Latinx representation on TV is still lacking but this year there are some new series to help fill that gaping void. When Netflix canceled its original series One Day at a Time, centered around a Cuban family in Los Angeles, Latinx twitter quickly protested the move and it looks like they’re now trying to make amends.
Three of the five shows on this list are Netflix originals including Mr. Iglesias starring comedian Gabriel Iglesias, which premiered this summer and they’re set to premiere The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia at some point next year. This list features five news Latinx series to check out ranging from drama to animated to comedy so there’s a genre for everyone.
At a time when Latinx TV show creators are struggling to even get a series made — of the roughly 34 pilots that weren’t picked in 2018, almost half featured Latinx lead characters or storylines — it’s important to highlight what is available to ensure they don’t meet the same untimely demise as ODAAT.
Seis Manos on Netflix
Finished Season 1 of Seis Manos on Netflix. I am ready for season 2 pic.twitter.com/rIXHTzsfPO
— Pan-Pizza (@RebelTaxi) October 5, 2019
Seis Manos, the first original anime series set in Mexico on Netflix, has been hailed for its blend of grindhouse tradition and Japanese anime with action reminiscent of director Robert Rodriguez.
The series is set in the fictional Mexican border town of San Simon, and it follows three orphans, raised with the philosophies of Chinese martial arts, who seek revenge and justice after the death of their mentor in a way that would make notoriously gory director Quentin Tarantino proud.
Simultaneously, the local police along with the DEA are attempting to track down a drug lord who is wreaking havoc on a Mexican community and find themselves on the same path as the trio known as “Seis Manos.” The show, set in the 1970s, features the voices of Jonny Cruz, Aislinn Derbez, Angélica Vale and Danny Trejo and all eight episodes are available with English and Spanish audio.
The Casagrandes on Nickelodeon
Animated television series have been predominantly white but that’s all changing with the upcoming premiere of The Casagrandes, a show centered around a multi-generational Mexican-American family debuting Oct. 14. The show is a spin-off of The Loud House, which premiered in 2016 and focuses on 11-year-old Lincoln Loud and the chaos of a huge family, 11-year-old Ronnie Annie Santiago is his friend and one of the main characters of The Casagrandes.
The premise is similar but it adds Mexican culture into the mix and to ensure authenticity they brought on award-winning cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, known for his political Latinx daily comic strip “La Cucaracha,” to serve as a cultural consultant, a role he also took on for Coco. Like any large Latinx family under one roof, there are grandparents, and aunt and uncle, cousins and even a sassy parrot and their mercado is the gathering place for the neighborhood.
Izabella Alvarez is the voice of Ronnie, Carlos PenaVega voices her big brother, Bobby, Sumalee Montano voices her mother, a nurse named Maria Casagrande, and Eugenio Derbez is the voice of their father, a physician who works in Peru.
Undone on Amazon Prime
The show Undone premiered in September on Amazon Prime to little fanfare but in the following weeks has gained an almost cult-like following for both its unique storyline and animation. It’s the first TV show to use rotoscope animation melding live-action footage with bright colors, special effects and linework for a truly one-of-a-kind visual treat. Set in San Antonio, Texas, the show tells the story of preschool teacher Alma Winograd-Diaz who begins to see visions of her dead father following a car crash and, with his help, she’s able to travel in time to solve the mystery surrounding his death when she was a child.
There’s a gradual shift over the span of eight episodes between reality and perception as Alma delves deeper into this world, unfolding her own trauma and inability to get over her father’s sudden death. The series has been praised for its exploration of mental illness while still delivering witty lines and humor with credit being given to creators Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy, the team behind the animated Netflix sitcom BoJack Horseman. Rosa Salazar, who played a Latina superhero in Alita: Battle Angel, portrays Alma, Angelique Cabral plays her perfectionist younger sister Becca, and Constance Marie, who played Selena’s mom in Selena, plays her mother Camila, and Bob Odenkirk, of Better Call Saul, plays her father.
Mr. Iglesias on Netflix
Gabriel “Mr.Fluffy” Iglesias has been making people for years now so taking the helm of a comedy series feels only natural, especially since the character is inspired by the career he would’ve had if he hadn’t pursued comedy. Mr. Igelesias tells the story of a good-hearted but unconventional high school history teacher helping a class of struggling students reach their potential.
Oscar Nuñez plays a bureaucrat Assistant Principal — the “bad guy” — determined to make the school one of the top elite schools so he has no problem pushing aside the students Mr. Iglesias is trying to help. It’s a mix of One Day at a Time meets Stand and Deliver with Iglesias’ signature brand of humor (yes, he uses his signature high-pitched voice at times) making it a fun, feel-good sitcom that also highlights the Latinx experience.
The 10-episode first season also stars Jacob Vargas and Sherri Shepard and it has already been renewed for a second season.
Green Frontier on Netflix
For anyone seeking a thriller, there’s Green Frontier, a Colombian supernatural crime show that takes place in the Amazon, on the border between Brazil and Colombia,young Bogotá-based detective named Helena Poveda is investigating the mysterious death of female missionaries.
The location is so remote it requires helicopter and a private boat to reach and once there Helena begins to discover her own connection to what she’s investigating. She learns about an indigenous group known as The Eternals who live without blood and then she comes across a fifth woman’s body whose heart is missing but there’s no blood to be found. While the local police aren’t interested in solving the case, Helena is determined to figure out what happened to the women and how the Eternals come into play while battling the jungle itself as well as magical elements.
The eight-episode series stars a mostly Latinx cast including Juana del Río, Nelson Camayo, Ángela Cano, Miguel Dionisio, Bruno Clairefond, Andrés Crespo, Marcela Mar, Mónica Lopera, and Gabriella Campagna.