We can all agree that TV was a mess most of last year, but lots of shows are slowly making their way back onto our screens, and we literally can’t wait to catch up on our favorites. Sadly, some TV shows did not survive the turmoil that was 2020, including a number of series featuring prominent Latinx characters. As if Latinx representation on television wasn’t already severely lacking, we lost Vida, The Baker and The Beauty, and One Day at a Time.
The big takeaway? It’s beyond time for us to support Latinx representation on TV, so this year, we are rallying behind our favorite Latinx actors and tuning into as many shows with Latinx main characters as we possibly can. So cue up those steaming apps, load up your DVR and get ready for some serious binge-watching. From fan-favorite Gentefied to newer shows including Selena: The Series there is a growing and stronger presence of Latinx actors and stories on TV though there is still a lot of work to be done.
We did some digging to find out which shows starring some of our favorite Latinx actors will be returning in 2021 and even a couple brand-new series featuring Latinx cast members to check out this year. Check them out below.
We have to put the Netflix original series Gentefied at the very top of this list because it is probably the most Latinx-culture forward TV show on the air right now. Starring Joseph Julian Soria, Karrie Martin, Carlos Santos, Annie Gonzalez and Julissa Calderon, it’s about a Latinx family from Los Angeles struggling to keep their family taqueria afloat, while the younger generation is struggling to assert there own ambitions. We don’t have a date for Season 2 yet, but it was renewed by Netflix so keep an eye out!
Mexican-American actress Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mercy Black) is set to star in an upcoming Netflix series called Cowboy Bebop, which is based on a popular Manga series of the same name. Although a release date has yet to be announced, the show which is being directed by Alex Garcia Lopez (Cloak and Dagger) is scheduled to premiere on the streaming service this year.
HBO’s Los Espookys is a quirky series with a cult-like following about a group of horror-enthusiast friends who form a business creating chilling frights and gory scenarios for eccentric clients with unusual needs. The show which stars Ana Fabrega, Julio Torres and Fred Armisen, amongst others is delivered mostly in Spanish (with English subtitles), and is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys offbeat, horror comedies.
Selena: The Series
Christian Serratos will reprise her role as the iconic Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla in Netflix’s Selena: The Series Part 2. Though there aren’t a ton of details on what the second installment of the series will focus on, we will presumably see much more about Selena’s relationship and eventual marriage to Chris Perez and her introduction to her murderer Yolanda Saldivar. Part 2 has already wrapped filming and is anticipated to land on Netflix sometime in May.
The popular Netflix sit-com Mr. Iglesias, starring Mexican-American comedian Gabriel Iglesias, is currently in its third season. The first half of the season was released late in 2020, but an additional seven episodes of the show in which the comedian plays a high school teacher hoping to make a difference at the very school he graduated from, are expected to land on the streaming service sometime this year.
Saved by the Bell
The long-awaited reboot of the classic ’90s teen show Saved by the Bell premiered last fall, and a second season has already been ordered by Peacock, NBC’s steaming service, which is free to download. The series is about a group of low-income students who are transferred to wealthy Bayside. Mario Lopez reprises his role as A.C. Slater—this time as a teacher—and a number of the students are Latinx.
Netflix released the second season of the Salma Hayek-produced drama Monarca in January and it’s been doing quite well, especially considering it’s in Spanish. Starring Irene Azuela and Juan Manuel Bernal, it’s about the corrupt world of Mexican billionaires, and focuses on the daughter of a tequila tycoon who returns home to take over the family business.
On My Block
The fourth and final season of On My Block will arrive on Netflix sometimes this year. A full 10 episodes of the comedy have been ordered and will see the crew of South Central Los Angeles teens embark on yet another adventure as they continue to face obstacles on their often difficult path to high school graduation. Though it’s only existed for a few years, this series was one that ushered in a new wave of Latinx representation on Netflix original series.
A second season of the Hulu original Love, Victor starring Michael Cimino, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, Ana Ortiz and James Martinez, should land on the streaming service later this year. This adorable series is about a teen from a Puerto Rican-Colombian family grappling with his sexuality as he navigates being the new kid at his high school.
Queen of the South
Season 5 of the USA network series Queen of the South starring Alice Braga and a slew of other Latinx actors, is set to premiere in 2021. The series is about a woman who flees Mexico after her boyfriend is murdered and positions herself as a top drug runner so that she can have an inside track on her quest to avenge his death.
A dramatized account of the New York “ball” scene in the ’80s and ’90s and LGBTQ communities it grew from, FX’s Pose rightfully features a number of Latinx characters. The show stars MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore and Jason A. Rodriguez, all playing recurring roles on the unique Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk created drama. The third season is set to come out later this year.
The Charmed remake starring Melonie Diaz is dare we say, far better than the original it stemmed from. While Melonie is the only one of the three actresses playing the charmed ones who is actually Latinx, their family on the show is Puerto Rican. This iteration of Charmed gives us total bruja vibes and we love that Boricua culture is even woven in on occasion. The third season debuted on the CW early this year.
Julie and the Phantoms
Starring the adorable Puerto Rican actress Madison Reyes, Julie and the Phantoms is a super-cute Netflix original series about a teen girl who rediscovers her passion for music when she starts seeing ghosts. She teams up with the musically-inclined apparitions and winds up forming a seriously rockin’ band. The first season of Julie and the Phantoms premiered last fall, and while a second season has yet to be announced, it’s anticipated to happen and we’ll likely see more episodes late this year.