Gentefied, America Ferrera's 'Spanglish' love letter to Latinos in LA
The series, entirely produced and created by Hispanics, follows the dilemmas of a Chicano family from the Boyle Heights neighborhood and will premiere on Netflix on February 21.
Latina actresses like Eva Longoria and America Ferrera have long struggled to find like-minded characters and stories that address community dilemmas from within the community.
That's why "Gentefied" has been so celebrated. We're talking about the new series that will premiere on Netflix on February 21, created by Chicanos Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, and in which Ferrera herself is the producer and director of several episodes, as well as a guest actress.
A harsh and hilarious comedy that follows the adventures of a Latino family from the iconic Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, who own a small restaurant and must face, like all their neighbors (Latinos, that is), the drama of gentrification, which turns the working-class and impoverished areas into the new fiefdom of the wealthy classes.
But, in addition, "Gentefied" explores in its ten episodes many other issues with which the Hispanic Americans live, such as identity and roots, migration, the value of family, the difficulties of making ends meet and "will close on by one how to pronounce 'latinx'," Netflix humorously explains.
The cast of protagonists includes Joaquín Cosío ("The Strain"), Karrie Martin ("Pretty Little Liars"), JJ Soria ("The Oath") and Carlos Santos ("2 Broke Girls"). There will also be surprising cameos, such as that of Venezuelan-American actor Wilmer Valderrama ("NCIS").
With its premiere, "Gentefied", which will be presented this week at the Sundance Film Festival, joins the platform's growing commitment to alternative sitcom models on the fringes of stereotypes in which Latinos are so often pigeonholed, as well as reflecting the plurality of experiences of U.S. Hispanics, such as in acclaimed series like "Jane the Virgin" or "One Day at a Time".
The news of the premiere of "Gentefied" comes just a week after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced, along with Mitú founder Beatriz Acevedo and entrepreneur Ivette Rodriguez, the creation of LA Collab, an unprecedented initiative in the entertainment industry to double the representation of the Latino community in Hollywood by 2030.
LA Collab was created after it became known that the number of Hispanic actors had been halved in the last decade. It is also part of the criticism of the nominations for the 2020 Oscars, whose diversity this year is conspicuous by its absence.
Will the small screen be the gateway to another form of storytelling, where U.S. Latinos have a voice, a vote and, above all, a presence?