Vida by Linda Ruiz
STARZ asked Tanya Saracho to write a show about Latinx millennials and Vida was created. In just six half hour episodes, three hours, we were introduced to the world of Lyn (Melissa Barrera) and Emma Hernandez (Mishel Prada). Two estranged sisters dealing with the death of their mother further complicated by the financial mess and secrets that Vida left behind.
Not only are the sisters estranged from each other but they are also estranged from their community. Even though they were born there, both are called out as outsiders. Members of the gentefication that is fueling the gentrification of el barrio.
There is the strong undercurrent of cultural tradition versus woke awareness. Mari “La Chingona”( Chelsea Rendon) is the voice of the community. The activist, sounding the alarm and checking in and on everyone while working three jobs and taking care of her father. Dealing with her big brother Johnny ( Carlos Miranda) who is jeopardizing his relationship and impending fatherhood with his back and forth relationship with Lyn.
Sexuality and the cultural acceptance/ hypocrisy therein is an important part of the characters lives. Eddie, hearfully portrayed by Ser Anzoategui, is Vidas spouse, so looking forward to finally meeting her stepdaughters but not knowing what to expect.
Season 1 tackled all of these life experiences with a fluidity that anyone can identify with; either every aspect or a part of it. You don’t have to be a Mexican American living in Los Angeles. A Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, an Ecuadorian from Jackson Heights Queens, or an Asian from Seattle can see there life mirrored in Vida.
That is why we have become so emotionally invested in these characters and this story. Tanya Saracho created characters that are real beautiful flawed human beings and not caricatures of what we are accustomed to seeing on television. The actors breathed that life in season 1 and have committed to continue this in season 2.
New characters are being introduced, Nico ( Roberta Colindrez) a recent hire who doesn’t live in the neighborhood and brings a new perspective, joins the bar staff. Baco (Raul Castillo)) the neighborhood handyman who clashes with Emma and her way of handling business.
Vida Season 2 debuts on STARZ this Thursday May 23rd. The best part about that is its now expanded to 10 episodes so we can further delve into the lives of the Hernandez sisters and their community. An added bonus is that we can binge watch the entire season!
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