It’s taken a long time, but it appears Latino characters are slowly starting to make their way into both network television and streaming online shows. From Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globe darling Jane Villanueva to Gael Garcia Bernal’s Rodrigo De Souza, here are some of the Latino TV characters making us proud.
Jane Villanueva of Jane the Virgin (Gina Rodriguez)
CREDIT: Jane the Virgin / CW
The beloved Jane is a Latina character who doesn’t rely on heavy accents or maid costumes. Gina Rodriguez plays a witty Latina who is focused on her goals. But, she’s got to grapple with bringing to full term a baby that she was accidentally inseminated with. Yea, wrap your head around that last sentence. #AsiEslaVida
Laurel Castillo of How to Get Away with Murder (Karla Souza)
CREDIT: How to Get Away With Murder / ABC
Mexican actress Karla Souza plays the sharp and intrepid Laurel Castillo, who has both the wits to aide her law professor in solving court cases, as well as an under-the-radar darkness that keeps viewers on their toes. Laurel’s last name made us question if she had Latina roots, and the show answered our hypothesis when she was shown in a flashback with her Spanish-speaking Florida family.
Rodrigo de Souza of Mozart in the Jungle (Gael García Bernal)
CREDIT: Mozart in the Jungle / Amazon Studios
Gael Garcia Bernal’s character Rodrigo De Souza, an eccentric conductor trying to keep the magic of symphony orchestra alive, is based off the real-life Latino conductor who is bringing the joy of classical music to thousands: Gustavo Dudamel. So it was a double 👏 👏 that Gael won a Golden Globe for his performance! A real “si se puede” moment.
Alonzo Gutierrez of American Crime (Benito Martinez)
CREDIT: American Crime / ABC
The first season of this ABC network show featured several Latino characters. However, we couldn’t be particularly proud of them since they were having run-ins with the law. Benito Martinez’s character, Alonzo Gutiérrez, stood out from the bunch though as the hardworking and dedicated father of character Tony.
Daya of Orange is the New Black (Dascha Polanco)
CREDIT: Orange is the New Black / Netflix
Dascha’s character Dayanara “Daya” Diaz has an intriguing backstory and storyline in OITNB. Although drugs are involved with her character’s history, the circumstances surrounding her story still make us proud. And of course, OITNB has brought a whole host of Latinas – Diane Guerrero, Jackie Cruz among them – into the spotlight. We applaud that!
Chava of Club de Cuervos (Luis Gerardo Méndez)
CREDIT: Club de Cuervos / Netflix US & Canada
Netflix made the push into Latin America by premiering its first Spanish-language series, Club de Cuervos. The comedy stars Luis Gerardo Méndez as Chava, a spoiled party boy who inherits his late father’s club soccer team. Despite having more experience partying with players than managing a huge corporation, Chava swears he has ALL the right answers (spoilers: he doesn’t). Futbol and #Netflixandchill? We’re in!
Harlee Santos of Shades of Blue (Jennifer Lopez)
CREDIT: Shades of Blue / NBC
J.Lo is back on the small screen, everyone!!! This time, as tough NY detective Harlee Santos. After years of doing not-quite-by-the-book police work, Santos has to do whatever it takes to protect her family. We know Jenny from the Block kicks ass in real life (fashion, live dance routines, being a fierce #cougar), and now we’re excited to see her do it on TV.