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.
— Los Angeles Magazine (@LAmag) May 8, 2018
“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.
— 89.3 KPCC (@KPCC) May 8, 2018
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.
FYI @VIDA_STARZ is fucking fantastic. If you’re looking for a show that MIRACULOUSLY includes representation of #latinx women, #lgbtqia people, and brilliant story and character development, @TanyaSaracho has you covered. Watch it immediately: I can not recommend it enough.
— Stephanie Beatriz (@iamstephbeatz) May 3, 2018
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.
Seriously @TanyaSaracho you just dragged my heart with “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” playing in the end when Lyn and Emma watching their childhood video. @VIDA_STARZ #VidaSTARZ @SelenaLaLeyenda @STARZ 🤧🤧 pic.twitter.com/YgeTsQUQn0
— Patty (@pallyglen) May 7, 2018
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.