again, the purpose of the series. And there were different personalities. It wasn't the most exciting story I've ever seen but if it were, I probably wouldn't understand it in Spanish! I felt that I gained some confidence that I could follow the story.I enjoyed it! But yeah, the clown costume has got to go!
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"Campy"? Por favor...
Venus-2519 April 2001
While I will certainly concede that this program had its comic moments, I would hardly call it "campy" or "comedic." Dying grandfathers, wealthy gentlemen, and interfering mothers are hardly laughing matters.

This program enables the viewer to learn effectively and at a comfortable pace; observing characters shopping, eating, and making introductions certainly beats lists of words in a column on a blackboard with their English translations on the other side. No one came out of my high school French class able to have a conversation; after this program I was negotiating over antique blouses in a Madrid flea market.

Anyone interested in learning Spanish for everyday living will love this program, which is also lots more fun than sitting in a classroom. It whets the appetite for real Mexican novelas, which I have come to enjoy. I now watch at least two every day.

For those ladies who enjoyed this program: Start watching the real thing. I highly recommend CORAZON SALVAJE (rentable at Blockbuster), YO COMPRO ESA MUJER, RAMONA (which may shortly be visible on Galavision), AMOR GITANO, and LA CASA EN LA PLAYA. As emotionally manipulative as these programs are, they're the greatest thing since romance novels.
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¿Su Hermano? *gasp*
wednesdaymess1 March 2005
I started watching Destinos last year when i was seventh grade. I hated the thing with a passion. But this year I'm realizing that it does teach Spanish and despite what others may say, I think it's extremely entertaining. Yeah, that acting sucks and it's cheesy in the most annoying way, but it's funny. It's not supposed to be, but, come on, I don't a single person who didn't laugh some time during the show. The only problem with it, is all the repeating. It will show you the same scene what feels like hundred times. You end up practically memorizing the lines. But,nothings perfect. All in all it's pretty fun to watch and it teaches you Spanish. Eh, works for me
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Destinos--an oasis in Spanish class
Derek Paylor20 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Destinos is the best way to teach people Spanish along with the standard teaching methods. It offers an entertaining break away from the monotony of worksheets, readings, and hearing the teacher drone on and on. What's great about Destinos, along with learning new regional vocabulary, is the humor. Situations are, if not drop dead funny, humorous in their repetition and the trademark phrases someone can learn such as "Deje mi carterra en el taxi!", "Nunca...jamaassss...", "Rosario...no murio...en la guerra.", and one must not forget "Si no quieres una esposa profesionista, es SU asunto!" Raquel's shoulder pads, her kilts, her toying with Arturo and the theme song become an ever-present memory once the show has finished, and the facts about places to see in Latin American and Spain fill one with the urge to see the places Raquel once stepped. Destinos will live with me and other people in my class forever. (In addition, Liliana Abud, who plays Raquel, is still going strong. Check out her filmography.) Chao!
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10/10
I love this series
celr15 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I don't know anything like 'Destinos' for learning Spanish, especially for learning to hear the spoken word. Anyone who tries to learn Spanish (or another language) will know that watching movies or TV programs in the language is frustrating, just a little beyond comprehension--if only they'd speak more slowly! Of course 'Destinos' is a sort of soap opera, but a soap opera with a lot of cultural and historical information and some great music to boot. It's pretty tame for a telenovella, nothing really bad ever happens and conflicts are minor. There are many locations and it's like a travelogue throughout the Spanish speaking world.

I found Raquel to be a compelling character especially because she speaks very clearly and doesn't use a difficult vocabulary. But the language isn't overly simple either. Neither do I think she's a bad actress, she's doing very precise, deliberate dramatic gestures in order to convey information to aid comprehension of the language. This has a rather comic effect at times, but I loved it. I think Raquel is adorable.

Yes, the plot proceeds rather slowly, it takes forever to get Roberto out of the mine, but the point is the language, not the drama. I was thrilled when I found I could actually follow what the characters were saying and that gave me confidence. It made me feel I was getting somewhere. I think it's a beautifully done series.
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One of the best television shows I've seen.
andoutyourmother10 April 2001
With the exception of Seinfeld, Destinos is probably my favorite television show of all time. It is a Spanish soap opera that entertains students as it teaches them the rudiments of the language and culture of Spanish speaking countries.

Destinos is one of the most intriguing and interesting shows I've yet had the privilege to watch, and I plan on paying the $400 to get the entire video series for myself. It has every ingredient necessary in the recipe for "television muy bueno"!

Watching Destinos is kind of like watching the Blair Witch Project, except it is about 12-13 times longer, and had what seems like 1/5 the budget. You would think this would hamper the effectiveness of the program, but it only makes it more campy and fun! Watching our heroine Raquel Rodriguez run around in goodwill clothes never gets old, and it is obvious the producers of the program didn't hire a writer who bothered with proofreading or continuity, as there are more holes in the plot of Destinos than in a block of Swiss cheese. THIS LEADS TO A REMARKABLE COMEDIC EFFECT. Also consider the fact that Liliana Abud, who played the star of the show Raquel, quit acting to be a television writer after Destinos began airing. Why? Maybe because she is the worse actress on the planet! TO COMEDIC EFFECT!

The campy aspect of this hilarious soap is good enough, but where would we be without a cadre of smarmy and ridiculous characters to fill the show out? There's Arturo, a bumbling middle aged sugar daddy who woos Raquel with expensive gifts and suave come-ons! Don Fernando, a sick old man who spends most of his on-screen time coughing up phlegm rather than talking! Or even young Angela, a naive woman with a pathetic "mujeriego" for a boyfriend! Ay caramba!

All in all, Destinos is a great experience. Fun for the whole family, and educational too. It'll have you begging for more after every episode, but that is basically because it takes 5 or 6 episodes for each "big event" or "plot twist" (if you will) to take place. TO COMEDIC EFFECT! Watch Destinos, kids! You won't be sorry!
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An Educational Spanish Soap Opera
Amy-4729 July 2000
Destinos is the best!! We started watching it in school when i was a sophmore and finished it my junior year. It's a show that is just so much fun to learn from. I mean, how many educational videos give you characters you actually care about? And such classic lines as "Don Fernando tiene un secreto importante. El secreto esta en una carta. Una carta importante!" One can never forget the ever greasy Luis or the super-suave Arturo....or even Raquel's horrible outfits! the entire series is just a blast and the best way to learn spanish if you can't actually visit a spanish speaking country. i love it! "Hola Raquel!" "Luis?!"
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10/10
superbness. yes, indeed.
kateybella26 January 2007
we used to watch this in my years of junior high. i recently found that they are shown on PBS. i really am glad i found them. i'm now able to catch up to the videos now. go to your local PBS station for your chance to catch up. if you aren't up at 1:00 AM, set your VCR to tape it. you'll be thankful you did. Again, I super highly recommend them. If you are a Spanish teacher, your students should love these videos. They made a difference for me. It was my first time hearing people from those areas actually speak. It also provides entertainment. Also, it provides a nice relaxing time for students and teachers and it still teaches!!
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9/10
Fantastic way to learn Spanish
aimimi5826 May 2017
OK it is dated. This is a fantastic production and a fun and comprehensive way for beginners to learn to speak Spanish. Not only do you hear actual conversation but they included history lessons and grammar. The characters are lovable. Come on...give it a try and stick with it through to the end. You will be speaking and understanding more and more Espanol!
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10/10
Destinos Changed My Life.
cp-4232628 April 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I was just a simple girl trying to learn Spanish when I watched the first episode. Ever since I heard that theme song which still haunts me as I write this...), I was changed. For the better of course! I now understand Spanish better than I had ever in the past, but I also connected and fell in love with every character.Raquel is amazing and I loved watching her visit every place. I was deeply saddened by the end of the show and wish to watch the sequel as well. I'm not ready to give up this show or Raquel's outfits! Her style is EXCELLENT! I was so sad about Pedro though in the following season. :(. Also the filming on location let the scenery include some beautiful places. RIP Don Fernando y Pedro.
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9/10
Solid educational series
Sasha Merkushev27 April 2016
The series is a strictly educational one, so whoever writes about its cinematic pluses and minuses distorts the very idea of why people, wishing to learn or improve Spanish, should watch it.

Of course, watching it today is kind of weird: the world has changed since the early 1990s and so many things seem totally obsolete and, sometimes, ridiculous, but I don't know of many other similar educational series, at least for Spanish learners, so I would recommend watching Destinos - along with reading the attached grammar and other notes on the Annenberg website, if you access the series online.

At the beginning, there is more English than Spanish, but by the end of the series it is Spanish only. Some episodes sum up the previous episodes with emphasis on new words and expressions, so you can remember them better.

I watched one or two episodes every day and found this to be the optimum way - for me - to remember new words, expressions and grammar forms.
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10/10
Excellent Tool for Learning Spanish
Colleen Kennealy4 December 2015
"Destinos" is an excellent tool for learning Spanish. Based on tried- and-true pedagogical techniques, the carefully written script lets a beginner or intermediate student follow the story while developing a nice vocabulary.

Don't be distracted by old clothing styles!! The story line may seem overly dramatic, but this is a telenovela, after all. Enjoy it!

These programs (now online at http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html#) give you a great opportunity to learn a language without suffering though hours of grammar drills. You will be amazed by how fast you pick up "real Spanish" spoken by native speakers.
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10/10
Highly recommended for adults
TobyDavid26 April 2012
I am glad that I watched Destinos on my own volition, as a middle-aged adult, using various resources that are now freely available for learning Spanish. Luckily, I did not have fellow students telling me the punch lines beforehand, so the intended surprises actually were. There is an interesting transition between the first few episodes which seem like standard educational films with a flimsy premise to carry the educational material to the final episodes that are carried by characters and a story line that you have come to care about.

Destinos seemed like a pretty painless way to learn or improve Spanish, but it was more than that. The story actually sucked me in, which was, of course, the higher educational purpose, namely learning a language by immersion. Of course, it helps if you allow yourself to get sucked in. Fight it, and its value diminishes.

For the overly sophisticated, bored viewers who may be forced to watch Destinos, I suggest you look for the hidden "Easter eggs" in the form of sly jokes you might easily miss. Google "Gioachino Rossini" and you might see what I mean.

I understand and remember that, at eighteen, long, lost love is just a concept. If you did not like Destinos at that age, try it again in thirty years after fate has left a few marks on you.
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Annoyingly Amusing
swbant1 June 2004
Yes, that sums it up. It is quite enjoyable to mock the horribly pathetic acting and to laugh one's head off in class. No doubt it teaches us much Spanish subconsciously.

In terms of actual, real entertainment value: the acting sucks, the budget seems to be nil (or less), and the plot is so full of holes that it might as well be plotless.

"Si, la tumba de MIIIIIIIISSSSSSSS padres." That's rich. That, and the mock "Jaws" Theme that plays whenever Luis enters. Bleck. Between Arturo and Luis, I say that really isn't much of a choice, but at least Arturo isn't greasy.
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The story of a man, and a dream.
The_Alex12 October 2006
this show is highly entertaining, it has grade-A acting, a compelling plot, and complex story arch's. there's nothing to hate about this show...EXCEPT EVERYTHING.

This show makes me contemplate suicide every time i watch it...and i even followed through once.

10/10

well, IMDb says i need 10 lines of text, so lets talk a little bit...eh

soooo...how was your day?

mine was fine, excellent even.

feel free to e-mail me if you wanna tell me how your day went...i probably wont reply...or even read it for that matter.
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Destinos son burritos
johnnydeichsel27 March 2006
Destinos has been a grueling experience. Endowed with a exceptionally boring plot, the show attempts to drag on this atrocity for as long as it can. OF course it is the producers right to create stuff like this, but to forcefully coerce a innocent student body to endure the travesty is a crime. My teacher, senora C, is a perpetrator. Although she lacks the physical characteristics of a presentable human species, she nonetheless possesses all the possible flaws in human nature. Now despite her homeliness, the school has forced us to remain in her proximity for an hour a day. By merely observing her countenance, one is prone to become nauseous. Every Friday, when we are mercifully granted a reprieve from her discordant voice and UGLY face, we are instead subjected to the cruel monotony of Destinos. Such blatant torture of students may not violate human laws, but they violate higher laws: those of God and morality. This is all the time I have, so I'll curtail my critique.
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1/10
Bad or Worst-Destinos
swimpro526 May 2011
Upon arriving to my Spanish 102 class, I knew I was in for a daunting time. My teacher, whom shall remain anonymous, did not seem to know Spanish, or for that matter be humane. His very actions could best be summarized as a turtle, the wrinkly skin, blinkless black piercing eyes, and above all the use of the English language in a manner to push away everyone around him. His whole life had seemingly been spent learning Spanish and nothing else. But, he had yet to unveil his most inhumane, cruel form. Destinos began with a few corny comedic moments, Gandalf the Grey laying in a bed, the turtle neck around his living son, and of course the storyline that he had practically cheated on his wife and started a new family (Arnold Schwarzenagger). From what I remember (Most of my time watching it, my head was buried in the cavern known as my arm) the Spanish was of the most advanced i had ever seen. By advanced I mean anyone whom had even seen someone from a Spanish speaking country would have known what was going on. In all i actually learned more Spanish from sleeping and talking to other kids (in English) than from watching this series.
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6/10
Funny
PsychoLily1 April 2007
This soap opera is absolutely hilarious in an I'd-sooner-die-than-watch-this sort of way. The acting is awful, the plot is full of holes, and the educational tidbits (like the saleslady hanging up shirts and saying, "azul...verde...rojo, etc.") seem ridiculous; if you don't know enough Spanish to count to ten, why are you watching Destinos in the first place? Watching the characters run around with their dorky hair and clothes is fun, though. Overall, the best thing about watching Destinos was that it saved my Spanish class from having to do something even worse instead! However, it's not as bad as 'La Catrina', the 'introduction to Spanish' telenovela my class got stuck with last semester!
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1/10
Destinos....blah blah blah
tally0907 June 2006
OK so I am in Spanish 3 and in my fourth quarter of my sophomore year and my classmates and I know everything that they go through like numbers, letters, food, etc etc. It is really a waste of valuable time where we could actually learn something. I think I only stayed awake once during the entire season and that was when raquel and arturo "hooked up". Besides that I fall asleep every time. It may be helpful when you are starting Spanish but I have taken 4 years of Spanish and this is stupid, weird, horrible, awful, irrelevant, and BORING!!!!!!!!!! I SUGGEST NO ONE EVER WATCH IT....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
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"Destinos" es muy mal!
Jennifer-10518 September 2001
We started watching "Destinos" when I was a freshmen in spanish 1 now im in spanish 3 and a junior. From day one everyone knew this was going to be one long and "abburido" series. Destinos has got to be the WORST "educational" video i have ever seen. Basically its about some old man,Don Fernado, on his death bed,and he asks Raquel,the dective,to go find his first wife and son. So Raquel goes out in search. Soon we found out *gasp* Don Fernados first wife is dead! So then she searches for Don Fernados son whos dead too. However,for reasons beyond me,she countuines looking for realtives. This thing drags on forever!

The poor old man is dying and Raquel spends all his money on buying clothes and other things and flirting with every guy she comes across!I dont even think Raquels told Don Fernado his 1st wife and kid are dead yet! I swear,she spends 95% of the time doing other things then searching for the dying old mans realtives! I think the people who made this series should've made Raquel more of a "detective" to give the show somewhat of a realistic feel!

Anyways,the videos are annoying,they repeat things over and over and its so boring my whole class practically falls asleep. I wish Don Fernado would hurry up and die,Raquel would give up and this whole hideous series would come to an end!!
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