Things That Matter

Love Her Or Hate Her, Netflix’s ‘Knock Down The House’ Gives An Electrifying Account Of AOC’s Political Career From Humble Beginning To Victorious Win

Before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the media obsession of the year, she was an unknown bartender trying to get 10,000 petition signatures to become a candidate for New York’s 14th Congressional District primary race run. AOC was one of many women who answered the call to run after Trump was elected in 2016.

Documentarian Rachel Lears followed four of those progressive women who challenged incumbent Democrats and Republicans for their Congressional seats–creating a New Congress. “Knock Down the House” is the emotional foil to every other depressing political documentary out there. It will inform, inspire and …yes, it will make you cry.

From the opening scenes of AOC getting ready for a political appearance, the undertone is pure feminism.

CREDIT: Netflix

AOC talks about how simple it is for men to run for office. They have two outfit choices: sleeves rolled up or not? Already, on appearances, it’s more work for women.

Witnessing AOC in the early days, going up against all odds, will make you weep.

CREDIT: @_americaG / Twitter

It feels good being on the other side knowing that all those knocked doors, late nights counting petition signatures, and passing out flyers are worth it for you, AOC. She made it for us.

Many folks thought that her win would lose power for the 14th district.

CREDIT: Netflix

Incumbent Crowley was already vying to become Speaker of the House, and had so much seniority, Ocasio had to convince folks her win wouldn’t be a loss.

While AOC was the only successful candidate in the documentary, the work isn’t over for the other women.

CREDIT: @AllieGoardHRC / Twitter

Amy Vilela, whose 22-year-old daughter was denied medical care for lack of insurance and died in the hospital, is still speaking out for healthcare for all. Paula Jean Swearengin is running for West Virginia office once again in 2020.

Cori Bush is running for Missouri’s 1st congressional district again in 2020.

CREDIT: Netflix

Bush is a registered nurse, ordained minister, and mother of two teenagers. Bush was PAC Brand New Congress’s first candidate to support and they’re continuing their support for 2020.

We get to see a young AOC wearing sanitary gloves working her dang job.

CREDIT: Netflix

No doubt that millions of Americans are happy that AOC stayed in the race. She has used her place in Congress to call attention to the inequality that is hindering the growth of people in this nation.

AOC makes a life lesson out of people underestimating her.

CREDIT: Netflix

People think of waitressing and bartending as not a ‘real job,’ but AOC makes the point that it’s trained her to be able to stand on her feet 18 hours a day, take heat, and talk to people.

We also get to see AOC dogwalk Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth most powerful Democrat in Congress.

CREDIT: Netflix

Nobody expected AOC to win. Crowley had been elected since 1999 with no contender. For the first time in 14 years, he had a contender and she won.

Crowley underestimated AOC so much, he sent a representative to give his statements at the only town debate.

CREDIT: Netflix

We got to see stellar footage of AOC shutting it down–dragging Crowley’s vote for the Iraq war, for his position on moving the Israeli embassy to Palestine territory, and for being an absent elected official.

We also got to see AOC passing out flyers with her niece.

CREDIT: Netflix

Folks were walking by telling her niece that she was next, she’d be a Congresswoman one day. This is one of the most touching moments in the documentary. It is so important to keep the younger generation motivated and this is one of those moments that shows the hope for an inclusive future.

The most iconic moment was this:

CREDIT: Netflix

AOC trying to energetically take up space before a local news debate with Joe Crowley. May we all seek to take up space like AOC. We are in a time when we need to be purposeful in taking up space and searching out the space we need to be taking up.

Fans want to mandate every young girl to watch this film.

CREDIT: @Poppy_Elizabeth / Twitter

She did the dang thing. She went up against a white guy in power and actually unseated him without taking a single corporate dollar. Her path to Congress is empowering and important for so many young girls and boys of color.

We got some very cute home videos of AOC cuando era niña.

CREDIT: Netflix

We saw her playing piano in church and seeing her as the only brown girl in her choir. We saw her whole extended family chip in to get them into the burbs.

We got some tender moments reminiscing about AOC’s father, who passed several years ago.

CREDIT: Netflix

She says that her father knew her soul better than anyone else on this planet. When he passed, while she was in college, it turned her life upside down.

It was this event that forced her to quit her non-profit job and work to pay her student loan debt and avoid foreclosing on their family home.

CREDIT: @EmpireofHerrera / Twitter

We can’t imagine the weight of that stress on top of the stress of campaigning (which by the way, is not a paying job) for her community. However, this story is one that is growing in commonality in our community. Young adults of color having to foot bills and hold down jobs to make sure that their families can stay in their homes. This is why we need more people like AOC fighting for families in Congress.

Five days after she was elected, we see her weeping on the steps of the Capitol.

CREDIT: Netflix

She tells us the story of how she elbowed her way into her dad’s road trip with the guys. The ended up at the Capitol and he told her that all of this belongs to us.

The documentary will literally rip the tears from your soul.

CREDIT: @gabeajs / Twitter

We watch AOC in disbelief as she learns she won her campaign. No tears. The only tears we get from AOC are her reflecting on her father’s last words to her: “Make me proud.”

“Knock Down the House” might be inspiring the next wave of women to run for office.

CREDIT: @leveecranes / Twitter

There’s no sugarcoating. These are the challenges faced by women who run for office. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Seeing AOC’s reaction to her win is worth every minute of the emotional journey in “Knock Down the House.”

CREDIT: @voxdotcom / Twitter

Have you seen “Knock Down the House” yet? Comment below with your thoughts!

READ: From College To Congress, Here’s What We Know About AOC’s Longtime Boyfriend

It’s Just Around The Corner! ‘One Day At A Time’ Has An Official Return Date

Entertainment

It’s Just Around The Corner! ‘One Day At A Time’ Has An Official Return Date

Netflix

It’s almost here, mi gente! 

Your favorite Cuban-American family is set to make its second television debut, this time on Pop TV, this coming Spring. After being canceled by Netflix earlier this year, the Alvarez family will prove that Cubanos can withstand just about anything when they return in March 2020 with 13 new episodes. 

Speaking recently about the series, writers for the show have given fans a few hints about what to expect. 

The “One Day At A Time” writer’s room is only a few weeks into creating the series, but they’re proving the show will be back with fervor. 

Netflix

Speaking during a Vulture Festival panel the series’ writers boasted that its new home on Pop TV means some pretty exciting things for the Alvarez family. Now, instead of streaming all at once, the new season will run weekly. 

“We’re so excited!” creator Gloria Calederon Kellett told Vulture during the panel. “We get to have a breath between each episode.” Creators behind the show have said that the decision to do a weekly release schedule comes with the hope that it will mean more consistent audience engagement with the show. Because of the show’s shorter airing window, Pop TV hopes to introduce more topical and poignant storylines. Which is pretty incredible considering the series was already doing that pretty well to begin with. All of this also means that the series will have a more traditional network sitcom runtime and format. I.E.L commercials.

The news was a pretty big surprise to EGOT  Rita Moreno who exclaimed incredulously during the panel: “We’re gonna have commercials?!” 

 “I’m sorry,” Maria Elena Fernandez, a moderator for the Vulture panel replied to Moreno during the reveal. “I didn’t mean to break it to you this way.”

Creators of the show also teased some series storylines which might include seeing  Moreno’s Lydia character falling in love with Dr. Berkowitz who is played by Stephen Tobolowsky.

Earlier this year, when news that Netflix had canceled the critically acclaimed show “One Day at a Time” hit Twitter, many were feared the entire site would be burned down. News that the beloved comedy-drama, which followed the life of a Cuban American family, had officially been canceled spurned various criticisms of Netflix and backlash from the show’s fanbase. Netflix users decried the decision accusing the site of giving POC viewers low priority and nearly no visibility through its shows. Some canceled their Netflix accounts altogether and even started hashtags to do the same. To say the least, fans were devastated.  

So when the TV channel PopTV announced that fans had convinced them enough to save the series and buy it for their own, Latino viewers were beyond elated.

Earlier this fall it became officially official that the Alvarez family is truly returning.

According to an image shared straight from the “One Day At A Time’s” writer’s room, creators of the series are already tapping out the new season’s scripts. On Monday, ODAAT’s series producer Mike Royce posted an image of the series’ sign at their new offices on Twitter. In his post, he revealed that the writers would start working on the show this past Wednesday.

If it’s three other earlier seasons can be any indication, ODAAT’s 4th season will undoubtedly be a major hit. Since its 2017 debut, the series starring EGOT winner Rita Moreno and actress Justina Machado has garnered copious amounts of praise from fans and critics for its portrayal of Latix culture in today’s Post-Trump world. For its work in portraying the trials and tribulations of its diverse LGBTQ+  and Latin American characters. The series has also tackled political issues related to Trump-inspired racist attacks and slurs as well as the portrayal of mental health in the military community. 

When news that PopTV had saved the beloved series, nearly everyone was elated.

No doubt, decisions to buy the show had been motivated by petitions and hashtags to #SaveODAAT. Various Latino names in the entertainment industry began to tweet about the series in support. This included Broadway star and Hamilton hitmaker Lin-Manuel Miranda who posted a series of tweets to his Twitter account to #SaveODAAT as well.

When it was finally announced that the series had been saved by Pop TV the outlet’s president, Brad Schwartz, released a statement saying “How amazing it is to be involved with this brilliant and culturally significant series that deals with important themes one minute while making you laugh the next. We couldn’t be more proud to continue telling heartwarming stories of love, inclusion, acceptance, and diversity that pull on your emotions while putting a smile on your face.”

Needless to say, as pleased as fans are for the new series and its renewal, they really can’t wait.

I mean basically, at this point it is kind of a tragedy that we have to wait. But everyone is still pumped. And for real ready for production and streaming to begin. Because this show is a gift beyond gifts.

With so much representation, there’s literally a character for everyone to feel seen. 

One user in the comments section of Mike Royce’s thread pointed out that the show isn’t just for those who are Latino.”I showed my Cuban spouse the episode not yet yesterday and we were all bawling on the couch frequently pausing for them to talk about how their Mami would also say try again tomorrow and how every time they were in hospital the entire family showed up,” user @danielzklein said. “I’m just saying this show is a god damned gift to the world. How is it so good and so heartfelt and so brave to go to dark places without the copout of a joke at the most intense moment and how is it still so laugh out loud funny the rest of the time.” 

And more importantly, this series is a savior in so many ways.

And not only are we beyond excited that the series means more representation on screen. It also means the Rita Moreno remains employed and on our screens.

Yes to ODAAT and the power of its fans!

Watch: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress Ditches Zombies For Red Lipstick In New Selena Series Trailer

Entertainment

Watch: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress Ditches Zombies For Red Lipstick In New Selena Series Trailer

Netflix

Hold on to your heart, chica. Netflix is coming for it and your tears.

Fans of Tejano music singer Selena Quintanilla are used to talk of production studios wanting to tell her story. Since the “Baila Esta Cumbia” singer’s death in 1995, fans have seen her story retold as a movie starring Jennifer Lopez and a 2018 series by Telemundo. Recently Netflix announced that they were going for the grab on her story, this time with a biographical drama web television series. While fans were treated to updates for “Selena: The Series” throughout the summer and earlier fall, Netflix officially dropped its biggest news yet with a teaser.

And there’s no doubt the nostalgia and passion of it all will make you tear up and ready for some cumbia.

Released on Tuesday, the Netflix series’ trailer teased a first look of actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano Queen in all of her jumpsuit glory.

This past August, Netflix announced that they had cast Serratos, best known for her roles in “The Walking Dead,” “Twilight,” and the Nickelodeon show “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide,” as the beloved Mexican-American singer. In the newly released one-minute trailer, Serratos can be seen channeling Selena’s classic looks as she looks over a script and practices some of the singer’s most recognizable dance moves. Donned in red lipstick, feathered bangs and later Selena’s iconic purple jumpsuit,  Serratos can also be seen greeting the two stars, Ricardo Chavira and Seidy Lopez, playing her parents Abraham and Marcella Quintanilla.

The Netflix teaser trailer ends with someone out of frame calling, “Alright, Christian, We’re ready to shoot” before Serratos gives a smirk to the camera and stepping on stage to sing “Como La Flor.”

The series, which was created with the participation of the Quintanilla family and announced by Netflix last December, has already garnered quite a bit of anticipation online.

 Back in 1997, the casting process for the singer had the Latino community astir for months until it was finally revealed that then-dancer, singer and actress Jennifer Lopez (still known as a triple threat for her moves, voice and acting chops) had earned the role. The Boricua’s casting caused quite the controversy primarily because she was not Mexican. This time around, Netflix kept the controversy in mind while conducting casting. In a recent interview with NBC News, Moisés Zamora– who is the head writer and one of the executive producers for the show– explained how crucial it was for him to ensure Mexican- identity was strongly included in the show.

“I associated her with my family and being Mexican in America,” he told the outlet at the time while highlighting how the younger singer was shaped by her identity of being a woman of Mexican heritage who also grew up in Corpus Christi while speaking English.

For the latest portrayal of Selena, the executive producer was involved in the casting of Serratos, a Latina of both Mexican and Italian descent.

Serratos knows all about breathing life into deceased characters.

AMC

For four seasons she has raged against the undead in “The Walk Dead” and in her earlier career played Angela Webber, friend to Bella Swan lover of vampires, in Twilight.

According to outlets, it’s unclear how the series will tackle Quintanilla’s vocals.

Back when Lopez took her turn as the singer, she was made to lip-sync to Quintanilla’s vocals. We’re pretty sure that if Netflix doesn’t decide to do the same, they’ll be in good hands because Serratos voice is banging. She even sings “Baila Esta Cumbia” in this compilation!

So far fans of Selena are on board with the news.

Of course, while most of the reactions to Serratos casting have been positive the TWD club is a bit worried.

Okay TBH it feels like a worthy sacrifice.

If fans of “The Walking Dead” are this bummed over possibly losing Serratos, that means she must be pretty damn good at taking on great roles. So here’s to Serratos and her new role! Hopefully, for TWD fans she’ll be able to juggle both… if not bidi bidi bom bom.