Entertainment

Starz Is Giving The Story Of Gentrification In Boyle Heights A Different Spin With Their Show ‘Vida’

Latino representation on television has usually been a slippery slope of stereotypes or false portrayals of what it really means to be Latino in America. Yet Starz’s new half-hour series “Vida” feels like something new and refreshing in the world of scripted TV. The show focuses on two sisters Emma (Mishel Prada) and Lyn (Melissa Barrera) as they return to their home in quickly changing Boyle Heights after their mom’s death.

The six episode series represents a side of Latinos that are rarely shown on mainstream television.

“Vida” joins other Latino-centered shows on television, including “Narcos,” “One Day at a Time,” “Queen of the South” and “Jane the Virgin.” However, it stands on its own with its fresh perspective on the Latinx experience living in Los Angeles. The show tackles topics like class, gentrification and homophobia. The show is a snapshot of our diverse culture that mainstream television rarely captures.

“Vida” is making waves with its Creator Tanya Saracho and her all Latinx writers.

Saracho is the creator and executive producer of “Vida” and after writing for other popular shows like “Devious Maids,” “Looking,” and “How to Get Away with Murder,” she truly found her calling. She felt she could finally tell stories on TV that were relevant to her own experiences. By having an entire Latinx writing staff, Saracho is paving a way for representation that goes beyond just the screen but the writers room that Hollywood rarely has found.

Fans and critics are already praising the show for its fresh representation.

After premiering on May 6, the show already has a solid fan base and has been praised for its characters and plot. It already has a 100 percent “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

“Vida” is currently streaming for free on Starz.com, the Starz YouTube channel and the “Vida” Facebook page.

The show captures many themes that most Latinx can relate to, whether it’s the fight for representation in their own community, the feeling of not being “Mexican enough’ in your own family and finding one’s identity. “Vida” is a landmark moment in Latino television that hopefully paves the way for more shows that capture more than just stereotypes but the true Latinx experience in America.


READ: These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

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Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

Things That Matter

Interracial Couples Are Officially Getting Emoji Representation

Representation matters.

When it comes to interracial couples, this is certainly true. In 2017, The New York Times posed the question “where are all of the racial couples?” in an article about the representation of mixed-race couples on screen. The pieces pointed out that for many years, the entertainment industry “forbid depictions of interracial relationships. From 1930 until the late 1960s, the Motion Picture Production Code banned ‘vulgarity and suggestiveness’ so that ‘good taste may be emphasized.'” The piece put a bold underline under the fact that decades have passed since these codes were dismantled. In fact, the same year of the article’s release, the Pew Research Center revealed that the number rose to 10 percent, including 11 million interracial marriages in total.

These statistics oddly haven’t always extended to even our most innovative forms: texting to name just one. Up until recently, texters weren’t able to express their mix-raced love via iPhones.

Now thanks to a new update, they are!

New updates to Apple‘s iOS 14.5 are bringing interracial couples to your texts this Spring.

New couple emojis with skin variant combinations.nbsp
Emojipedia

Apple is working to make our texting experience more inclusive and representative for all phone users. In a recent update from Unicode, the system that produces emojis, Apple has announced that they will be unveiling new designs and new options for emojis that already exist as part of iOS 14.5.

New designs for the emojis will be more representative of people with disabilities as well.

Emojipedia

They include a person with a bird, flaming heart emoji, a healed heart, and new skin tone variants for kissing couples and couples with heart emojis. There will also be accessibility-themed emojis which include an ear with a hearing aid, a guide dog, a prosthetic leg, and a prosthetic arm.

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Oscar Isaac Will Be Marvel’s First Live-Action Latino Superhero on Disney Plus

Entertainment

Oscar Isaac Will Be Marvel’s First Live-Action Latino Superhero on Disney Plus

Photo: Roy Rochlin/WireImage

Oscar Isaac was cast in the new Disney+ Marvel TV series “Moon Knight”. According to Variety, “Moon Knight” will tell the story of “an elite soldier and mercenary who decides to fight crime after he becomes the human avatar of Khonshu, the Egyptian god of the moon.”

The news is exciting because it marks the Guatemalan-American actor’s first lead on a TV series and Marvel’s first live-action Latino superhero. In a time when seeing Latinos on TV is rare, this announcement gives us hope that Hollywood is becoming more open to hiring Latinx talent. It is also exciting because this isn’t the first time that Disney+ has hired a Latino actor to spearhead one of its blockbuster shows.

The streaming giant also hired Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal to be the lead of its extremely successful Star Wars spinoff series “The Mandalorian,” which will be premiering its second season on October 30th. “The Mandalorian” follows a story of a mysterious space bounty hunter who goes on the run with a “child” (i.e. Baby Yoda) he was hired to track down and return to his client.

“The Mandalorian” was a commercial and critical darling. Experts believed it helped launch Disney+ into the competitive streaming market. Experts believe the show was one of the reasons Disney+ amassed 26.5 million subscribers in its first six weeks.

And as Variety so astutely noted, since there will be no new Star Wars movies until at least 2023, Pascal is the current and only face of the Star Wars franchise. The burden is heavy, but Pascal bears it well. And his excellence in the role is further proof that Latinos can and should be starring in more TV shows.

The hiring of Isaac and Pascal as the leads of their two major shows makes Disney+ strides ahead of other networks who won’t take a chance on Latinx talent. The failure of Hollywood to give Latinos a seat at the table has been a hot-button issue of late, with the problem culminating recently in an open letter that 270 Latinx writers recently penned condemning the entertainment industry. The letter noted that Latinos make up 18.3% of the U.S. population, but only 8.7% of TV writers.

The move to cast Isaac after the success of Pascal in “The Mandalorian” might not be coincidental. The two men are famously close and have been best friends for years after meeting in an off-Broadway play at the beginning of their careers. Isaac has been candid about that time in their lives and in the industry at large, telling Variety that back then it was “so easy to be pigeonholed in very specific roles because we’re Latinos.”

“The dream was to be able to pay rent,” Isaac continued. “There wasn’t a strategy. We were just struggling. It was talking about how to do this thing that we both love but seems kind of insurmountable.” The two actors have been friends rather than competitors in a cutthroat industry, so much so that Isaac convinced Pascal to audition for “The Mandalorian” in the first place, as he told Wired.

It’s worth giving Disney+ credit where credit is due. While people like to discount TV shows and movies as if they don’t make a difference, the truth is, it is so fulfilling to see someone who looks like you reflected back to you through your TV screen. Representation matters.

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