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

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HBO’s ‘Allen v. Farrow’ Documentary Sparks Potential Lawsuit

Entertainment

HBO’s ‘Allen v. Farrow’ Documentary Sparks Potential Lawsuit

Updated Feb. 24, 2021.

Dylan Farrow’s name has been tightly linked to the story she has been telling since 1992.

For three decades her account of being molested by her adoptive father, director Woody Allen, while in her mother Mia Farrow’s attic in Connecticut and molested her when she was seven years old has not wavered. She first told the story at the time of the incident to therapists, then she told police, and years later in 2014, she wrote an oped to the New York Times and again in 2017 for the Los Angeles Times. In 2018 she spoke about the incident in a televised interview with CBS and now she’s telling the same story, which many have cast doubt on in a four-part documentary from HBO titled Allen v. Farrow.

Allen v. Farrow investigates the abuse allegations and subsequent custody battle that gravely affected Farrow’s career but has only recently begun to create problems for Allen.

The new documentary series aired its first episode which examined the ways in which Allen’s behavior toward Dylan struck family, friends, and even a psychiatrist as inappropriate. The episode details how Allen took up an obsessive interest in Dylan after her adoption.

“I was always in his clutches,” Dylan remembered in the first episode. “He was always hunting me.” Dylan goes onto recall instances in which Allen would “direct” her on how to suck his thumb and what to do with her “tongue.” At one point a family friend backs up this behavior saying she’d seen Dylan doing this one time while other family members and acquaintances said they’d also witnessed Allen’s oddly sexual treatment of Dylan.

Allen has always denied the allegations brought forth by Dylan and has largely gotten away from the stain of such claims to continue his career based on the “woman scorned” trope.

Allen has proven to be the exception to the #MeToo movement in Hollywood despite many who claim to support the efforts to end sexual abuse in the industry. Prominent actresses like Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, and even Selena Gomez worked with Allen in the decades after he was accused of abuse. Gomez starred alongside Timothée Chalamet in Allen’s 2017 film A Rainy Day in New York, which was eventually shelved by the movie’s production company, Amazon Studios after Dylan reiterated her claims in the 2017 op-ed.

Since the 90s, Allen has maintained that Farrow, his former partner of 12 years, conducted a smear campaign against him after she discovered his affair with her 21-year-old adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn.

At the time of their tumultuous divorce, which came as a result of the affair, Allen claimed that Dylan had been coached by Farrow. In response to the documentary, Allen denied interview requests for the documentary and described it after the fact as a “hatchet job riddled with falsehoods” and a “shoddy hit piece.”

As a result, Allen v. Farrow v. Skyhorse v. HBO might be up next. 

Skyhorse Publishing, the publisher behind Allen’s latest book, “Apropos of Nothing,” has threatened to sue the makers of the new docuseries for sampling excerpts from the famous director’s audiobook. 

“Neither the producers nor HBO ever approached Skyhorse to request permission to use excerpts from the audiobook,” Tony Lyons, president of Skyhorse said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “[W]e believe that its unauthorized use of the audiobook is clear, willful infringement under existing legal precedent . . . We will take the legal action we deem necessary to redress our and Woody Allen’s rights in his intellectual property,” the statement went on. 

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Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Entertainment

Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Say the word “Selena,” and your mind is probably filled with the opening beats of “Como La Flor,” the Tejano singer’s famous ballad. Selena Quintanilla’s legacy has been explored in acclaimed movies, podcasts, documentaries, and now, a Netflix show. The first part of Selena: The Series premiered on December 4 and is guaranteed a second season.

But what do we know about part two of the series?

Selena: The Series is reigniting interest in our beloved Selena like never before but what’s next for the series?

Selena: The Series covers the life of the late Selena Quintanilla, so how does Netflix’s narrative compare to the true story? Crucially, the first nine episodes only cover the first 20 years of the subject’s life, which means that Selena part 2 will focus on Selena’s evolution into a Tejano superstar before her tragic 1995 death.

Part 1 of the Netflix series addresses the most relevant events, and tweaks certain facts for dramatic purposes. It’s also being met with mixed responses from both critics and viewers alike. But one thing is certain, the series is helping introduce an entirely new generation to the life of one of Latin music’s biggest stars.

The second season has already wrapped filming and it will focus on a very different part of Selena’s life.

Ever since the project was announced, it was confirmed that it would be a two-part limited series. As viewers already know, part one consisted on nine episodes, but it’s unclear how many will make up the second part.

The initial season has largely focused on the 1990 release of Selena’s album, Ven Conmigo, and her family’s discovery of her secret relationship with Pérez.

The next season will likely feature the release of Selena’s first English-language album and her 1992 elopement to Chris before her death and her ill-fated meeting with Yolanda Saldívar (Natasha Perez), the woman responsible for her 1995 murder.

Netflix has yet to confirm when viewers can expect the conclusion of Selena. However, Serratos confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that production had already wrapped—no COVID-19 delays here! Considering that timeline, season 2 could premiere in the first half of 2021. Worth noting: April 16, 2021 would’ve been Selena Quintanilla’s 50th birthday, an event that may be tied to the season’s release.

Season 2 Selena will be “more of the icon.” 

For all of its flaws, the first season of Selena: The Series has helped introduce a new generation to the iconic Latina. And it’s given viewers an introduction to part of the singer not everyone was familiar with. Fans have explored Selena’s childhood and her introduction to music.

But season 2 will focus more on the singer’s megastardom, according to Serratos. “The first part was nerve-racking because there was less footage for me to base my performance on. But at the same time it was more relaxed, because I got more liberty. People don’t know that version of Selena very much,” she told OprahMag.com. “Our second part we’re going to see a lot more of the icon. I had a lot more to base the performance on—but it was nerve-racking because people know that Selena so well. There was added pressure.”

It doesn’t look like there will be any major changes to the cast for part two.

It looks like much of the same cast from part one will also be featured in part two of the series. The ensemble includes Serratos as Selena, Chavira as Abraham, Posey as Chris, Seidy Lopez as Selena’s mother Marcella, Noemi Gonzalez as Selena’s sister and drummer Suzette, and Gabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother and producer A.B. Natasha Perez’s Yolanda will also play a larger role in season 2 as she gets closer to Selena’s life and business. 

Moisés Zamora (American Crime) returns as the series creator, writer, and executive producer alongside producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, and Simran A. Singh. Members of the real-life Quintanilla family are also involved with both seasons as executive producers, including Abraham and Suzette.

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