Entertainment

Critter’s Criticism Of Netflix’s New Fresa Series, “Desenfrenadas”

What would life be without a steamy hot Mexican “fresa drama series? That’s like eating sopa de vaso con tu pinche dedo. Osea, que asco, guey.

Recently San Netflix, the patron saint of streaming, blessed us con un chorro de series featuring the lives of Mexico’s posh upper-class, known as las fresas. Y neta, guey, watching these shows is like kissing in the rain con chile serrano lip balm. O sea, es next level ecstasy, beh-beh.

If you have to ask, “Pero, Don Critter, what are these “fresa” television programs you speak of…?” obvi, estás enfermo, guey (you’re sick, bro), and you need to rub some vapuru on your forehead. You know damn well what I’m talking about. Shows like:

“La Casa de las Flores” (The House of Flowers)

La Casa de las Flores / Netflix

“Made In Mexico”

Made In Mexico / Netflix

And my latest obsession — and the subject of this new review…

“Desenfrenadas” (Unstoppable)

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

If you’re not finding “Desenfrenadas” on your Netflix, it’s because you’re Netflix is probably set to “pocho” and has re-titled the series as “Unstoppable. No judgment. I’m pretty pocho myself. My Spanish is trash and probably sounds the way these people speak Spanish: 

But let’s dig into this plate of a papas con chorizo, fam.

“Desenfrenadas” is a hidden gem you definitely need to have on your radar. It may remind you of HBO’s “Girls” but brown.

Girls / HBO

It’s like if the series “Girls” and “Breaking Bad” ripped into some bottles of tequila at a Oaxacan nightclub and snorted a line of some illegal substance, sweat-danced past sunrise, and woke up in each other’s arms the following day in a Mexican Motel-6 craving pancakes and menudo. 

That’s “Desenfrenadas.” Interested?

A huevo! Put on your quarantine pants, because it’s time to meet the characters of the show and become better acquainted con las locas that you’ll be spending your next few nights with. 

Girls / HBO

[Don’t worry. I don’t do spoilers. So calmate las chi-chis, guey.]

ROCIO 

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

Rocio is the leader of the fresa pack. It has nothing to do with her having the longest hair. I had a theory that’s how fresas choose their leader. La que la tiene más larga leads. But, no. I’m wrong. She’s honestly the most level-headed one. She’s studying to be a surgeon and following in the footsteps of her dad who happens to be a renowned surgeon. Oh, and her family lives in a big-ass Mexican “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”-like mansion built on rich doctor money. Heeeeeey!

The really interesting thing about Rocio is that she’s haunted by a ghost from her past… 

No cabrón…not like that. But a Fresa horror movie isn’t a bad idea (™)… 

In episode one, we learn that Rocio’s sister passed away. The show leaves her death a mystery (until closer to the end), but her death constantly follows Rocio around and is the main motivation behind Rocio deciding to take a spontaneous trip with her two besties who wanna get tequila lit “hasta el pito” in Oaxaca. 

Rocio’s journey is about finding her own path. She’s definitely a Walter White-type. Osea, muy badass.

Breaking Bad / AMC

Her entire life has been pre-determined by her family. She’s supposed to finish school, take on her father’s practice and marry un pinche preppy watered-down dish soap version of Justin Timberlake named “Juanpi.”

This is Justin:

This is Juanpi:

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

And this is me trying my best to tell them apart: 

The Office / NBC

But everything changes when Rocio decides she’s going to join her fresa compañeras on a trip of “Hangover” proportions. You’ll have to tune in to see how things turn out for our fearless long-haired leader. 

CARLOTA

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

Carlota’s axilas peludas (furry armpits) are possibly the most popular character on the show considering how much screen time they get. In the words of Edgar, from “La Caida del Edgar,”…”Ya Guey!”  Don’t get it twisted. I’m not offended by hairy female armpits. But I get it. Carlota has hairy pits. 

That said, Carlota is my favorite character. She is a buck wild feminist, the voice of reason, a “woke-ass-fresa,” who, despite seeming carefree and liberated, often hides in her own shell and becomes recluse. Also, she looks a lot like Hannah from “Girls.” Like, un chingo, guey!

This is Hannah:

Girls / HBO

This is Carlota:

Desenfrenadas / Instagram

Still me…unable to tell them apart:

The Office / NBC

Carlota is by far the best dressed in the series. Her clothes look like she washed a bunch of tween girl outfits, but instead of shrinking, they’ve expanded into an adult woman’s size. And👏she👏does👏not👏give👏a👏f***👏. Even though on the outside, Carlota seems to have a “me vale verga” attitude, she has a few really vulnerable moments in the show. Yas!!! These are the characters I live for. Complex characters with depth and dimension who still pull off bucket hats. Carlota is definitely la tortilla hecha a mano that keeps her friends (the other ingredients that make up a taco) together. 

VERA

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

Does anyone remember Cher from the Movie “Clueless?”

Clueless / Paramount Pictures

Yeah, her.

Vera is Cher, pero menos pendeja, and with a fierce attitude.

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

She’s posh and glitzy, but if you don’t respond to her text message or you accidentally sneeze on her Gucci bag valiste caca.

Vera’s best quality is her ability to surprise you with how pinche fresa she can sound. Neta, guey, her fresa talk is on point and you’ll find yourself speaking with a papa en la boca for weeks before it wears off. En serio beh-beh. Why do you think I’ve been sprinkling fresa-isms throughout this review.

That’s leftover Vera. I’m not even mad at it. Low key, I like it

Dumb and Dumber / Universal Pictures

But more than her acento fresa, Vera is the most ride-or-die friend. She does some crazy sh** in the series to protect her friends. Even Dominic Toretto would be like: 

“That fresa is wild” — Dominic Toretto (fake quote). 

Make sure to look out for Vera’s amazing character development. She might come off as a bratty rich girl, but the show goes deep into Vera, pero you don’t even know, beh-beh.

MARCELA

Desenfrenadas / Netflix

Marcela jumps into the story out of nowhere. She isn’t part of the friend gang. Maybe her tattoos and the Virgen de Guadalupe crop top give that away…so no, she is not a chica fresa. She’s a girl from the hood mixed up with what my mom would call, “mala gente.” I can’t get into detail about Marcela without spoiling major plot points, but she is definitely a gangsta with a ton of layers to her. I want you to picture Jesus Christ in your mind. While you’re doing that, imagine he has two big-ass guns in his hands and a cigarette in his mouth. That’s Marcela. 

So, should you watch “Desenfrenadas?” 

Nacho Libre / Paramount Pictures

¡A huevo! Unless you’re taking a trip to Oaxaca soon that suddenly takes a ton of twists and turns and changes your entire perspective of the world, then yes, you should definitely watch this show — because it’s as close to that as you’ll get. “Desenfrenadas” is an incredible show with beautiful writing, character development, visuals, and acting. Every night, my wife would look at me and say, “Wanna watch fresas?” 

“You’re damn right I wanna watch fresas tonight.”

Enjoy the show and please let me know if you guys have any recommendations for future shows to review.

Adios mis beh-behs. Keep your armpits dry and your nalgas plastered on the couch.

-Critter

Here is the trailer because if I didn’t help you make up your mind, this will:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io7BSftd9-g

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Entertainment

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Walter Mercado was to the Spanish-speaking world, what Miss Cleo was to the English-speaking one. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, the legendary Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer captivated the Latin world with his glamorous style, gender-nonconforming persona, and warmhearted cosmic readings. Now, he is poised to reach a new level of fandom with a lovingly crafted documentary about his life and career

Our stars dimmed when we lost the great Walter Mercado last year, but with a new Netflix documentary, we get one more glimpse into the man’s flamboyant life.

It’s finally here: the first trailer for Netflix’s Mucho Mucho Amor.

Each and every day more than 120 million viewers tuned in to watch the extravagant, flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming artists charm the world with televised horoscopes. He enthralled his viewers with sequined capes, opulent jewelry, and shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared.

If you’re like countless tías out there, you’ve been wondering about him ever since. That’s where Mucho, Mucho Amor comes in.

Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch spent the last two years of Mercado’s life documenting this icons legacy – when he grabbed with the struggles of aging.

The film also drops hints about Mercado’s financial issues and his hiatus from public life. But it also features magnificent footage from his unforgettable entrance at the opening party for HistoryMiami’s 2019 exhibit “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.”

It’s an over-the-top moment that celebrates how many in Miami viewed him as royalty as they eagerly awaited his recommended New Year’s Eve rituals each year (customized for each Zodiac sign). It’s safe to say that Mercado captivated people’s attention, and he’ll do it once again with this documentary.

Mercado is often described as the glue that binds migrant communities from all over Latin America.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

At its peak, Mercado’s show was watched by more than 120 million viewers from around Latin America. But he was also an actor, dancer, and writer throughout his career. In fact, he starred in several Puerto Rican telenovelas, including Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance).

In 1970, he started his regular astrology segment on Puerto Rico’s variety show, El Show de las 12. His star continued to grow, and for decades, his astrology prediction shows aired in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.

“We grew up with him,” Lin-Manuel Miranda says in the trailer for Mucho Mucho Amor. “I can’t think of an English language astrologer that would command the attention of millions of households.” 

Then, Mercado mysteriously vanished from the public eye. “Maybe he didn’t want to grow old in front of the cameras,” Eugenio Derbez speculates. 

He was also an icon for the LGBTQ community, who – especially in the Latino community – needed one so badly.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Although Mercado was unapologetically sexually-ambiguous, many were still preoccupied with the man’s sexuality. He always took the questions and innuendo in stride though, responding with a joke that would get him off the hook with most. But he meant a lot to gay Latinos during an era where they feared coming out much more than today, just merely for existing.

Even though Mercado never publicly addressed his sexuality, he was an inspiration for many LGBTQ kids, including director Kareem Tabsch.

“I’m a queer kid from Miami and the first time I ever saw Walter on television, it was the first time I ever encountered another person who was queer,” Tabsch recalls.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he added: “I had a simpatico. Seeing him on TV I remember thinking, ‘Huh, there’s something in you that’s like something in me. I see a reflection of me in you, even if I’d never be nearly as fabulous.’ But there was this otherness that I recognized. I felt, ‘If my family loves you just as you are then maybe they could love me as I am too.”

Although before his death he disappeared from public life somewhat unceremoniously, his legacy lives on for millions of Latinos.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Mucho, Mucho Amor does a great job at showing the human-side of Mercado. Yes, he was a beloved television personality, for whom many, he was a literal superhero. But he was also a human, and Netflix’s new documentary will show an entirely new side of the superstar to the world.

Mucho, Mucho Amor debuts on Netflix on July 8.

Colin Kaepernick’s Life to Become Netflix Series From Ava DuVernay

Entertainment

Colin Kaepernick’s Life to Become Netflix Series From Ava DuVernay

Thearon W. Henderson / Getty

Colin Kaepernick’s life is officially getting the Hollywood treatment.

The Black NFL quarterback has announced that he has joined forces with film director Ava DuVernay for a Netflix series titled Colin in Black & White. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the scripted limited drama has been picked to go straight to series.

DuVernay’s six-episode series will take an intimate look at Kaepernick’s childhood, life in high school years, and all of the experiences that led him to become an activist today.

Kaepernick will appear in the series as himself and is set to narrate. An actor will play the younger version of Kaepernick. According to THR, “Emmy nominee Michael Starrbury will pen the script and serve as exec producer alongside DuVernay and Kaepernick. Starrbury previously teamed with DuVernay on Netflix’s Peabody-winning limited series When They See Us, based on the Central Park 5.”

Speaking about her decision to produce a film about the NFL player, DuVernay said that “With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture, and for him, personally. Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports, and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience. I couldn’t be happier than to tell this story with the team at Netflix.” 

Netflix says that the drama was conceived back in 2019 and scripts were completed this past May.

The series will look at Kaepernick’s early life as a Black child growing up in a white household that adopted him all while training to become a competitive quarterback while determining his own identity.

“Too often we see race and Black stories portrayed through a white lens,” Kaepernick told THR. “We seek to give new perspective to the differing realities that Black people face. We explore the racial conflicts I faced as an adopted Black man in a white community, during my high school years. It’s an honor to bring these stories to life in collaboration with Ava for the world to see.”

“We’re proud to bring Colin’s experience and his creative vision to life as he joins Ava to share his powerful story and message with all our members around the world,” Cindy Holland, VP originals at Netflix, told THRr. “It is an unparalleled union of two strong and defining voices coming together to tell the story about what it’s like to be Black in America.”

Kaepernick’s influence on the current BLM movement is expanding.

In 2016, the football player set out to protest racial injustice, police brutality, and systematic oppression ahead of a San Francisco 49ers game by kneeling during the national anthem. His act of protest ultimately roused polarizing conversations amongst athletes, NFL officials, and fans. At the time President Trump demanded NFL team owners fire Kaepernick along with any other players who protested during the national anthem. Eventually, Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 and filed a lawsuit against the NFL. He claimed that the organization and its owners had colluded to keep him out of the league.

In February, he signed a deal with Audible to create multiple projects, including for his upcoming memoir.