– a very faithful remake* of the 70’s/80’s sitcom , but now set in Echo Park and about a Cuban-American family.
– just because they sometimes speak Spanish doesn’t mean their struggles aren’t HUMAN: inequality, acceptance, economy, single-motherhood, dating, immigration, PTSD, puberty, etc., etc., etc.
– In my almost 39 years of life, my family has had many ups, but many more downs and the only thing that has ever gotten us through it all, is each other: a hug, wise words, a laugh. We’ve always had each other’s backs through the thickest and the thinnest. This show reminded me of all those times we voluntarily shared in the emotions and looked for happiness in already unhappy endings.
– Which brings me to my next point: growing up I watched a lot of sitcoms, and the ones I always related to the most were the ones about Black families. Yes, I loved Three’s Company and Night Court, but those shows made me laugh whereas Good Times, What’s Happening, a Different World, Family Matters and even the Bernie Mac show (when I became a new dad myself) dealt with a lot of the same struggles and class issues that my working class, light-skinned Mexican-American dealt with as well. Those shows made me FEEL. And you think it’s easy being a light-skinned Mexican-American? You get two types of discrimination: You’re too Mexican for your White friends and too White for your Mexican friends. Anyway, we didn’t really have Mexican-American (or even just play Mexican, Hispanic, Latino) sitcoms when I was growing up. There have been some (the George Lopez show being the most popular one), but we didn’t have a life like the one depicted in his show. We lived a life similar to the one’s the Black families were experiencing: struggle, but power through it, and hug each other at the end of the day. And now we FINALLY have a show depicting a realistic Hispanic family…and I absolutely LOVE IT.
– If you pay attention, the Apartment set for this new show is exactly the same as the Apartment set of the old show, only “Cuban-ized.”
– Speaking of “Cubanos”, my Godfather was a great Cuban immigrant who was also my Dad’s best friend. I basically grew up with a second family that was Cuban. So yes, my parents were Mexican immigrants, my Sister and I were both born here in the U.S., but I’m also Cuban because of them. And I think Carlos Leis and my Dad would’ve enjoyed this show A LOT.
– Let’s hear it for a layered Schneider! Yes, he’s still a side-character but there are subtle nuances to his portrayal that you might find surprisingly deeper than just a pack of cigarettes rolled into a t-shirt sleeve.
– *CHECK OUT THE NEW THEME SONG (it’s one of the best covers of any song I’ve heard in years [and I LOVE covers, I used to play a cover song at the beginning of each of my radio shows]): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1tekbfDSjg
– Final Grade: A+
Jose Zuazua is editor-in-chief of Quick Lunch Break Reviews. He has an associates degree in film production. He’s on twitter (twitter.com/josezuazua) and instagram (instagram.com/josezuazua).