Entertainment

The Hilariously Dark And Dramatic Cast Of ‘Los Espookys’ Will Make You Jajaja Until Your Side Splits

The representation of Latinos in mainstream television and film comedy in the United States ha dejado mucho que desear, to say the least. From stereotypical and frankly a bit racist characters such as Gloria (Sofia Vergara) in “Modern Family” and Pedro in the cult film “Napoleon Dynamite,” to half-baked personajes like Fez in “That 70s Show”(we assume he was Latino, although it was never clarified!), Hollywood has done a disservice to one of the biggest minorities in the United States (and when we do have a great show like “One Day at a Time,” they cancel it, canijos!). Latinos have become a growing cultural and financial influence in the U.S. entertainment market, and Spanish? A linguistic powerhouse that seems to have no end in sight. Just think about this: more than 41 million people speak Spanish as a first language (about 13% of the population), and los esteits is home to nearly 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers. If you are a TV exec it would be foolish not to consider these staggering figures when commissioning new projects. 

That is why the new 30-minute HBO comedy, “Los Espookys,” spoken primarily in Spanish is such a big deal. “Los Espookys”is a quirky comedy developed by Fred Armisen, Ana Fabrega and Julio Torres, who also happen to be three of the main actors. The show follows a group of horror fans who offer a very unique service: they create scary situations for wealthy clients. The humor is offbeat, just like Fred Armisen’s ode to hipster culture, “Portlandia,” which made us LOL and cringe in equal measureBut of course, there is an added element of amazing Mexi-kitsch: melodrama telenovelero and plenty of references to low budget horror (the episode titles remind us of a good old El Santo movie). The reviews for the show have been great. Fabrega and Torres wrote all episodes and Variety says: “Fabrega and Torres infuse every scene with so many rich and unexpected punchlines that there’s truly no knowing where it might end up, making “Los Espookys” a comedic rarity”. Not bad, eh? 

Here’s who is who in this team of misfits who star in what promised to be the unexpected hit of the year. 

Julio Torres as Andres

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Torres, one of the show’s creators, is as young as he is talented. He is a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” so we know that the comedic quality is there! He is merely 32 but already one of the up and coming talents in the industry. He was born in El Salvador and migrated to the United States just ten years ago. And the kid’s got talent: can you imagine writing for the semillero of comedic talent (SNL) and spearheading an HBO show? Remember those “Melania Moments” segments in SNL? Well, Torres wrote them. He started his career in Brooklyn and later with very popular stand-ups on YouTube. His character is also an heir to a chocolate empire. He says of his character: “I personally love high drama as comedy. Playing someone who is so put-upon and just burdened by the drama in his world felt really funny. Me and this character, we’re both very drawn to beauty—like moths to a flame. And we’re very particular. Things have to go a certain way or else they’re not good. I feel like in my worst moments I do behave like that. But a key difference is that Andrés is very passive—at least in the beginning”. 

Get to know him on Twitter: @juliothesquare

Bernardo Velasco as Renaldo

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Bernardo Velasco is a Mexican actor best known for his constant presence in his country’s independent film industry. He is best known for his role of Bosco in the film “Museo,” a heist movie co-starred with Gael Garcia Bernal, which tells the story of a highly publicized robbery in the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. He has that rugged Mexican look, paisa! Renaldo is the leader of the group, a total fanatic of gore films who takes every case to the extreme. 

Cassandra Ciangherotti as Ursula

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Like Bernardo Velasco, Cassandra Ciangherotti is best known for his work in Mexican independent cinema. She has appeared in films like the Netflix dark comedy “Time Share” (watch it as soon as you can, it is an indictment on the cult-like structures of all-inclusive resorts), the horror movie “The Similars” and the teary road trip “Viaje Redondo.” She is also a producer. By the way, she comes from Mexican acting royalty: she is the daughter of late actor Fernando Lujan, and sister of telenovela villain Fernando Ciangherotti. More recently she was part of the cast of the chick flick hit “Solteras.” We are sure she will have a great career in Hollywood… but please, Cassandra, don’t let anyone typecast you! 

Get to know her on Instagram: @cassandraciangherotti

Ana Fabrega as Tati

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

At just 27, Ana Fabrega has already established a name for herself as a stand-up comedian. We can actually say that she is a star of the social media generation: she first gained notoriety for her short, quirky and frankly weird Twitter videos. And she is not afraid to get political, mainly supporting women like Elizabeth Warren (see here!). She was born in Arizona and then moved to New York. She started doing stand up and el resto es historia. Long story short: Fred Armisen identified her amazing talent and she is now a member of “Los Espookys!” The role in this new HBO show seems to fit her perfectly. She told New Now Next: “I’ve always liked the idea of work giving your life meaning. So I wanted to play someone who was struggling to find meaning within herself and turning to work to satisfy herself. And in some ways, that’s really real, to me anyways. Because I’m deeply unsatisfied.” Funny and true! We love Ana, she has that Chaplinesque presence that not many contemporary comedians have. 

Get to know her on Twitter: @anafabregagood

Fred Armisen as Tico

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

This super funny dude, whose full name is Fereydun Robert “Fred” Armisen, is a total legend in the industry. He was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1966. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live for nine years (2002 to 2013)! He then created the beloved show “Portlandia,”in which he equally made fun of and had fun with hipster culture in Portland. “Portlandia”brought him worldwide fame and Emmy nominations. His madrecita santa, Mirabal Level, was born in Venezuela. His paternal grandfather is Korean, so Fred is truly a son of a globalized world! We guess that his multicultural upbringing led him to champion this oddball show. Get to know him on Instagram: @sordociego

‘Our Quinceañera’ Is A Documentary Featuring A Principal Who Has Been Throwing Quinces For Students Who Can’t Afford Them

Culture

‘Our Quinceañera’ Is A Documentary Featuring A Principal Who Has Been Throwing Quinces For Students Who Can’t Afford Them

In the small Mexican-American town of San Benito in Texas, many girls dream of the day that they will make their debut as women to their family and community. But the tabs for orders of gowns, crowns, food, decorations, and DJs often run so high that for awhile such events for the girls in town were out of reach.

Then, Gilbert Galvan, the principal of San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy, came up with an idea that meant that not a single girl would be forced to miss out on the opportunity to take part in the tradition.

Since 2015, San Benito has hosted an annual quinceañera event for young girls and their families.

CREDIT: Avenida Productions

Nearly five years ago, Gilbert Galvan Sr. found himself being invited to quinceañeras by the students at his school. Then one day, some of the answers from the young women at his school caught his attention. After a few of his female students opened up to him about the fact that they did not have enough money to afford a quinceañera, Galvan Sr. was inspired to do put on a party for them on his own.

In just a matter of months, the educator sought out donations from his community to put on one massive quinceañera. Donations and gifts came in all forms– from cakes and dresses to crowns and the volunteered time of makeup artists and mariachi singers. That was the first year.

In the years that have followed, Galvan Sr. has continued to put on the event where as many as 40 girls have attended at a time. Today, donations for the girls come in from across the country.

The community quinceañera has gained so much attention that it’s now becoming captured in a documentary.

CREDIT: Avenida Productions

As reported by FIERCE by mitú last year, Galvan’s son, Gilbert Galvan Jr. —who has worked in the entertainment industry for ten years— was inspired by his father’s efforts and pitched the event as a documentary concept to Fanny Véliz, the award-winning filmmaker and CEO behind Avenida Productions. Now, having been directed by Véliz and given the name “Our Quinceañera” appears to be closer to its release. According to the documentary’s site, the film is in submission for festivals!

During an interview with FIERCE last year, Galvan Jr. said he hoped the documentary will inspire viewers to “embrace their heritage and celebrate the power of community… We want to document this historic event while empowering and inspiring Latina girls across the country to pursue and achieve their dreams.”

Check out the full trailer below!

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.

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