The beloved Starz series Vida released the season three trailer while simultaneously announcing that it has been canceled despite its critical acclaim. The trailer is a mix of partying, love and sex, and familia but above all, it’s about the complicated sisterly bond between Lyn (Melissa Barrera) and Emma (Mishel Prada). The promo poster features the sisters holding hands imitating Frida Kahlo’s famous painting, “The Two Fridas” wearing necklaces featuring their signature heart symbol.
The six-episode final season was penned by all-Latinx writers and directed by showrunner Tanya Saracho and Jenée LaMarque. Saracho wrote a farewell letter announcing the cancellation: “When I began this journey three and a half years ago, I never dreamed that by the end of the process I’d be so wholly changed — mind, body, and spirit — and that I’d be standing so strongly in my abilities to run and create a TV show the way it should have always been created: By us.”
The series, set in Boyle Heights and acclaimed for its Brown Queer representation, won last year’s GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy series. The fact that it was renewed for season 3 less than a week after season 2 premiered was a good indication the show could continue a successful streak but ratings remained low. Latinx representation on TV is limited and this show shined a spotlight on gentrification, brown queerness, Latinx families, Brujeria, and the complexities of Latinidad and yet achieving longevity despite this evident void in TV remains difficult.
“When I started this, the landscape was a bleak one for Latinx representation. In the television landscape, the narratives about us were few and far between and were stuck on stereotypical. And I had only heard of one Latina showrunner who’d been allowed to run a show solo. Also for brown queers, there was truly no representation,” Saracho added.
Saracho and One Day at a Time co-showrunner Gloria Calderón Kellett are currently the two prominent Latinas behind two of the most beloved Latinx shows that have unfortunately met a similar fate. While ODAAT was canceled by Netflix after season 3, it was picked up by PopTV for a fourth season but there are currently no talks of continuing Vida beyond Starz. Deadline reports that the cast and crew knew the series was ending weeks before the announcement and Saracho assures fans the series will conclude as she intended it.
“I do hope you’re able to give this, our last season, a good send-off, because let me tell you, it is a powerful one. It is just as compelling as ever with some imagery and themes I’ve never seen on television before,” she wrote.
With the Hernandez sisters discovering their father is alive and well, there’s no doubt that on top of the usual drama and complications the finale is going to tug at our heartstrings. Tune in on April 26 on Starz for the season premiere.