Entertainment

“Gente-Fied” Tackles Gentrification In Boyle Heights With Jokes (And Some Awkward Gringos)

Credit: YouTube / Gente-Fied Macro

If you’re at all familiar with Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood, you know that it’s 1) predominantly Mexican, and 2) gentrifying with the quickness. Like, small family businesses transforming into artisanal kombucha-infused paleta stands level gentrification.


That change and the people it’s impacting are at the forefront of a new web series executive produced by America Ferrera. “Gente-Fied” follows seven people as they live and love and laugh and argue with this one Guatemalan dude in Boyle Heights. Director Marvin Lemus, who co-wrote “Gente-Fied” with Linda Yvette Chavez, went into this with the goal of creating a series that offers something different from Hollywood’s portrayals of us, as you know, This One Dude, Every Time.


The show describes its cast as a mix of “young Latinxs with bi-­cultural tastes, hustling to create spaces in their community that celebrate their Chicanx identities” and “old­-school paisanos and business owners trying to make sense of the changes that are threatening their livelihoods.” Each episode will be from the point of view of a different cast member as they make their way through the neighborhood. Check ’em out:

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.45.36 PM
Credit: YouTube / Gente-Fied Macro

Also, thanks in advance to the series for showing the world what not to say when eating Mexican food:

Credit: Twitter / AmericaFerrera

*cringing forever*


READ: This Is How You Don’t Talk About Gentrification

What do you think, will you be checking this out? And are you more of a Selena or a “Lupe Ontiveros loca chick”? 

I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

Entertainment

I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

gentefied / Instagram

Guys, this. is. crazy. Two people claim that I look like Carlos Santos from Netflix’s new series “Gentefied.” Que honor! I mean, whatever, it was my wife’s tía who said I look like him and my wife.

Check it out, y’all.

Credit: ofcourseitscarlos / Instagram

I mean, I totally see it and there is no way I can be biased.

Carlos Santos, If you need me to do your stunts or stand in for you when you eat a taco or bite into a torta ahogada, just let me know, homie. I’m ready for Hollywood, cabrón.

Enough about me being famous and extremely handsome. I’m here to let your booty know if it’s worth it to sit through ten episodes of “Gentefied.”

Here’s the premise of the show:

Two feuding cousins struggle to keep their abuelo’s taco restaurant afloat. All the while, the threat of gentrification, and the emergence of young hipster customers force the traditional taco joint to adapt to survive. 

I grew up in Huntington Park, California and this show should be praised for how it handles complicated themes. From gentrification to Chicano identity and the struggles of lower-income families, the show reminds me un chingo of my hood, my childhood, and even my present-day life. “Gentefied” took the stuff I grew up dealing with, and found a way to present it in the context of a comedy series. But, make no mistake, you will cry while watching this show because you will see your own community represented.

Casimiro (A Traditional Compa in Changing Times)

Recognize this dude? Of course! You know he looks like your abuelo. I know he looks a lot like my abuelo. The casting for Casimiro (the abuelo and taco restaurant owner on the show) is perfection. This viejo knows how to make you cry.

For starters, Casimiro is still in love with his deceased wife, Delfina, and you’ll catch him getting sentimental thinking about her every now and then. My heart was not ready for that kind of love and the tragedy of his character is already implied in his name. “Casi”-“miro,” Spanish for “nearly sees,” because this poor character’s conflict throughout the show is his struggle to hang on to his tradition and values while keeping an eye on the ever-changing present and trying to adapt.

Casimiro is surrounded by change. Rent going up. Menus evolving to catch the attention of young customers. Rich developers swooping in on Boyle Heights and buying up property as the city quickly becomes a hot spot. You’ll have to watch the series to see if this sweet old abuelo can keep up with everything happening around him.

Gay Representation & Struggling Artists: HEY, GURL, HEEEY!

The queer topic is still highly taboo in Latino culture. We don’t talk much about it, at least not with older generations of Latinos. Even though LGBTQ+ rights made huge strides leading up to 2016 and shows like “Queer Eye” are beloved in the mainstream, older Latino generations still have reservations and a hard time accepting queer family members.

In the show, Karie Martin, plays Anna Morales, a queer muralist/painter. Morales gets caught between her protesting girlfriend’s war against the gentrifiers and Casimiro and family’s attempts to keep the business alive. Anna is a struggling artist with a heart of gold but her storyline gets deep when she finds herself being commissioned by the very developers who are out to buy up her neighborhood. The drama gets thicc, fam.

The show raises a lot of moral questions about making pure art versus profit, and how artists can sometimes end up putting aside their values because sometimes you gotta pay the bills. Definitely watch how this plays out. You definitely want to keep an eye out on episode 5. It’s a gem and gives a little insight into the queer struggle amongst Latinos.

The “Not Mexican Enough and Not American Enough” Issue

Back Carlos Santos, who plays Chris on “Gentefied.” Chris is the grandson of Casimiro and is trying to get out of the hood so he can become a 5-star Michelin chef. His family refers to him as a “coconut,” which is what you call someone who’s brown on the outside, but gringo af on the inside.

Throughout the show, Chris’s Mexican identity is always put into question. His coworkers literally make him take a “Mexi-test” to see if he passes as a true Mexican. His family cracks jokes about his hipster tastes. Yet, in the face of his Caucasian boss, Chris is basically another brown dude, with a little bit of skill in the kitchen.

I can relate, like so many. I was born here. So, yes, I like Tame Impala. I like sushi. However, arroz y frijoles has my heart and so does Selena. Chris’s character represents an identity many children born to immigrant parents might sympathize with. Our struggle is we never feel like we belong, but we can take comfort in the fact that shows like “Gentefied” are shining a light on this identity. You’re not alone. If you think you need to pick a side and choose which nationality you rep more Latino or American, this show encourages you to be both and celebrate your intersectional identity.

Latina Moms

Look, I don’t want to spoil anything, but when you get to episode eight, “Women’s Work,” you’re going to get a strong urge to knock on your mom’s doors and cry-hug her. Anna’s mom on the show played by Laura Patalano is everyone’s mom. She is a queen and a true icon. She is sarcastic. She is harsh. You end up respecting her or at least sympathizing with her by the end of the series. I could write an entire book on this character.

So, should you watch “Gentified”? Yes.

Not only is the series enjoyable to watch and will keep you carcajeando like your crazy tía when she forgets to take her medicine, but the characters are very well-developed, their story arcs join up beautifully, and you will fight back tears because this show hits home emotionally. As an extra incentive, some of your favorite mitú friends make appearances in the show: shout out to Jenny Lorenzo and Scar. A special shout out to Steph O. who worked behind-the-scenes.

Get binging, cabrones. And let us know what you think.

READ: Julissa Calderon And Annie Gonzalez On How ‘Gentefied’ Is Offering Empowerment And Representation In This New TV Era

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

Entertainment

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

The…
Proud…
Family…
What?

Get ready Disney + streamers, an old favorite is coming back around.

A recent announcement by Disney + revealed that the online streamers has greenlighted “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”

According to Deadline, Disney + has greenlit the return of the early 2000s Disney Channel series. No airdate has been announced BUT so far we do know that the streamer intends to bring back the original cast and executive producers of the show.

In a statement about the return of the series, original series creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar said that in their “minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell. It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Disney Channel had an iconic moment during the 1990s and early 2000s. The channel gave use Disney Original Movies that we still remember to this day. Not to mention, the network was pumping out some of the best TV shows animated and live-action. One of those shows that will always be in our mind is “The Proud Family.”

Let’s start with singing along to one of the most iconic theme songs of TV history.

Brought to you by none other than Solange and Destiny’s Child, “The Proud Family” theme song is something you will never forget. Be honest. As soon as this song started playing, all of the words have come flooding back to you and you’re singing along.

This show brought Black culture to the Disney audience like never before.

There is a reason that people are so connected to the show. It was fun, authentic, and delivered by the best cast imaginable.

Of course, so many of us clung to the Afro-Latino Boulevardez family.

Credit: The Proud Family / Disney

LaCienega Boulevardez was one of Penny’s closest friends and her neighbor. Her parents, Felix and Sunset Boulevardez, along with her abuelo Papi, were always involved with the shenanigans with the Proud family one way or the other. It was a moment in time when we were able to see an Afro-Latino family represented like every other family but with two cultures instead of one.

And it wasn’t until we were older that we got the joke about their names.

Credit: calvinstowell / Twitter

La Cienega and Sunset boulevards are major roads in Los Angeles and La Cienega deadends into Sunset in West Hollywood. That’s right. The daughter and mother from the Boulevardez family are named after two major LA roads.

Alisa Reyes gave her voice to LaCienega Boulevardez.

Credit: alisareyes / Instagram

The “All That” cast member is the woman behind the iconic Disney cartoon character. Since the show, Reyes has continued acting and has become a musician. If you want to check out her music, you can check out her video for her single “Sexy Hot” here.

Sunset Boulevardez was voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera.

Credit: maria_cb / Instagram

Before “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” Canals-Barrera was Sunset Boulevardez. Honestly, one of the most iconic Disney moms ever.

Who else knew that Carlos Mencia was the voice behind Felix Boulevardez.

Credit: arlosmencia / Instagram

Now that I listen to it, I can definitely hear it. It wasn’t long after the start of “The Proud Family” that Mencia’s career really took off.

LaCienega Boulevardez holds a very important place in television history, even if she had big feet.

It was one of the first times young Afro-Latina viewers could see themselves finally represented on television. The character existing on a children’s cartoon show makes it even more impactful. It is a storyline and identity so rarely seen on television at the time.

The show included Afro-Latino celebrities into the story with well-placed cameos.

Who could possibly forget Mariah Carey playing Mariah Carey? Her pet monkey François was sick and, fortunately, Dr. Trudy Proud was able to help Carey’s pet get better.

In the time of reboots and revivals, it is nice to go back and revisit some of your faves exactly as they were. All these years later, “The Proud Family” continues to be one of those shows we all love and remember.

Who else remembers watching “The Proud Family” when they were younger?