Entertainment

Here’s Why Netflix’s ‘Mr. Iglesias’ Is So Important For Students Of Color Right Now

Throughout the history of American film and television, there have been some great teachers that have inspired audiences. We can think, of course, of Sidney Poitier in “To Sir, With Love,” which broke down racial stereotypes in U.S. popular culture, or of Robin Williams and his carpe diem philosophy in “Dead Poet’s Society.” “Dangerous Minds”showcased the many talents of Michele Pfeiffer as an inspiring teacher dealing with a tough neighborhood. And, of course, our own Edward James Olmos in “Stand and Deliver.” All those roles are pretty intense, and students are often portrayed as troubled minds who need rescuing. 

That is why Netflix’s new show, “Mr. Iglesias,” is a fresh and welcome variation on the “inspiring teacher” Hollywood trope. It follows the life in a Long Beach school where students of all ethnicities learn from Gabriel Iglesias, an amazing maestro that dances salsa and is an endless source of wittiness. In fact, the real Iglesias attended this very school, Woodrow Wilson High School. The show has gotten positive reviews. Dan Fienberg from The Hollywood Reportersays: “Would I like for Mr. Iglesias to be funnier? Or, at times, especially funny at all? Yes. But I’m a sucker for ‘well-meaning,’ especially when it’s warm and inclusive.” Merrill Barr at Forbeshighlights that much of the show rests on the broad shoulders of the lead character: “Perhaps it is just due to the animated nature of its lead to sell what would otherwise be a rather bland sitcom, but Mr. Iglesias works. It’s funny. Hacky at times, but funny nonetheless.” But judge by yourself: we promise some hard LOLing! 

It serves us some harsh historical truths right from the beginning.

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

As we said, the show follows the adventures of Gabriel Iglesias, a history teacher who struggles to serve some truths to his students in the United States educational system. The show is funny as hell thanks to the incandescent personality of its lead actor, comedian Gabriel Iglesias (how meta!), but that doesn’t preclude it from being fiercely political. In the first episode, suggestively titled “Some Children Left Behind”, the show delves into what the struggles of the educational system mean for the lives of students and teachers. 

He teaches History by keeping his students engaged with pop culture references.

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

Seriously, we all would love to have a teacher like Mr. Iglesias. He is not only a source of smart interpretations of racial and class relationships in the United States but also una fuente of wisdom when it comes to cool pop culture references. Seriously, if all maestros were like him, maybe we wouldn’t be in the mess we are in right now as a country and as humankind. 

And being a Latino teacher in the age of Trump… of course, he went there right away!

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

OMG, Mr. Iglesias found a way to basically use a picture of POTUS as a piñata, make fun of his hairdo and bring up his Cheeto complexion, all in a few seconds of comedic bliss. When politics are turbulent and violent towards minorities, comedy is one of the best weapons to fight back and have una carcajada en el intento. 

The show was created by Kevin Hench.

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

He is an experienced writer and producer, and his credits include the super funny comedy “Last Man Standing,” and the Latino-themed legal drama “Cristela.” No wonder him and Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias found some common ground to create the comedic masterpiece that is “Mr. Iglesias,” which like all good satire uses current events to uncover deeper truths. 

The show looks at the endemic inequalities in the educational system.

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

Let’s face it: many Brown and Black kids have systematic obstacles from the get-go. Many of them work from an early age and have to basically deal with the very adult juggling act of home/school/job. This is addressed in the show, with the top student, Marisol (who quotes Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, BTW!), being on the verge of being expelled because of poor attendance when she is helping out in her family business. This is a very familiar situation for thousands of first and second generation students.

There is a white teacher, Mrs. Abigail Spencer, who is just oh so naive! 

Credit: Mr. Iglesias / Netflix

The show doesn’t demonize white characters, it just paints them as… well, sort of naive and protected by bubble wrap. Mr. Iglesias tells her: “Abby, you are white, you can do anything”. She is a funny woman from North Dakota who just needs to get in touch with reality a bit more. Well, there is also a preeeety borderline racist football coach who says “your people” constantly. Of course, es un gringazo

The show is binge material and is getting some committed fans.

Credit: blingeandbrilliant / Instagram

The show has some amazing rhythm. Even though the scripts follow a schematic three-act structure and it has some risas grabadas that are frankly very annoying, “Mr. Iglesias”is totally binge-worthy. The episodes run just under 30 minutes and are fast-paced and full of adorable moments. We don’t blame this Instagram user for bringing the whole show in a night…. we wonder they had cara de zombie the next day, eh?

It is hard to predict whether there will be a second season, but we think there will!

Credit: MrIglesiasNetflix / Instagram

Netflix does not usually release viewership numbers, so the second season is not a done deal. We can predict, however, that this show has some legs, and Netflix would take a lot of heat if they cancel yet another Latino-themed show after the criticism they faced when canceling “One Day at a Time.” With the Latino market in the United States and overseas being a clear player in budgeting and projects, we can predict that “Mr. Iglesias”is here to stay. 

Netflix is pretty committed to Gabriel Iglesias, a top Latino talent.

Credit: Netflix

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias has a highly popular stand-up comedy act in “One Show Fits All,” where he talks about the many tribulations of being a person of color in this day and age, as well as some funny Mexican traditions and body positivity. He is not fat, he says, he is simply fluffy. 

Here is what you need to know about Gabriel Iglesias.

Credit: MrIglesiasNetflix / Instagram

He was born Gabriel Jesus Iglesias, in San Diego, so he is a true son of Mexican-American culture. He and his five siblings were raised by a single mom. He spent his childhoods in struggling Californian communities such as Compton, Baldwin Park and lastly Long Beach, where “Mr. Iglesias”is set. His comedic influences are diverse: Paul Rodriguez, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams, and the disgraced Bill Cosby.

Recognize his voice from “Padre de familia”, that awesome “Family Guy” special?

Credit: Family Guy / Fox

In 2007, Gabriel Iglesias voiced an entire Mexican family in the hilarious sixth season episode of Family Guy, simply titled “Padre de familia”. And if you are a fan of kitschy films, he also plays a super funny character in the male stripper saga Magic Mike (we just can’t get over how he moves sus lonjas doing a Carmen Miranda impression).

READ: Here Are 20 Reasons Why You Need To Stop Sleeping On Gabriel ‘Fluffy’ Iglesias

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Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Things That Matter

Gabriel Fernandez’s Mother, Pearl Fernandez, Is Trying to Have Her Murder Conviction Thrown Out

Photos: State of California, Gabriel’s Justice/Facebook

Gabriel Fernandez’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, is trying to have her murder conviction thrown out. The 37-year-old woman has been in jail since 2018 for the murder and torture of her eight-year old son.

Pearl Fernandez is petitioning the court for resentencing, hoping to have her first-degree murder and/or second-degree murder charges thrown out.

Fernandez is hoping to have her sentence vacated based off of new changes to the California state penal code. “I think that she feels that somehow maybe, you know, the special circumstance will be dismissed or maybe she’ll have a chance that the D.A. will agree with the petition,” Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said to CBSLA.

In June 2018, a judge sentenced Pearl Fernandez to life without parole. The judge charged Pearl Fernandez with the 2013 torture and killing of her eight-year-old son, Gabriel Fernandez.

On May 22, 2013, Gabriel Fernandez died after suffering a fatal beating from his mother. Pearl Fernandez was allegedly angry that he didn’t clean up his toys.

The details of Pearl and her boyfriend’s lengthy torture campaign against Gabriel Fernandez are both gruesome and numerous. Over the course of his eight-month stay with Isauro Aguirre, the couple broke his bones, burned him with cigarettes, pepper-sprayed him, and forced him to eat his own vomit as well as animal feces. And that is just a short-list of what they did.

The case came to national attention after the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez“. The documentary shone a spotlight on the insidious nature of child abuse. It also highlighted the systematic failures of the social services system that fails to protect children.

Elected officials have expressed their disgust at Pearl Fernandez for trying to escape justice by taking advantage of updated laws.

“The policies and directives from my office and these new laws created by the Legislature are emboldening murderers of children to apply to be re-sentenced,” said Deputy DA Hatami to City News Service. “This is completely unfair to the surviving families and their loved ones.”

He continued: “Families now have to relive all the horror that was perpetrated upon a small and helpless child. Based upon all the evidence presented at the grand jury, which was made public, and the jury trial, Pearl Fernandez was a major participant in the torture and murder of little Gabriel.”

It seems obvious by the fact that Pearl Fernandez is trying to get out of jail after torturing her son to death, that she isn’t remorseful about her actions.

Any other mother who killed her son would probably want to spend the rest of her life in jail instead of trying to find a way to get out of it.

If you believe someone you know is experiencing–or committing–child abuse, there are resources to help. Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. Staying vigilant could help save a child like Gabriel Fernandez.

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Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Entertainment

Regé-Jean Page Is Leaving ‘Bridgerton’ and We’re Devastated

Courtesy Netflix

There is some very bad news for “Bridgerton” fans. On Friday, Netflix announced that Regé-Jean Page is not returning for the second season of the smash-hit Shondaland series. Regé-Jean Page played the dashing Duke Simon Basset in the first season.

Netflix told the world that Regé-Jean Page would not be returning to “Bridgerton” via a statement written in the voice of Lady Whistledown.

“While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton’s quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings. We’ll miss Simon’s presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family,” Lady Whistledown wrote.

They also added: “Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer – more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear.”

Apparently, it was Regé-Jean Page’s decision not to return to the multicultural costume drama.

Although the role of duke Simon Basset shot Page to stardom, he feels that it’s now time for him to move onto bigger and better things. In an interview with Variety, Page said that Bridgerton producers always told him that his role would be a “one-season arc” with a “beginning, middle, end”.

“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series,” said Page. “I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”

According to Bridgerton producers, the next season will largely revolve around Anthony Bridgerton (played by Jonathan Bailey) as he tries to nab the love of his life.

Unfortunately, that storyline doesn’t seem quite as appealing to Bridgerton fans who loved to stare at Regé-Jean Page’s face for hours on end.

“Well, not sure what the point of watching this now,” said one disgruntled Twitter user. “We all know that Simon was the reason why most of us were watching this :/”

Fans of the book series, however, were much quicker to jump to Regé-Jean Page’s defense.

“Guys, each season is about one brother/sister, first season was about Daphne, second season will be about Anthony!” wrote another fan. “Simon won’t be the main character as he was. Accept Anthony and Kate [the new love interest]”. They added later: “The name [of the show] is ‘Bridgerton’ not Duke of Hastings.”

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