This past Thursday, Netflix released an original show, “Gentefied,” which follows a family in Boyle Heights going through the effects of the ‘gente-fication,’ basically gentrification but from Latinx people with money who have returned to their childhood community with a different perspective. The premiere was held at “La Plaza de la Raza,” honoring this iconic neighborhood. The event was packed with the best Mexican food you could imagine, Mariachis and good vibes.
America Ferrera had a very touching speech about how this show could not have happened 5 years ago and now that it has finally happened, it’s because our community is growing stronger and we want to see ourselves on screen. I was honestly very glad to see a show about Latinx that is not just about undocumented immigrants or narcos. It was about a family struggling to get their business afloat. They happen to be Latino, but they could have been from anywhere else.
The sense of humor and acting was spot on. Joaquin Cosio plays the head of the family “Pop” who is a very endearing grandpa that takes care of his 3 grandkids, because each one of them has their own family drama. There are 3 cousins, one of which is played by Carlos Santos (Chris): a fun-loving, know-it-all chef-in-training who has higher aspirations in life – staying in Boyle Heights is not an option for him. Karrie Martin (Ana Morales), a sarcastic, woke, blunt, and endearing, queer artist is the second. And Ana is a Chicana who leads with her heart and fights for her art with untethered conviction. The show also features JJ Soria (Erik) who is a high school dropout, but an avid reader – people underestimate how brilliant Erik is, especially his grandpa.
One of the cool things about the show is that 80% of the scenes were really shot in Boyle Heights, so the show not only represents the community in an authentic way, but it’s also giving back.