Before we go any further, you remember that song Mi Gente, the pronunciation is the same for the first part of the word. We can’t have you going out into the world saying that hard English G.
We’re all at home looking for that next binge, you could rewatch Parks and Rec for the billionth time OR you could inject some culture into your binge-watching. Diverse stories matter and while it’s important that television shows featuring diverse casts are available, it’s also important for us to watch those shows. Many of us are familiar with the side characters who are people of color, but digging into the actual stories of people of color takes the focus away from a white narrative for people of color. Now let me tell you why you need to step away from shows with white narratives to dig into Gentefied (you’re welcome, btw).
Gentefied follows a Latinx family navigating their neighborhood and the issue of gentrification in L.A. Primarily the show focuses on the taco shop the grandfather runs and is trying to keep out of the hands of the gentrifiers. The grandfather is pretty hip and with it, he tries to be open to new ideas to help keep the doors to the taco shop open. The grandchildren are all navigating their own issues both with the taco shop and their own personal lives. The stories of the grandchildren are fairly relatable, especially for those of us who want to pursue a passion despite what our family wants. Even on the gentrification front, for some of us, that’s also fairly relatable. On one hand you want to embrace your culture but on the other you do want to introduce new ideas and even challenge some of the social structures in place. Ultimately, they’re trying to find the balance between maintaining the diverse presence of their neighborhood while pursuing their passions that challenge the norms of the culture.
While the storyline sounds somewhat heavy, don’t be fooled, this show is hilarious. The characters are fun and their stories valuable. Representation in the media continues to matter, and showcasing diverse Latinx voices within one show is a great start. One show isn’t enough, we need more shows highlighting even more Latinx (and in general all diverse communities) stories. People need to see that the story of one Mexican family is not the same for all. People of color exist in most spaces, despite how structures attempt to push them out. We need to hear and acknowledge these stories. We also need to see them in mainstream media not only for the purpose of everyone consuming diverse content, but also so people can see folks who look like them and maybe have similar stories in the media. Some folks might not understand how impactful seeing someone who looks like you in media, but trust that representation matters. Do your part, watch this show.