Entertainment

These HBO Movies And Shows Will Keep You Entertained During Your Weekend Binge Watching Sessions

In the last few years, Latinos have been blowing up the entertainment industry. Mexican directors have won four of the last five Oscars in the Best Director category. Netflix has produced one after the other of Spanish-language television series and the hit reboot of “One Day at a Time.” We’re seeing Latinos on screen as detectives, veterans, mothers, abuelitas, and even in animation.

HBO is one of those production companies that sees Latinos as an audience to celebrate, and we’re loving how easy they’re making it for us to find our people with our own genre. We rounded up HBO’s featured list along with all the binge-worthy need-to-knows.

“Psi”

CREDIT: HBO

This show is eclectic as anything, with a protagonist named Carlo Antonini, who is a psychiatrist/psychologist/psychoanalyst. Antonini dabbles in the most unusual cases possible, some of which put his family in danger. With a man whose normal day to day includes all the abnormal, it’s no surprise that his threshold in his personal life isn’t much different.

Watch Antonini juggle dating a street performer, a young Goth who practices vampirism, and so, so much more.

“Cappadocia: Un Lugar Sin Perdón”

CREDIT: HBO

Filmed in Mexico, “Capadocia” first ran in 2008 for three seasons but still remains a solid telenovela thriller. This is more than a story about women in a Mexico City industrial complex. It’s about attorney Teresa Lagos who fights for their rights as she learns that officials are experimenting on the women.

Think of it as the Mexican, novela version of “Orange is the New Black.”

“El Negocio”

CREDIT: HBO

One of the longest standing series on HBO Latino, “El Negocio” stars three, independent women in the sex working industry who show the world that they are in fact, savvy business women who create a brand for themselves. Using marketing, business strategy and their keen intellects, they climb to the top of the business.

“Alice”

CREDIT: HBO

You don’t hear the name Alice too often for Latinos, but it works for esa mujer who essentially falls down an Alice in Wonderland-esque rabbit hole. It all happens when she has to go to Sao Paulo for her father’s funeral. With opportunities abundant, Alice starts a brand new life, with a new world of friends and experiences.

“Destino Deporte”

CREDIT: HBO

This reads like a Spanish “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” meets sports. You can find yourself in Romanza Gym, the elite boxing gym of Mexico, meet Argentina’s Narvaez boxing family even and meet Mexican parachuter Tono Montano, a blind surfer who uses his other senses to feel the waves.

“Dios Inc.”

CREDIT: HBO

If you couldn’t get enough of “Wild, Wild Country” and all things culty, get yourself some “Dios Inc.” We start by meeting Dr. Salvador Pereyra who returns to Mexico after spending 10 years in the Middle East studying religions. Once his discovery of the tomb of Marduk becomes public knowledge, a sect plagiarizes his work and starts a cult.

Salvador teams up with a young (y tan cute) Sci-Fi writer to stop the cult before something sinister happens.

“Dr. Reggaeton”

CREDIT: HBO

HBO’s biggest Latino hit yet, “Dr. Reggaeton” is a three part series hosted by comedian Frankie Quinones. Each episode features a special guest, like Farruko, Bad Bunny & Jacob Forever. Dr. Reggaeton gets boricua af once he starts reading letters from fans asking for love advice from the doc and his guests.

“Chumel con Chumel Torres”

CREDIT: HBO

He’s the Mexican John Oliver with the insight and humor that only a Latino can bring to the current situation in the United States. He doesn’t stop there though. Chumel reports on all things politics and opinion from the U.S. to Latin America. Prepare for some dark humor, very, very dark.

“El Hipnotizador”

CREDIT: HBO

Led by Argentinian and Emmy-nominated Leonardo Sbaraglia, who plays hypnotist Natalio Arenas, this series is based on an Argentinian cult comic book of the same name. Arenas is barely functioning with a severe case of insomnia when he lands a stage show gig.

Wait until he comes face to face with his professional/personal enemy who hypnotized him into the insomnia in the first place.

“El Jardín de Bronce”

CREDIT: HBO

Set in Buenos Aires, this tells the story of how a young couple’s otherwise normal life was completely turned upside down when their four-year-old daughter vanishes on the metro.

The police have no motives, clues, or witnesses, so it’s up to Fabian and Lila to find their child. A whole decade passes, and the most nauseating plot twists will rivet you for eight, scintillating episodes.

“Epitafios”

CREDIT: HBO

OK, so you finished “Shades of Blue” and you need more detective work on your screen. Try this 2014 series that seems like an alternate ending to “Shades of Blue,” if Harlee never “got healed.”

All you need to know is that a former cop’s shady past with his ex-lover and psychiatrist come to a head when they are forced to team up and find a serial killer who could end it all for them.

“Magnifica ’70”

CREDIT: HBO

This show is everything just for the fashion inspo. Set in Sao Paulo in the 1970s, our eyes are set on a federal film censor, Vicente, who seems to be obsessed with a risque movie, “The Hot Student.” Right off the bat, he censors the movie, but his attraction to the lead actress takes him out of his comfort zone and straight into the city’s red-light district.

“Fantasmagorias”

CREDIT: HBO

Latinos know horror like nobody else, because our moms and abuelitas had the most horrifying cautionary tales you could ever imagine. Find out which ones were just your mami with her big talk and which ones are legendary across Latin America (i.e. Chupacabra, La Sayona, y La Ouija).

This animated series brings those tales that were passed down generation to generation to this generation’s format: 2-D computer animated life. Check out this collection of short films for those work breaks when you’re craving horror, but only have a few minutes.

“Playing for Change”

CREDIT: HBO

This series of short sets (~8 min) interview artists from all over Latin America to create a series of music videos. For one episode, HBO Latino gathered over 70 Cuban artists across the world and asked them to sing “Guantanamera,” and then fused them all together for the iconic song, sung by la gente.

“Heroes Cotidianos”

CREDIT: HBO

OK, so you’re looking for a heartwarmer? This show plays like “Humans of New York,” pero Latinos of the World. All of the people are just regular people doing incredible things to pull people up from poverty, legal detention and more.

Watch women offer relief to immigrants, retired teachers teach astronomy on a school bus transformed astronomical observatory, and so much more. You kind of have to see it to believe it.

“La Vida Secreta de las Parejas”

CREDIT: HBO

We’ve got a sexologist in the house. Sofia Prado runs a center for alternative couples therapy and prides herself on changing couples’ lives, but she has her own drama to untangle. She casually gets caught up in a major corruption investigation, while also holding onto a big secret – her recurring hallucinations.

Set in Sao Paulo, this show won’t fail to entertain you.

“Hijos del Carnaval”

CREDIT: HBO

Can you guess this is based in Rio de Janeiro? We follow the story of Anesio Gebara, a samba school-owning, illegal lottery running and overall intimidating man and his complicated relationships with his sons. By the way, those sons are all in on his slot machine electronic card smuggling business, and worse.

“Profugos”

CREDIT: HBO

You were waiting for a drug lord to enter this list weren’t you? The season opens up with a major drug-trafficking operation bust at the border of Bolivia and Chile. We then follow the story of four fugitive men as they try to pull themselves out of the hole they’re buried in.

“Sr. Avila”

CREDIT: HBO

At first glance, this show doesn’t seem that exciting. Sr. Avila is a middle-class life insurance salesman, father and husband. Claro lives a double life as a hit man. When his business savvy seeps into his second life and he begins to head an organization of contract assassins. His double lives unwittingly begin to merge into one, and the results are, at the very least, entertaining.

“Mujer de Fases”

CREDIT: HBO

Released in 2012, we get to watch 30-something, recently divorced real estate agent Grace begin a new life. You’d think this is a rom-com, but it’s much more comedic than it is romantic as Grace endures a parade of ridiculous love interests with the support of her overbearing mami, Hilda, and her bestie, Selma.

Whatever you’ll be bingeing tonight, we’re happy HBO is helping to reduce the worst part of streaming television: the selection process. Studies show that people spend an average of 45 minutes searching for something to watch before they click play. De nada.


READ: A Trans Latina Is Having Her Quinceanera Aired By HBO As A Docu-Series Exploring The Time Honored Tradition

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SPOILER ALERTS: The Latest Episode Of HBO’s ‘Los Espookys’ Is Proof It Could Surpass GOT In Cult Status

Entertainment

SPOILER ALERTS: The Latest Episode Of HBO’s ‘Los Espookys’ Is Proof It Could Surpass GOT In Cult Status

HBO

On June 13 2019, HBO premiered “Los Espookys,” it’s Spanish-language horror comedy from the mind of Fred Armisen. Needless to say, we were immediate fans. Between the subtly hilarious script and its impeccable delivery, the series proved from episode one that it’s worth the watch. Don’t even get us started on how much we love the horror elements we’ve seen so far.

The second episode of “Los Espookys” is just as addictive and entertaining as the first. Titled “El Espanto de la Herencia,” the episode is so good, it demands a recap.

Here are some of the most spooky and most hysterical parts of “Los Espookys” episode two.

Last week, we met Renaldo, Úrsula, Tati and Andrés, four friends bonded by their love of horror.

HBO

The gang was encouraged by Renaldo’s uncle, Tio Tico, to pursue that passion and turn it into a career. Calling themselves Los Espookys, they were approached by a mysterious woman who wants to use their terrifying talents. With this in mind, it’s time to brainstorm how they’ll approach this next job.

However, before we can check in with Los Espookys, the series introduces us to the US Ambassador.

Horror DNA

Her name is US Ambassador Melanie Gibbons and she’s received an important letter. The letter — which is in Spanish, not coded as she first suspects — informs her that her friend Ignacio Ferracuti has died. However, he’s left his 18.9 billion peso fortune to whoever can survive a night in his haunted mansion.

To borrow Ambassador Gibbons words, “Okay, twist!” She’s been chosen as one of five strangers to compete for his fortune. It’s all very exciting for her.

Similarily, Los Espookys are excited for this upcoming challenge.

Horror DNA

We finally get to see to the official Los Espookys headquarters — which happens to be Renaldo’s garage. While Andrés pushes for avant-garde and challanging tricks, Renaldo wants to stick to the basics. Úrsula just wants confirmation that they’re going to be paid.

Meanwhile, back in LA, Tio Tico is in an unusual situation.

Horror DNA

Following last week’s encounter at a major celebrity party, Tico has been mistaken for an elusive artist. Due to this mix-up, he’s been roped into speaking at an art panel. The whole thing has snowballed and Tio Tico is just along for the ride.

Unfortunately, Andrés is finding it hard to balance his life as Prince of Chocolate and his spooky calling.

HBO

Being the heir to a chocolate fortune is hard. As his boyfriend reminds him, Andrés has duties he needs to commit to or else he will be removed as heir. However, the curious man is preoccupied with uncovering the mystery of his birth and his new side gig. What is a Chocolate Prince to do?

Finally, it’s the big night!

Horror DNA

Too bad Renaldo has been ditched by the other members of Los Espookys. Andrés, Úrsula y Tati have all shown up last minute, leaving Renaldo to set up. What’s worse, nobody hired the actors they need so Renaldo has to step in as the creepy butler. Let’s just say, the role is out of his range.

Still, the goal of the haunted house is to get rid of one contestant in particular. The Mysterious Woman announces to Los Espookys that Sr. Ferracuti’s son is a contestant and must not win. However, he seems impossible to shake with the frankly unimpressive scares.

Los Espookys are in a funk and they need some serious rallying.

HBO

Andrés is obsessed with the dead ends he keeps getting in his search for his origin. Úrsula is obsessed with getting paid. Tati is obsessed with Snap Chatting her shady internet boyfriend.

Renaldo is about to give up but some unexpectedly good advise from Tati inspires him. After a rallying call from Renaldo, Los Espookys are back. They’re going to pull off the scariest trick they can.

We don’t want to give away the ending, but the episode wraps up with the possibility of more jobs in their future.

HBO

Will Tati continue her internet relationship? Will Andrés learn the origins of his birth? What sort of adventure will Los Spookys get into next week? We’ll have to watch to find out.

HBO’s New Spanish-Language Series Is Exploring Another Widely-Held Love Within Our Culture

Entertainment

HBO’s New Spanish-Language Series Is Exploring Another Widely-Held Love Within Our Culture

HBO

There are certain universal similarities throughout the Latinidad that binds us to one another. We don’t mean stereotypes, but things that we honest to goodness all love. For example, our appreciation for cafecito and a rhythmic beat are accurate clichés tied to Latinx folk. Similarly, HBO’s new Spanish-language series is exploring another widely-held love within our culture.

On July 14th, the television network debuted its new series “Los Espookys” and it’s “horror” theme is very close to our hearts.

Twitter / @HBO

“Los Espookys” is a mostly Spanish-language comedy that includes a healthy dose of horror and camp. Created by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega and Fred Armisen, the series takes place in an undisclosed city in Latin America. It follows a group of friends —Renaldo, Andrés, Úrsula and Tati — as they turn their hobby of horror and special effects into a business of their very own creation.

While the show’s mix of comedy and horror is completely engaging, “Los Espookys” is also groundbreaking. As mentioned, the series is mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. The portions that aren’t in Español utilize slang and English with Spanish subtitles to communicate to its audience. For a large network like HBO to carry a Spanish language series and air it in primetime is a huge deal. Even more, it reflects how much confidence the “Game of Thrones” network has in the new show.

The premiere of “Los Espookys” opens with a super intense quinceanera. If you think you’ve been to some scary quinces before, just wait until you see this spook-tastic party. As it turns out, everything from the entrails cake to the mutilated waiters is the work of Renaldo and his crew. The party impresses everyone, including Renaldo’s uncle, Tio Tico (played by Armisen). Expressing his support, his uncle encourages the spooky connoisseur to pursue his passion — even if that passion is monsters and mayhem.

The friends get the chance to do just that when the local priest makes an unusual request of the group’s special skills.

Twitter / @HBOPR

Episode One also reveals more about the group of self-proclaimed “horror technicians.” The black-clad unofficial leader of the group is Renaldo and his life-long friend is Andrés. The electric blue-haired Andrés is the heir to a chocolate company. Called the “Prince of Chocolate,” he is a genuinely intriguing dude with dramatic past. (Note the intense telenovela music that plays whenever he gets contemplative.)

Rounding out the group is a pair of unusual sisters. Úrsula is a dental hygienist with the soul of an artist who is happiest when she’s making something terrifying. Her sister is the odd and unintentionally funny Tita. We first meet Tita when she is hand-spinning the blades of an electric fan to cool down her boss, the priest. Fortunately for us, she only gets more bizarre as the episode goes on.

The cast delivers some great lines but that’s not the only thing that makes “Los Espookys” so entertaining. Improbable situations, subtle humor, and references to popular Latinx culture all add to the series’s appeal, too.

However, it’s the focus on the characters’ love of horror that will really resonate with Latinx viewers — and for a valid reason.

Twitter / WigWurq

Whether it’s the scary legends of La Llarona y El Cucuy or the movies of Guermillo del Toro, the Latinidad loves horror. After all, we have an entire holiday completely devoted to honoring the dead. If you need additional proof of this love, look no further than our children — the future of our culture.

In early June 2019, 3-year-old Lucia Brown went viral for her very scary birthday theme. The birthday girl insisted on a party that included Valak, the satanic sister from “The Nun.” It wasn’t just Lucia that enjoyed the theme; her friends also painted their face in black and gave into the darkness.

Yet, a love of horror isn’t something we simply grow out of; it grows with us.

Twitter / @BlairGuild

When we become teens and start to explore our own independence, we strike out towards our own styles. This often means we explore music and clothing to find what best suits us. In these two subjects, we still see marked examples of our cultural love of horror.

The Emo and Goth subcultures have been notably popular with Latinx teens and young adults since its birth. Both categories are usually associated with teens who are not of color and can appear to be at odds with the colorful traditions of the Latinidad. However, there’s something about the Emo and Goth lifestyles that resonate with Latinx folk.

These categories are often hard to describe but most people can place the look when they see it. Both Emo and Goth subgroups focus on self-expression by embracing dark fashions and the mentality of “the individual.” These subcultures also incorporate a healthy dose of horror — using zombies, monsters and the occult in their fashion and art.

Music is the heart of the Emo and Goth subcultures and is what most links the Latinidad to the lifestyle.

Twitter / @missbreton
Twitter / @_smromero

Emo and Goth music often explore dark and emotional topics in their lyrics and evoke feeling with their music. Bands like Morrissey, Joy Division and The Cure led the way for this type of music in the 80’s and 90’s. Later, groups including AFI, My Chemical Romance and The Used became the modern voice of their genre.

For these bands, Morrissey especially has become beloved to Latinx Goths and Emos. Maria Hinojosa’s exploration of this love — entitled “Goths: Latinos on the Dark Side” is an interesting episode of Latino USA that explores this topic.

In it, a guest explains, “For whatever reason, Latinos love Morrissey and no one really knows why. I think it’s the melodrama.”

It could be argued that melodrama is also the reason the Latinidad loves horror.

Many have expressed a sense of community in finding these subgenres so maybe that’s the real reason Latinx folk feel so at home with them.

Twitter / @llavvves

Often times, Latinos and Latinas feel excluded from the larger communities we’re a part of. Sometimes we’re marginalized by income level. Sometimes it’s our nationality or citizen status that isolates us from others. We can even be excluded from others within our own Latinx community.

However, a shared appreciation of the Emo and Goth subgenres and all things horror unites us in a mutual love. In a world where we can feel so alone, we can go to a Guermillo del Toro film and feel connected. When feeling as though no one understands us, we can listen to Morrissey and hear our feelings in his words.

In this way, “Los Espookys” also has the potential to unite our Latinidad with something we’ll love. Though we’ve only seen one of the six episodes of this season, the response online has been more than positive. Obviously, the hilarious script combined with the characters’ love of horror makes for a combination that audiences relate to. We can’t wait to see what spooky surprises “Los Espookys” has in store for us still.

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