Entertainment

The ‘On My Block’ Cast Acts Like A Family When They Are Off The Set And It’s Amazing

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We all know Netflix has been crushing it with messages of racial injustice, minority perspectives, and casting more diverse actors. The streaming platform has a long line of diverse characters with shows like Dear White People, She’s Gotta Have It, and a slew of Spanish Language Netflix Originals. On My Block (OMB) is one of the shows that Netflix users have not been able to get enough of.

It tells the story of the tightest group of friends coming up into high school on the East Side of Los Angeles and touches on topics of gang violence, gender expectations, and how family ties can make or break you if you let them. More importantly, the cast is non-white and gives us a strong Afro-Latina lead.

On My Block is the most-binged show on Netflix of 2018.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

According to their own data, it tops the list of Original shows with the highest watch time per sitting. That means when people sit down to watch OMB, they can’t stop for a lot longer than other shows. It was followed up with Season 2 of Making a Murderer and 13 Reasons Why.

Diego Tinoco is probably the biggest break out star of the whole show.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

While others have had other gigs before, playing Cesar Diaz, the little bro of a major gang leader, is Tinoco’s first starring role. Though you might recognize him from one episode of Teen Wolf.

Tinoco would have wanted to be a writer if he wasn’t an actor.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

He says he’s a lot like his character, Cesar, in that they’re both hopeless romantics and in love with the idea of love. Though he would not have wanted to become an architect.

He set off to chase his dream right after high school.

CREDIT: @diegotinoco / Instagram

In an emotional post, Tinoco revealed a bit about his past:

“Risked everything, for the chance of nothing. Left my life back home to try and start a new one someplace else. Straight out of high school, with nothing but a dream and a passion for it. I’ve lost a lot of great people, but have also met a whole ton of incredible souls. I feel so incredibly blessed, & this feeling is still so surreal and bewildering. Honored and proud to have accomplished all this my first year out in LA. Only want to continue to strive and grow as an artist, and contribute good things as a human being. Love this cast with all my heart.”

Sierra Capri dreamed of working in forensics before she took a stab at Hollywood.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

It wasn’t until her junior year at Armstrong State University that she decided to audition for some gigs. She has zero acting lessons under her belt and is just pure raw talent.

Capri is a mega activist for immigrants.

CREDIT: @sierracapri / Instagram

She volunteers with the Refugee Assistance Project and CHLA. In the show, her character Monsé is a headstrong young woman who has been fighting to keep her relationship with Cesar a secret to maintain the ‘family’ and her image.

Capri can take a nap anywhere.

CREDIT: @onmyblocktv / Instagram

In an interview with Celebrity Haute Spot, Tinoco shares a behind-the-scenes secret. “Hmm. Sierra Capri can take a nap anywhere at any time. I admire it. It’s like a superpower haha.”

Her and actor Brett Gray sing Demi Lovato songs at 4 a.m.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

The two seem *especially* close and while many speculated they were dating, his most recent post calls her “the most beautiful sis.” Ok. Fine then. I ship it though.

Brett Gray worked as a clerk at ACME market before being cast on OMB.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

We know him as Jamal, the nerd of the group obsessed with finding hidden treasure from a lost business endeavor “RollerWorld.” Actor Brett Gray had a few spots with Law and Order: Special Victims Unit before he was perfectly cast as Jamal.

Gray is obsessed with Selena.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

He posted this stunning photo of Selena on the anniversary of her death with this caption:

“Anyone who knows me knows this woman is my first inspiration. The person I want to be and performer I want to be has been shaped by her career and music and daring to do what others thought she couldn’t. Rest in power.

Selena Quintanilla-Pérez 👑

April 16, 1971 – March 31, 1995”

He turns 22 on January 13, 2019.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Yup, the whole cast is barely drinking age, and are slaying the high school looks. Diego (Cesar) is 21 years old, Jason (Ruby) is 22 years old, and Ronni Hawk is just 19 years old.

Gray just dropped a single.

CREDIT: @iambrettgray / Instagram

Caption: “Wow wow wow wow wow…. So much love. I’m so grateful.

This EP was my first musical endeavor and there were so many ups and downs. Between me pushing myself too hard, not pushing enough, being insecure, or feeling unworthy of new things. This year was one of tremendous gain, some loss, some love, some love misplaced, heartache, and back to strength again. All themes of this project. A sonic remembrance of an easier time in life. It’s yours now. ”

Jason Genao is Dominican-American and from Jersey.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Genao plays Ruby, the most ambitious and persuasive member of their friend family, and Genao has a lot in common with his character. He’s always known he wanted to be an actor and has had the most experience out of anyone in the core cast. He has been cast in star roles in Netflix Original series The Get Down and in the superhero drama show Logan.

Genao is an activist támbien, the latest face of the NOH8 campaign for LGBTQ rights.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

He says that if he didn’t become an actor, he would have wanted to be a chef or a medical examiner. Regardless, he would stand up for equality. We’re glad he has this platform to do that.

Jasmine just got bumped to the main cast.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Let’s be honest. While Jessica Marie Garcia’s character is in the peripheral for most of Season 1, she brings us the most jajas. We’re so happy we can expect to see a lot more of her.

The actress may play kind of a slob on OMB but she’s a total Queen IRL.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

Also, you can probably tell that she just got married. But not to the cast. To another very tall man.

You might recognize her from How to Get Away With Murder.

CREDIT: @jess_m_garcia / Instagram

In the show, she plays Rhonda Navarro, a member of Annalise Keating’s Legal clinic and has been in four episodes so far. Check her out being serious and all.

Ronni Hawk started out as a ballerina.

CREDIT: @ronnihawk / Instagram

Hailing from Boca Raton, Florida, she trained at the Boca Ballet Theatre until she started modeling in commercial and print campaigns at the age of 12. You might recognize her as Rachel Diaz from Stuck in the Middle, or from one of her many national commercials with Bank of America, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Target, and Kohls.

The show won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Show.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

There’s no wonder why. The show has incredible actors that bring to life the real stories of what it’s like to grow up brown and black in America.

You better believe it’s renewed for a second season.

CREDIT: @jason.genao / Instagram

It was never really a question, with reviews like Matt Seitz from New York Magazine:

“One of the many remarkable things about this series is how it folds crime and the awareness of potential violence into everyday life, which is something white sitcoms never do unless it’s a Very Special Episode.”


READ: These 11 Moments From ‘On My Block’ Are Some Of The Realest Latino Moments Captured On Film

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13 Reasons Why Latinos Will Miss Seeing Their Stories In ‘Jane The Virgin’

Entertainment

13 Reasons Why Latinos Will Miss Seeing Their Stories In ‘Jane The Virgin’

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WARNING, SOME VERY CHIQUITO SPOILERS AHEAD! 

The end of one of our favorite shows, Jane the Virgin, is near. For almost five years (it was first aired in 2014) we have followed the adventures of Jane Gloriana Villanueva, our heroine who was wrongly inseminated. Jane’s journey was also related to her career as a writer, a vocation that she tries to follow even though life sometimes gets in the way. The narrative accomplishes something almost impossible to pull off: it makes outrageous telenovela situations feel close to us. The 100th and last ever episode will be aired on July 31st, and fans are getting their tissue box ready for what promises to be a tearful finale. Because we don’t like goodbyes we will start our farewell now. These are some of the reasons why we consider Jane the Virgin to be a watershed moment in the history of Latino representation in mainstream television, and why we will miss Jane, her lovers, her family, and her amazingly quirky son. A llorar se ha dicho

1. Jane the Virgin was finally a show that represented the many complexities of Latino communities in the U.S.: it made us laugh and cry in equal measures.

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There have been some shows about Latinos in the United States, and titles such as Netflix’s Mr. Iglesias seem to be gaining more traction. However, Jane the Virgin could break into the mainstream, escaping the niche denominator of “Latino”. It was wonderful to see the very specific Florida Latinidad represented on the screen. 

2. The show discussed the uncomfortable issue of migration and the perilous path to citizenship. Te queremos, Alba!

Credit: cwjanethevirgin / Instagram

The show touched in one of the main issues that define the Latino experience in the United States: migration. Alba’s citizenship journey was equally stressful and hard to watch, and we are sure it resonated with millions of Latino families in how vulnerable migrants can be before attaining citizenship. A call to action that was also told in a tender, extremely human way. 

3. Jane proudly wore her Latina identity, in her life and literary work.

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Instead of trying to “fit in” with Anglo culture to blend, Jane Gloriana Villanueva embraces and celebrates her Latina identity. From her clothes to her cultural references (Chilean novelist Isabel Allende makes a cameo!) and her literary work, she tries to uncover what Latina identity means today in matters of love, family, sex and professional life. 

4. It showed us that true friendship with your exes and your exes’ exes is possible (you know this is a telenovela, right?)

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Well, maybe this is not that in tune with reality, pero se vale soñar. We love how Petra, Jane, and Rafael find a way to co-parent three cheeky monkeys. 

5. It gave us a strong, independent, queer woman.

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Petra is perhaps the character that developed the most. She went from being a terrible telenovela villana to being a member of the Villanueva clan. Her backstory is fascinating and through the seasons she found a way to discover herself: she is a survivor, and the ultimate way to survive is accepting who she is a powerful queer businesswoman, and a loving mother who allows herself to be vulnerable and ask for help. 

6. It serves us some old-world Latino charm.

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When Jane imagines her romantic epics, and also when Alba tells her life story, we get to see some of the old world Latino charms that have made the romantic narrative a staple of the region. This is also a way to deal with 

7. It provided us with one of the most truthful representations of the joys, frustrations, and awesomeness of parenthood.

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Right from her pregnancy, Jane embodied the shock and delights of motherhood. The show does not give us a vanilla version of how pregnancy sorta wrecks the female body and how hard it is to raise a child. Mateo is Jane’s world, and it is amazing to witness Jane embrace her power, but also her cluelessness as to how to be a mother. Nadie nace sabiendo

8. Four words: Rogelio De La Vega.

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Mexican actor Jaime Camil, a former telenovela heartthrob, found his ideal character in Rogelio De La Vega. He is funny and charming, vulnerable and the best father ever. We would totally watch a spin-off featuring only him! 

9. The genuine chemistry and friendship shared by the cast.

Credit: janethevirginlove / Instagram

Gina Rodriguez and Jaime Camil really do look like father and daughter in this photo. Judging by interviews and their social media accounts (including photos of Gina’s recent wedding), cast members have formed a true family offscreen, which translates into the amazing chemistry we see in the show. 

10. The show is a true picture of the multicultural United States.

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Yes, the cast is primarily Latino or plays Latino characters (even the blonde Michael has a Latino last name: Cordero), but the show has Eastern European, Anglo, Black and even Indian characters. Rather than being insular and only focus on Latinos, it is a mosaic of the cultural diversity of Florida, where the narrative takes place. 

11. Primero la familia: a message that resonated with Latino audiences worldwide.

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Through the show, we are witness to the perpetuation of family rituals. The Villanuevas have dinner together, come rain or come shine, and they spend time together even if they are upset at each other. Later in the show, Petra and Jane find a way to create new traditions for Mateo and the twins, unlikely half-siblings who are growing up together. 

12. Simply put, Jane the Virgin is funny as hell.

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Jane the Virgin is a cleverly written comedy that blends huge amounts of drama, very tender and human moments, and gags that are anything but cheap. Every joke or unusual situation in the show reveals something about the characters rather than looking for cheap laughs. For example, when Jane’s life spins out of control she usually becomes very clumsy: the physical comedy reveals characters’ inner state. We can also think of Rogelio’s hilarious gift baskets! (we wouldn’t mind getting one by the way). Or how Petra’s twins often make reference to the creepy duo from the horror film The Shining.

13. But above all, the show gives full agency to female characters, something rare in any TV show.

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In today’s media industry, it is extremely rare for a female-led television show or film to be approved, even more so if the character is a Latina played by a relatively unknown actress. Jane the Virgin was a rarity and a novelty: a sitcom that got pretty dark at times, which offered dialogue in Spanish and was unashamedly influenced by telenovelas. The Villanueva queens and Petra drove the narrative, un matriarcado televisivo like no other. Jane did not make her decisions solely based on what her romantic counterparts demanded: she was in control of her feelings, her sexuality and her experience as a mother. We will miss you, Jane hermosa.

READ: ‘Jane The Virgin’ Actress Opens Up About How Anxiety Kept Her From Showing Up To Set

Remakes Come And Go But Here Are Many Reasons Why Lynda Carter Is The Best Wonder Woman That Will Ever Live

Entertainment

Remakes Come And Go But Here Are Many Reasons Why Lynda Carter Is The Best Wonder Woman That Will Ever Live

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Lynda Carter has forever written her name in Hollywood history thanks to her role as Princess Diana, also known as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince. She played the iconic superhero in a TV show that ran for four years (1975-1979), but her legacy lives on. She was born in 1951 in Phoenix, Arizona. Besides being a great person and an actress, she is also known for being a singer, songwriter, model, and beauty pageant titleholder. Having been born close to the border, it comes as no surprise that she has Latino heritage. 

Here are some of the reasons that make us say that she is the best Wonder Woman in history (sorry, Gal Gadot, absolutely no disrespect to you!). Reading her story one can’t stop but think of the words that Antiope told Diana in the Wonder Woman movie: “You are stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know.”

She is genuinely a good human being.

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Just take this photo as an example. Here, she is all smiles with her successor, Israeli sensation Gal Gadot. She doesn’t seem to be too fussed about pasar la batuta and is like the aunt we all wish we had in wishing happy birthday to the new Mujer Maravilla

She is proud of her Mexican heritage.

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Yes, that’s right. Her full name is Linda Jean Córdova Carter! Her dad has Irish-Scottish heritage, and her mom Juanita was the daughter of a Mexican family. 

She married the love of her life, a romantic role-model for us all.

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Just a few human beings are lucky enough to find the love of their life. Lynda married talent agent Ron Samuels in 1977, but the marriage only lasted five years. She then met her everything: lawyer Robert A. Altman, who she married in 1984. After the wedding, she left Hollywood in 1985 and moved to Washington. The couple has two children: James and Jessica. 

She embodied women’s new role in society.

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Lynda has always been a great supporter of women’s rights, and she takes every opportunity, such as International Women’s Day, to sat so. After all, she embodied an amazing female superhero in a day and age when women were trying to break free from the manacles of traditional gender roles. 

She is an ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Carter often attends Pride Marches and has used her standing as a cultural icon in the United States to speak out against discrimination. She was the Grand Marshal for the 2011 Phoenix Pride Parade and the 2011 New York Pride Parades. She had the same role in the 2013 Capital Pride Parade in Washington. She has said: “Every gay reader understands the secret self that is full and wonderful and has longing and tenderness and a desire for connection to other people. I think that arguments against gay marriage are just ridiculous! Who cares? People want to get married for the same reason I wanted to get married. They want to do it in front of their friends and family.” 

She is super friendly with fans.

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Even if she left Hollywood in 1985 to raise her family, Lynda Carter is currently a constant feature in fan conventions and Comic-Con events across the country. She is truly different from many of those arrogant celebrities who see fans as a necessary evil. Lynda, on the contrary, is happy to sign autographs and smile for the occasional fan selfie. We love you, Lynda! 

She has recovered from alcohol and drug addiction and helps others stay on the wagon.

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Showbiz brings many pressures and temptations both to those who are looking for a breakthrough and for those who have established a career. Lynda is a recovering alcoholic who found the strength to quit due to her husband’s unmovable support. She stated in an interview: “After 18 years of recovery, I live every day with immense gratitude. I am forever thankful for my family and friends who stood by me and encouraged me… and for those who helped me heal.” This requires true superpowers and belief in oneself. Good for you, Lynda! She has been sober for 20 years and often speaks at events where she encourages others to find their inner strength and do the same. 

She has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame since 2018.

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It kind of sucks that a new version of Wonder Woman had to come out in the cinema for the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to give Lynda Carter her much deserved Hollywood Walk of Fame star. It happened on April 3, 2018, and it was unveiled by Patty Jenkins, the director of the 2018 fantastic superhero feminist extravaganza Wonder Woman

Boys had Superman, girls had the much cooler Wonder Woman.

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It must have sucked to be a girl in the pre-Wonder Woman era when it comes to role models. Boys had plenty to choose from, with the alien Superman being perhaps the most famous of them all. Wonder Woman was much, much cooler though: she belonged to an ancient tribe of Amazon warriors who lived in a matriarchy, and she passed as Diana Prince, a slightly geeky but also a sexy woman. Superman is a nerd in comparison, and don’t get us started on lame Clark Kent. 

She was a hipster before hipsters existed.

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We mean, just look at how she wears those big frames and that cute choker scarf. Giving us Williamsburg vibes from the past! She was goofy and cute and amazing in her 1970s incarnation of Princess Diana. 

She was a body positivity queen.

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In this day and age when the fashion and entertainment industry promotes unhealthy ideals when it comes to body type, it is a good idea to remember Lynda Carter and how sure she was of her womanly body. Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and Lynda Carter just was comfortable in hers. Frame this kickass quote: “My only interest in women’s clothes is what’s underneath them.” 

And now she wears her wrinkles with grace and pride.

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There are few things more empowering than a woman who fills at ease in her body. Carter is 67 and looks stunning: she wears those wrinkles as signs of her wisdom and maturity, as a testament of the many obstacles she has faced in her life, such as recovering from addiction. 

She was a beauty queen and for good reason: brains and looks, she has it all.

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Before becoming a Hollywood celeb, Lynda first captured the country’s imagination as a beauty queen. Carter won a local Arizona beauty contest in 1972, and then went on to win the title of Miss World USA in that same year. 

She has an awesome explanation of why Wonder Woman is an ageless symbol of girl power.

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She says that contrary to other female superheroes, Wonder Woman actually understands female identity. Of other superheroes, she said: “they’re not showcasing any of the tremendous dichotomies that women possess in term of softness and toughness, sweetness and grit, inner and outer strength.” And yes, our dear Princess Diana shows all of these qualities!

READ: Wonder Woman Isn’t The Only Latina Superhero To Be On Display At The Smithsonian In Washington

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