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Netflix premiered its second season of Gentefied in November, returning with an even more intimate look into the Latinx experience in the US. The second installment of this comedic drama continues to follow the lives of the Moraleses, a multi-generational Mexican family living in Los Angeles.
This is my home, too
Diving deeper into the topic of undocumented immigrants, the show portrays the tragic experiences for those facing deportation in the US. While this issue has been covered in film, print, and news outlets, it has been largely missing from serial television. Gentefied manages to break down the undocumented experience on a human level, showcasing how complex and layered the issue is when families are broken apart.
The second season centers on Casimiro (endeared as “Pop,” played by Joaquín Cosío), as he’s picked up by ICE and awaits trial to determine if he will be deported. Episode seven, entitled "No More Band-Aids," contains a poignant speech by Pop during an interview on national television. Pop’s lawyer has written a scripted speech for him, but Pop goes off-book and speaks from his heart. The interviewer asks Pop to describe what he wants people to know about his story as an undocumented person and he responds, “I am tired of sharing all the good things I have done in this country. To make you feel bad for me? ¿Pa' qué? To convince you? That I am a person? (…) I’m done begging. I’m not a perfect immigrant, but I know I am not a criminal. No me diga mentiras. This is my home. This is where I belong, whether you like it or not.” Cosío skillfully delivers the speech with an unfaltering gaze into the camera, capturing your full attention with his intensity and candid exhaustion of attempting to convey the cruelty of destroying families in this way.
America Ferrera, a celebrated Latina actress and activist, returns to direct select episodes and executive produce the show. In an interview promoting Gentefied on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Ferrara talks about her work trying to get the Latinx community to vote and how too often it feels like politicians only support Latinx communities during a campaign. “Communities need sustained engagement,” says Ferrera. “It’s the work we do in a non-election year that determines what happens in an election year.” Her eloquence is enough to bring you to tears, how intimately she understands the struggles of her community and her continued efforts to make their lives better. This passion, respect, and investment in the Latinx community seeps into every episode of Gentefied.
Gentefied is made by Latinx creators and stars a full Latinx cast. The authenticity of their storytelling shines through and is the beating heart of the show. The acting, writing, and directing provide a fresh and compelling depiction of fully dimensional Latinx characters growing through love, humor, success, failure, and generational trauma.
What, When, Where
Gentefied. Created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez. Streaming on Netflix.
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