Los Dias y Las Noches de Monsignor Martinez (The Days and The Nights of Monsignor Martinez) was a long-running Mexican TV drama about the adventures of the eponymous Monsignor, a Catholic priest moonlighting as an international assassin.
The show was wildly popular in Spanish-speaking countries the world over, including the Hispanic communities of the American Southwest and syndicated reruns are still a fixture of Spanish language channels in the US today. This popularity stemmed mainly from two things: the show's uncanny ability to pull off rip-roaring action sequences despite its shoestring budget and Mexican actor Eduardo Jurado's unintentionally hilarious attempts at affecting a European Spanish accent.
Mike Judge, creator of such films as Office Space and Idiocracy attempted to produce an American version of the show for the Fox network in 2000 and even filmed a pilot, but the show was never picked up.
Tropes present in Monsignor Martinez:
- Artistic License Religion: Let's just say the show's portrayal of Catholicism is rather... stylized.
- Been There, Shaped History: A few episodes feature flashbacks where Martinez participated in important historical events, most notably the controversial episode where he assassinates Pope John Paul I.
- Booze Flamethrower: The iconic scene where the Monsignor performs this trick with communion wine.
- California Doubling: The series was shot almost entirely in Mexico but many episodes feature Martinez traveling to exotic locales, usually other Catholic countries. The most amusing example would probably be the time they had a suburb of Mexico City filling in for Dublin, Ireland of all places.
- Catchphrase/Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "Vaya, (Dramatic Pause) Con Dios..."
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Cocaine smuggling monkeys, yet.
- Fake Nationality: Martinez supposedly hails from an unnamed mountain village in Spain (maybe), but the actor playing him is from Mexico. This had some amusing consequences, as seen below.
- Faking the Dead: The Monsignor gets a rare Pet the Dog moment when he learns that a pair of twins who are heirs to a major fortune he's been sent to kill are only babies and fakes their death in a staged car accident rather than assassinate them.
- Form-Fitting Wardrobe: At least one nun wore an unusually tight habit.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show is hugely popular in Spain... as a source of unintentional comedy due to how ridiculous the Monsignor's "Spanish" accent sounds to actual Spaniards. His various mispronunciations have made the show a Fountain of Memes in Spain.
- Latex Perfection: In one episode a rival assassin attempts to steal Martinez's identity using a latex mask of him.
- My God, What Have I Done?: One of the few times Martinez drops his iconic poker face is when he's forced into killing The Pope.
- Out-of-Character Alert: Occurs in the aforementioned impersonator episode.
- Show Within a Show: A popular show on King of the Hill.
- The Stoic: Martinez all the way. Considering who he's based on this should come as no surprise.
- Stuff Blowing Up: A big part of the show's appeal. It's rare for an episode to go by without something either blowing up or being set on fire. Usually both.
- The Troubles: The aforementioned "Dublin" episode features the IRA seeking Martinez's help to hunt down one of their own who's gone crazy and plans to escalate the conflict by blowing up Special Branch HQ with a dirty bomb made from radioactive material harvested from smoke detectors.
- Villain Protagonist: Martinez.