[SEP 2013 UPDATE: Watched the first episode of Devious Maids and couldn’t wait for it to be over. Needless to say, I stopped watching. I also just found out season 2’s coming back next year and now wonder WHY IN THE WORLD would Lifetime cancel Army Wives but then renew this shiz.]
|Latinas have a LOT more to offer to this country than that. ^^|
If there’s only one thing that pisses me off about life as a Latina in this country is how people conveniently forget that Hispanics are MUCH MORE than what one-sided media execs portray us as.
Sound far-fetched? Let me explain where ^^that’s^^ coming from.
First, there’s this show called Devious Maids from executive producer Eva Longoria. The show’s plot line is so interesting and complex, Idk if I can boil it down to a few words, but I’ll try: In short, Devious Maids is about a group of, um, Latina maids. There! *Yawn.*
In case you didn’t like my version, though, here’s the LA Times’s more generous explanation: “…the series centers on five Latina domestic workers who know the dirty secrets of their well-heeled employers and later become strongly bonded when a housemaid is murdered.” (Find the full LAT article here.)
Here’s the trailer:
The funny thing is that my family and I had maids while I was growing up in Colombia. (Btw: Ninety-nine percent of maids are the bomb. However, unlike what Eva “Never had a maid therefore doesn’t know what she’s talking about” Longoria has implied, no maid out there neither thinks their job is the best nor wants wants their daughters to become maids to earn a living. So WHY glorify something that doesn’t need/deserve the glorification?)
Having a maid (or maids) is actually the thing to do in Latin America–and apparently in Miami and California, where many telenovelas are filmed. Many of my friends’ families also had maids, in fact. Maids are vital. So why would I be offended? More on that in a bit.
According to the LAT article, Longoria applauds the show for being the first English-language series to feature a cast of all Latinas. But if that’s the ONLY reason she can think of, then I pray God He blesses her as she just proved she wasted all the money she put towards her Master’s in Chicano Studies (of all things). (Really, Ms. Longoria?)
In my opinion, the reason why that sounds like a worthless show is because it portrays Latinas as nothing better than, well, maids. Fortunately, I’m working HARD to combat that stereotype. My two Bachelor’s degrees and future (God willing) doctoral degree and career will hopefully be testament to that. (And yes, they’re all in way more useful fields than, ahem, Chicano/Latino/Gender Studies.)
But many (and I mean MANY) other young Latinas don’t have that same outlook. They still think that their best path to financial independence is cleaning someone’s home. Which there’s nothing wrong with! But still: Shouldn’t they aspire to do more and go beyond? YES, THEY SHOULD. Even maids aspire to do more and go beyond.
So, Ms. Longoria, I wonder: What was your goal with this show? Is it really to make us all Latinos “proud” because the main characters, maids, are all played by Latinas?
Sorry but I’m not sorry that I’m actually disappointed by your seemingly ignorant POV. Sorry but I’m not sorry in thinking that however much it cost to brainwash your brain to believe that this show is something to be proud about was worth it, apparently. Lastly, sorry but I’m not sorry in wanting to remind you that your character on Desperate Housewives left MUCH to be desired, and that I now get why you don’t work to portray a better/truer image of Latinas who want to do much, MUCH more with our lives. Maybe you can’t or don’t want to? Maybe you’re happy w/how the media portrays us now?
Oh wait, I get it: Maybe, like you, we should all be proud and glad that the media’s even featuring Latinos in whatever (un)favorable way they choose to do so! I mean that sure is better than NOT appearing anywhere, right? How sad.
(And on that note, not all maids are Latinas. And on that note, maids don’t wear that kind of skimpy outfits.)
Next, there’s this other show that goes by the name of East Lost High, and it’s about a Los Angeles high school whose student body is mostly Latino. That sounds innocent enough, right?
Watch the trailer here:
Now in the past there have been (and still are) ridiculous portrayals of Hispanics. For instance, Sofia Vergara’s Gloria Pritchett (Modern Family) represents probably 0.000000…1% of Colombianas. I know because I’m from there. And neither I nor anyone I know grew up on dirt floors, on a farm, or with drug dealers as neighbors or even acquaintances. Yet some people here might think that Gloria, as one of the show’s main characters, embodies all Colombianas out there.
For some reason, however, I don’t have a problem with that. Maybe this is b/c Gloria is just one person. Yeah, she had a sh*tty life in Colombia, but because my experiences weren’t and won’t be in any way like hers, I’m like, “meh, let it be.” Plus, did I mention her portrayal is simply ridiculous and ludicrous?
But these new shows are problematic to me for a couple reasons:
1) As ensemble shows with casts made up (almost) entirely of Hispanics, they’re trying to put an entire group of people into this one fugly box that I certainly don’t fit in.
And 2) Are these people passing for role models to our nation’s youth? I mean I praise our First Amendment rights, but seriously, these are NOT the kind of people that deserve anyone’s attention.
So I ask the Universe: Why can’t there be a Cosby Show-like series based on a successful and role-model-worthy Latino family? There’s certainly a demand for it (as shown in the comments section of pretty much every story about these two shows.) Moreover, why are Latino characters in the U.S. just thugs, maids, and promiscuous and useless members of society, while those in shows based in our native countries are actually doctors, lawyers, professors, exemplary parents, and responsible citizens?
May mi querido USA stop being so ethnocentric some day. (Hopefully I can help it w/that.) And may we show media execs quién manda!
Now I want your input: What do you think about these shows (if anything)? Have you started watching any of them? Do you agree/disagree, or did I miss something?