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

Cast Of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Intervenes On New Cast Member’s Behalf After Online Trolls Get Out Of Control

Entertainment

Cast Of Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ Intervenes On New Cast Member’s Behalf After Online Trolls Get Out Of Control

13 Reasons Why: Season 3 Kiss Scene!!! Grace Saif and Clay Jensen

Grace Saif deleted her Instagram after “13 Reasons Why” fans bullied her relentlessly. Fans of the show didn’t like the new character Ani, who is played by Saif, and misplaced that hatred by harassing her on social media. Saif’s bullying comes in the wake of aggressive “stan culture,” particularly aimed at women and women of color. 

When misogyny and anti-blackness mixes, we call that misogynoir and many felt Saif has become victim to it. While there is a lot to say about fans who cannot separate the actress from her character, it is much easier for fans to characterize a black woman as unlikeable.

Why don’t “13 Reasons Why” fans like Grace Saif? [*Spoilers Ahead*]

Season 3 introduced viewers to Saif’s Ani Achola, who is a new student at Liberty High School and the omniscient narrator. Fans did not find Ani’s character convincing but this was largely due to plot holes. Viewers didn’t understand how a new girl at school knew so much about students at Liberty, and they weren’t sold on her storyline regarding Bryce’s death.

Rather than crediting the writers for a lackluster season, they targeted Saif on social media and accused her of ruining the show. 

Grace deletes Instagram and makes Twitter private.

The online abuse became so difficult she decided to cut off the source. While we won’t be sharing many of the harassing Tweets and comments on social media because why share that hatred, they so ubiquitous you’ve probably already seen a few in your feed.

There’s a long history of harassing women actresses on social media. 

Daisy Ridley who plays Rey in the latest Star Wars reboot deleted all her accounts and said she would never return to social media due to misogynist bullying in 2017. Meanwhile, her Star Wars co-star Kelly Marie Tran faced a similar fate after experiencing anti-Asian and misogynist bullying in 2018. 

Women who are a part of a series with a rabid fanbase tend to be larger targets of bullying and if they are women of color or queer it is so much worse. In July, Candice Patton who portrays Iris West on The Flash experienced so much racist bullying by fans who can’t deal with Barry Allen having a black wife, her co-star Grant Gustin had to step in to shut things down

But the rest of us aren’t putting up with bullying.

Saif’s co-star Timothy Granaderos Jr., who plays Monty de la Cruz, spoke out against the ongoing harassment and encouraged fans to chill out. 

“Hey Y’all, just a reminder. Whether or not you support, like, or love, a character in our fictional tv show—please remember that there is a talented and beautiful actor/actress bringing those scripted words to life,” Granaderos Jr. wrote on Instagram. “One of the underlining themes in our show is to take care of each other. I’ve seen some pretty nasty things being said online, concerning the introduction of a new character. Y’all are passionate & we love you for that, but PLEASE PLEASE try to be kind and respect the work of the talented actress/actor behind the character. Love y’all & keep taking care of each other.”

Anne Winters who plays Chloe Rice told People the backlash against Ani was unwarranted. “Ani is amazing, Grace who plays Ani is like the sweetest girl ever. I really loved her character this season,” she said. 

Fans on social media showed support for Grace Saif.

“I stand with grace saif. so now people’s reason for abusing another BW is for being so bomb at her job she convincingly plays a multi-layered, complex character? we cannot win. you haters can duck out. grace keep shining we got you boo,” tweeted @JazleeJones.

Oh, the irony…

“I wasn’t really rocking w Ani in #13ReasonsWhy but I find it cruel how y’all bullied this woman until she deleted all her accounts! It’s just a show guys. Hell yeah her character was annoying but y’all forget that this shit isn’t real @gracesaif I hope you’re doing fine,” one fan wrote.

And this whole thing is ironic because the series “13 Reasons Why” aims to address difficult issues including bullying. 

Many felt that fans missed the entire point of the series by harassing Saif.

“The irony here… it stinks. First you 13RW fans fight against bullying. Now you (not everyone) are bullying an actress who played someone you didn’t like. I’ve seen Ani and most of all Grace Saif receive more hate than Bryce and Justin Prentice. You guys are disgusting,” another fan pointed out.  

However, the Netflix show, whose main demographic is teens, has come under fire multiple times, for glamourizing behaviors on the show like suicide and sexual assault rather than examining or condemning them, by psychologists and mental health experts. 

Whether the show is good or not has nothing to do with Grace Saif. Stop the misogynoir! 

Disney + Just Announced It’s Producing A Miss America Series And Turns Out They’re 100% Delivering On Diversity

Entertainment

Disney + Just Announced It’s Producing A Miss America Series And Turns Out They’re 100% Delivering On Diversity

Not everyone gets to be a superhero and the comic book world reminds us of that, when it comes to media, representation and inclusion are lacking. We don’t always get to see Black or brown superheroes grace the glossy pages of a comic book that perhaps might turn into a movie down the road. Let alone do we get to see LGBTQ+ identifying superheroes.

 But in recent years, we’ve seen a lot more diversity in these spaces with Marvel who has been leading the charge. 

According to Geeks WorldWide, MarvelStudios has just confirmed that they’re in the early stages of development for “Miss America,” a teen superhero series that centers an openly lesbian and Latina superhero named America Chavez.

Earlier this summer, during Comic-Con in San Diego, it was reported that Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie — the character she plays in the Thor films — would become the MCU’s first LGBTQ superhero in the upcoming installment. After Thompson alluded to the LGBTQ storyline, Marvel president confirmed the news. 

Now, we’re excited to see another LGBTQ superhero in the Marvel universe with America Chavez. Marvel Studios will be developing the Miss America series on the Disney+ streaming service, set to launch later this year in November. 

However, it’s not the first time you’ve seen or heard of America Chavez. In October 2017, she got her own solo series written by author Gabby Rivera and illustrated by Joe Quinones, titled “America Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez.” This volume was followed by “America Vol. 2: Fast and Fuertona” in April of 2018. Additionally, America Chavez has also been featured as a team member of the Ultimates in 2015. The Ultimate is made up of Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Spectrum, and Blue Marvel. She’s also best friends with the archer, Kate Bishop.

Now, for all you comic book newbies who might not know, America Chavez is a Latina superhero who was raised by two mothers in another dimension called Utopia. 

America’s power set includes her signature ability which lets her open portals into different realities.

It’s also been reported that America’s fellow Young Avengers will also be coming to Marvel Studios. According to other reports, there have been rumors that characters like Galactus and Blue Marvel will be heading to the MCU. This hints at a Ultimates team-up in the future. 

When the Miss America comic books first released, people wondered how a superhero. who comes from an alternate dimension, identifies as Latinx. Honestly, it’s a perfectly reasonable question. 

What we do know is that during her childhood she lived in the Utopian Parallel, which is a paradise dimension that’s populated entirely by women. 

Charles Pulliam-Moore, who writes for Kotaku, broke it down for us. According to Pulliam-Moore, America Chavez’s origins have always been complicated and difficult to explain. Not a lot of information about her past has been made public since her creation, so there’s not a lot to go off of. But Pulliam-Moore goes on to help us make sense of her origins. 

According to the synopsis in Kotaku, Princess America was destined to become the “savior of her people” but when she learned her two mother’s had died, she ran away from her home dimension. 

It was never really clear what happened to America after she left the Utopian Parallel.

But in the latest comic book written by Gabby Rivera, we’re presented with “the most logical of answers: America ended up in the Bronx.” According to Rivera in volume 3 of Miss America, after leaving the Utopian Parallel, America Chavez “stumbles onto a Puerto Rican family’s barbecue and, even though she’s a stranger to them, they immediately accept her into the family and begin to help America define who she is.” 

America Chavez eventually also leaves the Bronx in order to help other communities “established by the earth’s Latinx diaspora who, little by little, contribute to the unique ethnic identity that America now claims.” 

We can’t wait to see how Marvel Studios and Disney+ bring America Chavez’s story to life. We’re so excited to see Marvel finally opening up the MCU to include Latinx and LGBTQ+ characters, it’s definitely a step in the right direction and it will help their younger audiences see themselves in a positive and empowering light from a young age. 

In the meantime, read up on 15 other diverse heroes that we’d love to see be represented in the MCU up next. 

Now, we can’t help but wonder, who will be cast to play America Chavez?

Comment below and let us know your thoughts!