At least, we had one season of Cristela.

(ABC Network)

(ABC Network)

I hate that Cristela was cancelled.

I’m one of those viewers who watched and thought: “Finally, a show that represents me.”

I know, you’re probably thinking, “What about George Lopez, Ugly Betty, American Family, Jane the Virgin etc.?”

As great as those shows were, they didn’t resonate with me the way Cristela did. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the show and was surprised at how closely I could relate. It’s like this show represents those of us who have dreams, but haven’t had a chance to reach them yet.

Cristela had this dream of becoming a lawyer, but she needed her family’s help to get there. She needed time to build her career and that theme is very universal. I mean, we’ve all been there at some point in our life? So it surprises me that the show was cancelled.

This show may be “traditional” in the way that it represents Latinxs, but some of us come from those families. I know, I do. Cristela was made for people who dream of something better.

I’m sorry Cristela Alonzo felt so much pressure from the Latinx community to represent everyone. The truth is that this was one of the many voices in the Latinx community, just like the other shows(I mentioned above) were.  I hope, in the future, there will be other shows…other voices to represent those that are still silent…those waiting their turn to be heard.

You can read Cristela Alonzo’s letter to her fans here. I highly recommend reading it down to the bottom. It made me cry a little. Yeah, I’ll admit.

Thank you, Cristela Alonzo, for creating a show that represented your lived experience. I’m glad you got the chance to share, because it’s nice to see a reflection of yourself on tv every now and again.

Here’s a clip from a great show you weren’t watching:

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Diversity on Television

This is a topic I have wanted to talk about for a while now. I feel like right now there is so much diversity on television, and it makes me happy. Is it enough? Hell, no. However, it’s  a start.

So this is going to be short. I’m going to list a bunch of 2014-2015 television shows, and tell you why I love the show and what I find problematic with the show. Here is something I want you to remember that I think a lot of people forget: You can love/like a show, and still have issues with what is problematic with the show.

I am only going to list what I find problematic with characters/shows that have Latin@s on them. I don’t feel I should comment on something that isn’t from my own community. However, I will still point out what I love.

Jane The Virgin, Mondays at 8pm (CW)

jane-the-virgin

 

What I love: Jane’s grandmother speaks to her in Spanish. Jane replies in English. Jane struggles to speak Spanish, but she obviously understands it fluently. On the show, you occasionally see her struggle to say something in Spanish to her grandmother.

You don’t understand how much it means to me to see something like this on television. Growing up my parents would talk to me in Spanish, but I ALWAYS responded in English.  I honestly, don’t believe I am the only one out there who grew up this way, which is why it means so much to me.

Also, this show is supper funny. The characters are outrages and over the top. Gina Rodriguez is amazing. You should also check out Filly Brown, while you are at it. She’s amazing in it. I think, it’s still on Netflix instant play.

What’s problematic: I would say the usual. What do I mean by the usual? We have light skin people of color on television with European features.  This show is only 6 episodes in…I hope I see some diversity within the Latin@ spectrum.

Cristela, Fridays at 9pm (ABC)

Cristela

What I love: Aside from the fact I can relate to this show on a personal level, the show does a great job at demonstrating microaggressions.  Cristela combatants the microaggressions with humor, and I think it’s important to see that on television.

What’s problematic: Honestly, there’s a lot. Instead of listing everything, I’m going to list what comes to mind first. The way Alberto consistently pursues Cristela, even though she is not interested. I hate this trope. I wish for once a woman says no, and the man backs off. (Yes, I know it happens. It just doesn’t happen enough). Secondly, the Halloween episode. They didn’t differentiate Halloween and Day of the Dead. They made it seem as though it fell on the same day, and that people sitting around on Day of the Dead telling ghost stories.

Black.ish, Wednesday’s at 9:30 on ABC

280.16x9

 What I love: I love this show, because it talks about the in between space, which isn’t something I have ever seen talked about in my life. It’s also something I can REALLY relate to. The show specifically address issues pertaining to the black community about not being “black enough.” The first episode is focuses on that, but it’s not the only thing they talk about. It is a Family show that  addresses family issues. The only differences is they don’t erase the fact that this is a black family whose black identity navigates the way they interact and see the world.

What’s problematic: I did some research, and although this particular video is outdated (meaning they made this video before the show came out). I still want to post it. They brought up stuff I never had to think about because of my own privileges. Also, I watched a few other of their videos, and I like their channel.

(I wrote the first portion before I researched the “What’s problematic” section. /I wrote this article in the course of a few weeks).

Coming in January 2015

Fresh off the Boat 

I am looking forward to watching this show. This show will be the first Asian American comedy, since All-American Girl.  This is long over due for a community that is completed ignored in the media.

All in all, the lack of diversity on tv is really ugly. I’m happy things are starting to change, and I hope they continue to change. We need shows like this, as much as we need characters of color on other tv programs.

 

As much as I love Cristela and Jane the Virgin, I don’t want to be separated from other television shows. Yes, I love shows that center around my culture, but that’s NOT all I want to watch. I want shows that are inclusive to communities color, including my own. I want to watch television just like everyone else, and see something other than  white people on television.

 

Instead of Said or Instead of Tropes (Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix)

Horrorstor_final_300dpi

Horrorstör introduces readers to  a character named Amy who works in retail after dropping out of college. She’s a slacker and behind on rent. So she reluctantly agrees to  watch the store at night with her boss and a co-worker. They believe vandals are some how getting into the store at night and destroying property. However, things do not turn out exactly as they thought. Obviously, the book’s title and cover gives away the fact that supernatural activity takes place at night.

This isn’t the scariest horror book, but it’s a good start. If you are new to the horror realm in reading, this is one book you might want to consider. I wasn’t scared, however, there were times I (for lack of a better way of saying this) was gross out. It can get a little gory and a little gross, but it is manageable.  It kept me entertained and reading, which is a lot more than i can say for some other books. The cover might be a little more frightening than the book itself. I gave Horrorstör  three stars on goodreads. I may want to go back and read it someday, but I wouldn’t buy it.

As far as criticisms go, Grady Hendrix needs to consider alternatives to “said.” I’m usually not picky when books overuse “said” but he took it to a new level. Also, he needs to understand if you are going to write characters of color stay away from tropes or at least be careful of how you use them.  I swear if a Latino/a character existed in the novel the character would have been an immigrant. For example, the boss is black, he’s in his early 20’s, and comes from the inner city. He had  a hard life, and he is now raising his kid sister. Then there is the Asian American girl who is not only hyper-sexualized, but also has a streak of her hair dyed. This way everyone knows  she is rebellious.

On the bright side, Hendrix has a chance to rectify these tropes and make these characters complex. Horrorstör has been picked up for a TV series. Here’s to hoping for complexity  (for the characters of color) and less…said.

The link to his book being picked up as a TV series is below:

http://deadline.com/2014/10/grady-hendrix-horrorstor-novel-tv-series-gail-berman-the-jackal-group-864211/