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Series / Los Lunnis

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The inhabitants of Lunalunera.note 
Los Lunnis is a Spanish children's television show in the vein of The Muppet Show. Probably the most famous and successful in the history of Spain's television, it started in 2003 and is still active today.
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It tells the life and adventures of a community of colourful beings named Lunnis, who live in a planetoid near Earth named Lunalunera (who might or might not be the moon). The main protagonists are a bunch of local Lunni kids, among which there are Lucho (a mischievous yellow Lunni), Lupita (a nerdy, uptight red Lunny girl), Lublú (a blue and sensitive Lunni poet) and Lulila (the youngest of all, a curious, female purple Lunni). They aren't alone, as Lunalunera houses such characters as the eccentric good witch Lubina, the science professor Lutecio, the schoolteacher Lumbrela and a pair of Lunni teenagers named Lulo and Lula, as well as the evil galactic pirate Lucanero, who secretly wishes to dominate Lunalunera. Several human guests appear too, as well as a really long list of episodic characters.

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Originally conceived by Televisión Española screenwriters Carmina Roig and Daniel Cerdà, Los Lunnis had a tough start, as it came to replace the cult children's show TPH Club in what was effectively an executive war inside TVE. However, and against the predictions of many who considered the new show too childish and outdated in comparison to its predecessor, it soon overshadowed completely TPH and became a televisive juggernaut, spawning songs, series, movies and even an entirely new channel, Clan TV, the new mainstay of children's programming in Spain. With its long tenure and cultural impact, which included its characters being officially named ambassadors of UNICEF of all things in 2005, Los Lunnis are what most modern Spanish Millenials see when they think about the TV of their childhood.

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Los Lunnis's charm came not only from its creativity and marketing power, but also from the sheer charisma of its characters and performers, its surprisingly smart episode plots, and the metric crapton of Parental Bonus the show usually contained, to the extent that even teenagers and adults enjoyed it openly and unironically. It also served to both launch and relaunch the career of some guests (particularly Spanish-Cuban singer Lucrecia, who conducted the show at several stages), and this goes without mentioning the show's positively famed Christmas specials, which brought to TVE names like Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Shakira. The show's own soundtrack won eight Platinum Discs and was number one in sales in Spain thrice, among other many accolades both in music and as a whole.

The show's golden age ended in 2008 with the finale of its main episodic TV series, Los Lunnis: La Serie, and the first departure of its host Lucrecia the next year. With the show's Channel Hop from La 2 to Clan TV, it underwent a huge retool, losing most of its puppet cast and adding a couple new ones, giving slightly new characterizations and storylines to the remaining (which basically amounted to the protagonist gang and some others), and adopting a less serial, more educative style of broadcast.

Los Lunnis provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Situation: It's not clear if the Headless Horseman chases Lucanero due to the latter's family line (as the Horseman was the Arch-Enemy of Lucanero's ancestor) or because he genuinely thinks Lucanero is the same Lucanero he knew back when he was alive centuries before.
  • Artistic License – History: Granted, the 2016 segment Lunnis de Leyenda was never really faithful to the legends and history pieces it portrayed, but its recollection of the Second Punic War was particularly infamous. It portrays the war almost exactly backwards, claiming that Scipio had tried to conquer the world and that Hannibal and his army had tried to preserve their freedom from him, and it also adds a Bowdlerized ending where the war ended peacefully with the Battle of Zama having been a failure for both.
  • Big Bad: Initially the show didn't have one, but soon Lucanero came to play that role. The Masked Beetle replaced him after the retool.
  • Femme Fatale: Lunática was the classical noir archetype, only with magical powers thanks to an amulet she stole from Lubina in the past.
  • Mad Scientist: Luspector, a sporadically recurrent villain who was an ancient college rival of Lutecio.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Lunni reporter Luflo was obviously based on Spanish comedian Florentino "Flo" Fernández, both in name and visual design. However, this trait was pretty meaningless, as it had no further weight in his character (he didn't actually behave or speak like the real Flo at all), as well as a bit random (as he was the only of the Lunni reporters who was clearly based on a real life person).
    • Almidóvar, who was a ruthless parody of Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar.
    • Also Jon Toms, a hilarious parody of Tom Jones.
  • Parental Bonus: Played in an uniquely exaggerated way. The series contained an extraordinarily high number of plot references to timeless pop culture that few children in the 2000s would have been remotely able to identify (see Shout-Out below), and some of them qualified as Getting Crap Past the Radar in ways you could only get away with in the 2000s' Spain.
  • Running Gag:
    • Lublú doing or saying something cultured and artistic, only for the rest of characters to misunderstand it and/or ruin it. This actually composed the plot of many, many of his appearances.
    • Lubina and Lutecio arguing due to their constant Magic Versus Science views. Who ended up proving their point over the other, however, depended on the episode.
    • Lutecio being utterly obssessed with hens and eggs, as in the chiken or the egg dilemma.
    • Lumbrela finding a boyfriend, yet losing him at the end of the episode, often because he was the episode's villain or because Lumbrela's personality was so annoying that he ran away from her.
    • The Lunni kids laughing at Lucanero's fake Overly Long Name, Lucas Elton Marvin Lucanero.
    • Lurdo being disapprovingly told "Lurdo! You will never be a good pirate!" by Lucanero, often due to a completely minor action.
    • Captain Barbarrosa being asked, often several times per episode, whether his beard is naturally pink or dyed (which is also his Berserk Button).
    • Count Ludrácula calling Luvan Helsing some name, only for the latter to mishear it as something completely different due to his deafness and senility.
    • Luciflor's servant Igor scaring people away or making them faint with his sole ugliness, including himself if he sees its own reflected image.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That!: A "Reading Is Cool" Aesop episode had Lucho suffering a magical disease come from too little reading and too much watching a supposedly violent TV show named Dragon Sphere. Naturally, this was a massive (and rather lame) attack on competitor TV channel Cuatro, which was famously broadcasting Dragon Ball uncensored at the time. The plot was so atypical and badly done in contrast to most of the series that many people have suspected over the years there was some huge Executive Meddling at it. (It was also a bit hypocritical as well, given that TVE itself had broadcasted a long list of animes through it history, and having names like Digimon Tamers and Slayers among them meant the channel was not precisely in position to criticize violent anime).
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