Entertainment

Here’s How A TV Series About Latinos Can Succeed Without Pushing Stereotypes

The CW announced in January that “Jane the Virgin” is being renewed for a fourth season. WOOT! Actually, the show got an early renewal notice, which is a testament to the show’s popularity and success. WOOT! WOOT!



It’s no surprise that the show gets a lot of support from Latinos, but actor Jamie Camil ­believes the show’s true appeal and longevity has a lot to do with its universality.



“The success of Jane is that it’s about human beings, not necessarily a surging demographic,” Camil, who plays Jane’s dad Rogelio, recently told Mic in an interview. “It’s by human beings, for human beings, not just [people of] a certain ethnicity.”



Wait, stop the presses! So, it’s a show about Latinos that isn’t just for Latinos?! Is that even allowed?! You wouldn’t think that wouldn’t be such a revolutionary concept, but it is.



The show, which manages to somehow stay relatable while being broad and sometimes preposterous like any good telenovela, does not pander to the tired Latino stereotypes we’re all so sick of seeing on TV and in the movies.



Instead “‘Jane the Virgin’ portrays Latinos with a lot of respect,” Camil explains. “Just because we’re Latinos doesn’t mean we need to have hot pink houses and piñatas and shout things like, ‘Tacos! Fiestas!’ We’re a powerful Latino cast, the characters are humans and the show is written for a mainstream market.”



The respect in the depiction of Latinos that Camil talks about is evident in his portrayal of Rogelio. Rogelio could so easily come off as a self-centered buffoon, but Camil plays the character with so much nuance, depth and sincerity that you can’t help but fall in love with him. “The audience loves to laugh at the one-liners written for him,” Camil acknowledges, but he goes on to say that Rogelio is a “very well-balanced character. He’s not just a clown who will throw pies at your face.”



Click here to read more about Camil’s interview on Latino representation on Mic.


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Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Entertainment

Lil Nas X’s Next Big Drop Is A Children’s Book Called ‘C Is For Country’

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

Turns out Lil Nas X has more than just country rap up his sleeve. The 21-year-old “Old Town Road” rapper has a penchant for literature too.

On Tuesday, the rapper revealed that he’s written a children’s book called C Is for Country.

“I’m dropping the best kids’ book of all time soon!” the rapper shared in a Tweet earlier this week before adding that he couldn’t “wait to share it” with his fans and young readers.

Nas’s children’s book is being published under Random House Kids, a division of Penguin Random House. It is currently available for preorder on their site.

According to the Random House Kids’ website, the book is a story about Lil Nas X and Panini the pony.

“Join superstar Lil Nas X—who boasts the longest-running #1 song in history—and Panini the pony on a joyous journey through the alphabet from sunup to sundown. Experience wide-open pastures, farm animals, guitar music, cowboy hats, and all things country in this debut picture book that’s perfect for music lovers learning their ABCs and for anyone who loves Nas’s signature genre-blending style,” Random House describes in its explanation.

The book is illustrated by Theodore Taylor III and promises “plenty of hidden surprises for Nas’ biggest fans.”

C Is for County comes out Jan. 5.

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Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

Entertainment

Netflix’s Newest Musical Teen Hit Series Stars a 16-Year-Old Afro-Latina Newcomer

A new teen series has dropped on Netflix that the internet can’t stop talking about. The newest cultural phenomenon that has hit the juggernaut streaming service is a musical series called Julie and the Phantoms, based on the 2011 Brazilian show of the same name.

The series follows a 16-year-old insecure girl named Julie who has lost her love of music after the tragic death of her mother. But with the help of a (stay with us here) band of musical ghosts she stumbles across in her garage, she soon re-discovers her love of singing and performing. Backed by her band of “phantoms”, Julie confidently takes the stage again, blowing everyone away in the process. ,

But the wacky, heartfelt story-line isn’t the only reason people are excited about the show. The buzz around the show is building because its star, 16-year-old newcomer Madison Reyes, is an Afro-Latina singer-actress of Puerto Rican descent.

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Before landing the role of Julie, Reyes was just a regular shmegular Nuyorican girl going to high school in Brooklyn. Needless to say, the process of auditioning for Julie and the Phantoms was both a whirlwind and a game-changer.

“I found out about Julie and the Phantoms through my school. At first I was nervous to send my video in, but after talking to some friends, I sent it in and got a call back,” Reyes told Refinery 29. “From there it was just figuring out when I could fly to L.A. When I finally made it out there, the audition process lasted two days.”

Reyes, for one, understands the burden of her load. “[Julie] is Latin American, she’s got textured hair, she’s a strong and independent female character,” Reyes recently told the LA Times. “As a person of color who wants more diversity [on-screen], I’m kind of scared about the hate comments that I’ve seen other people have to go through, especially women.”

As if having an Afro-Latina actress at the center of a popular Netflix show wasn’t exciting enough, the series is also being helmed by Mexican-American director and all-around legend Kenny Ortega. For those of you unfamiliar with Ortega, he is the creative genius who directed bonafide classics like High School Musical and Hocus Pocus.

Ortega has been publicly effusive in his praise of Reyes. “She has this raw talent that can take on any genre of music, and this promise of greatness that excited everybody,” he told the LA Times. “And yet she’s so relatable and grounded.”

Fans are already calling for a second season after watching the cliffhanger season finale. Reyes, herself, can’t wait to get back in the shoes of Julie. When asked in an interview about where we’ll see her next, she responded: “Hopefully in the next season of Julie and the Phantoms!”. We second that wish.

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