Entertainment

Celebrities – ‘Los Espookys’: Get To Know The Cast Of HBO’s New Comedy En Español

The representation of Latinos in mainstream television and film comedy in the United States ha dejado mucho que desear, to say the least. From stereotypical and frankly a bit racist characters such as Gloria (Sofia Vergara) in “Modern Family” and Pedro in the cult film “Napoleon Dynamite,” to half-baked personajes like Fez in “That 70s Show”(we assume he was Latino, although it was never clarified!), Hollywood has done a disservice to one of the biggest minorities in the United States (and when we do have a great show like “One Day at a Time,” they cancel it, canijos!). Latinos have become a growing cultural and financial influence in the U.S. entertainment market, and Spanish? A linguistic powerhouse that seems to have no end in sight. Just think about this: more than 41 million people speak Spanish as a first language (about 13% of the population), and los esteits is home to nearly 12 million bilingual Spanish speakers. If you are a TV exec it would be foolish not to consider these staggering figures when commissioning new projects. 

That is why the new 30-minute HBO comedy, “Los Espookys,” spoken primarily in Spanish is such a big deal. “Los Espookys”is a quirky comedy developed by Fred Armisen, Ana Fabrega and Julio Torres, who also happen to be three of the main actors. The show follows a group of horror fans who offer a very unique service: they create scary situations for wealthy clients. The humor is offbeat, just like Fred Armisen’s ode to hipster culture, “Portlandia,” which made us LOL and cringe in equal measureBut of course, there is an added element of amazing Mexi-kitsch: melodrama telenovelero and plenty of references to low budget horror (the episode titles remind us of a good old El Santo movie). The reviews for the show have been great. Fabrega and Torres wrote all episodes and Variety says: “Fabrega and Torres infuse every scene with so many rich and unexpected punchlines that there’s truly no knowing where it might end up, making “Los Espookys” a comedic rarity”. Not bad, eh? 

Here’s who is who in this team of misfits who star in what promised to be the unexpected hit of the year. 

Julio Torres as Andres

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Torres, one of the show’s creators, is as young as he is talented. He is a writer for “Saturday Night Live,” so we know that the comedic quality is there! He is merely 32 but already one of the up and coming talents in the industry. He was born in El Salvador and migrated to the United States just ten years ago. And the kid’s got talent: can you imagine writing for the semillero of comedic talent (SNL) and spearheading an HBO show? Remember those “Melania Moments” segments in SNL? Well, Torres wrote them. He started his career in Brooklyn and later with very popular stand-ups on YouTube. His character is also an heir to a chocolate empire. He says of his character: “I personally love high drama as comedy. Playing someone who is so put-upon and just burdened by the drama in his world felt really funny. Me and this character, we’re both very drawn to beauty—like moths to a flame. And we’re very particular. Things have to go a certain way or else they’re not good. I feel like in my worst moments I do behave like that. But a key difference is that Andrés is very passive—at least in the beginning”. 

Get to know him on Twitter: @juliothesquare

Bernardo Velasco as Renaldo

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Bernardo Velasco is a Mexican actor best known for his constant presence in his country’s independent film industry. He is best known for his role of Bosco in the film “Museo,” a heist movie co-starred with Gael Garcia Bernal, which tells the story of a highly publicized robbery in the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. He has that rugged Mexican look, paisa! Renaldo is the leader of the group, a total fanatic of gore films who takes every case to the extreme. 

Cassandra Ciangherotti as Ursula

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

Like Bernardo Velasco, Cassandra Ciangherotti is best known for his work in Mexican independent cinema. She has appeared in films like the Netflix dark comedy “Time Share” (watch it as soon as you can, it is an indictment on the cult-like structures of all-inclusive resorts), the horror movie “The Similars” and the teary road trip “Viaje Redondo.” She is also a producer. By the way, she comes from Mexican acting royalty: she is the daughter of late actor Fernando Lujan, and sister of telenovela villain Fernando Ciangherotti. More recently she was part of the cast of the chick flick hit “Solteras.” We are sure she will have a great career in Hollywood… but please, Cassandra, don’t let anyone typecast you! 

Get to know her on Instagram: @cassandraciangherotti

Ana Fabrega as Tati

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

At just 27, Ana Fabrega has already established a name for herself as a stand-up comedian. We can actually say that she is a star of the social media generation: she first gained notoriety for her short, quirky and frankly weird Twitter videos. And she is not afraid to get political, mainly supporting women like Elizabeth Warren (see here!). She was born in Arizona and then moved to New York. She started doing stand up and el resto es historia. Long story short: Fred Armisen identified her amazing talent and she is now a member of “Los Espookys!” The role in this new HBO show seems to fit her perfectly. She told New Now Next: “I’ve always liked the idea of work giving your life meaning. So I wanted to play someone who was struggling to find meaning within herself and turning to work to satisfy herself. And in some ways, that’s really real, to me anyways. Because I’m deeply unsatisfied.” Funny and true! We love Ana, she has that Chaplinesque presence that not many contemporary comedians have. 

Get to know her on Twitter: @anafabregagood

Fred Armisen as Tico

Credit: Instagram. @losespookys

This super funny dude, whose full name is Fereydun Robert “Fred” Armisen, is a total legend in the industry. He was born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in 1966. He was a cast member of Saturday Night Live for nine years (2002 to 2013)! He then created the beloved show “Portlandia,”in which he equally made fun of and had fun with hipster culture in Portland. “Portlandia”brought him worldwide fame and Emmy nominations. His madrecita santa, Mirabal Level, was born in Venezuela. His paternal grandfather is Korean, so Fred is truly a son of a globalized world! We guess that his multicultural upbringing led him to champion this oddball show. Get to know him on Instagram: @sordociego

These Shows And Movies Will Make You Feel Like A Superhero Just Because You’re Latino

Entertainment

These Shows And Movies Will Make You Feel Like A Superhero Just Because You’re Latino

@TheGiftedOnFox / Twitter

Growing up, we didn’t often see ourselves represented in superhero roles. It was always a white savior combatting a Latino drug lord or violent gang member. We often saw Latinas play the love interest trope, doing nothing meaningful except prop up that white savior’s ego.

A new era of POC empowerment has slowly started infiltrating Hollywood, and Netflix is probably the most progressively representative platform around. (Unless you know what they did to “One Day at a Time.”) If you’re going to Netflix and chill, you might as well subconsciously balloon with empowerment, no? These are the Latino-centered shows that will get you there.

“Marvel’s Runaways”

CREDIT: @Runaways_Fans / Twitter

This show tops our list because not only is the superhero gang majority female, it’s also majority POC. Of the three Latinos cast, two of them aren’t even presented as Latino characters, giving more normalized roles to Latino actors. Plus, we get to see Ariela Barer mind control a pet dinosaur. Sounds kooky, but the show writers are so good, it just makes sense.

Plus, the star Latina’s superpower is brute strength.

CREDIT: @AllegraAcosta / Twitter

Mexicana Allegra Acosta, who is just 16 years old by the way, plays Molly Hernandez. We see the whole troupe come to terms with their powers through her eyes. She was the first to realize she was different, and she spoke up, even though she was the youngest and most often condescended to.

Netflix’s “Umbrella Academy”

CREDIT: @ivonne_r1 / Twitter

Based off an alluring comic series of the same name, Netflix used the same premise: 43 women around the world spontaneously gave birth and an eccentric billionaire ‘adopted’ 7 of them to create a crime-fighting “Umbrella Academy.” Netflix makes it interesting by fast forwarding to their adult lives, and by casting hunky David Castañeda as Diego Hargreeves. Superpower? Holding his breath for an inhuman amount of time and superlative knife throwing abilities. We heart him.

FOX’s “The Gifted”

CREDIT: @TheGiftedonFOX / Twitter

Superpowers: He can absorb and manipulate photons (i.e. light).

ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”

This is just the casual tale of two parents realizing their children are mutants, so they join an underground community of mutants. Venezuelan actor Seane Teale plays a key role in leading the newcomers to a life of normalcy.

CREDIT: @IEarths / Twitter

That’s right. You’re looking at heartthrob Gabriel Luna starring in a Marvel adaption. In it, he plays Robbie Reyes, the Latinized version of the Ghost Rider. His performance will get your heart racing in all the ways.

The CW’s “The Flash”

CREDIT: @TWDMemesUK / Twitter

This “Arrows” spin-off had the second-most-watched premier in the history of The CW, after “The Vampire Diaries.” In it, we see co-star Candice Patton play the journalist that uncovers the identity of The Flash. She eventually takes on a leadership role with S.T.A.R. Labs and just overall slays.

Netflix’s “Iron Fist”

CREDIT: @TheFinalMan / Twitter

While we don’t see any headlining Latinos in this show, we see Bakuto played by Ramón Rodríguez, and the Internet is heart eyeing.

Caption: “Totally thought #IronFist was over @ 10 episodes… nope! The endgame for this season better be worth it. But at least this Bakuto guy is hot.”

Netflix’s “Daredevil”

CREDIT: @manwithoutfear / Twitter

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the iconic cameo of Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. Her superpower is being the go to Nurse Practitioner for all the superheroes in Marvel’s Universe.

Life lesson: everyone is your equal.

Netflix’s “Luke Cage”

CREDIT: @MCUExchange / Twitter

If you’re as obsessed with Rosario Dawson as we are, then you should watch her steam up her role in “Luke Cage.” We ship these two.

Netflix’s “Siempre Bruja”

CREDIT: @thegirlmob1 / Twitter

Colombian based “Siempre Bruja” gets it right and wrong in so many ways. Ultimately, we get to see an Afro-Latina claim her brujería to travel to the future to save the people she loves (even if that includes her slave master, ugh).

Netflix’s “La Reina del Flow”

CREDIT: Netflix

Prepare yourself for a telenovela to end all novelas. No, Yeimy Montoya is not a superhero, but her character will inspire you to overcome all obstacles. After she’s framed for drug trafficking by her first love as a teenager, she comes back as an undercover agent to undermine Charly Cruz’s life. We stan.

Netflix’s “Pelé: Birth of a Legend”

CREDIT: Netflix

If true stories are what really make you feel empowered, then this reenactment of Brazil’s Pelé story will get you good. He went from rags to winning Brazil’s first World Cup victory at the age of 17. You can win, too.

“Desierto”

CREDIT: Netflix

Today’s immigration rights crisis is devastating. Gael García Bernal’s role as a Mexican man trying to cross the border will make you root harder than ever before for migrant victories.

Netflix’s “Ingobernable”

CREDIT: Netflix

If you’ve heard of this show and still haven’t been floored by Kate del Castillo’s performance, this is your sign from god. Watch this if you’re in a toxic relationship that you need the courage to leave. At least your boo isn’t a corrupt President.

The CW’s “Jane the Virgin”

CREDIT: The CW

Gina Rodriguez’s role in the Americanized telenovela “Jane the Virgin” will help you realize that whatever bump you’ve encountered in this life might be the start of something beautiful. This is a feel-good show, no doubt, but you’ll also start to feel like you can do anything, mija.

The CW’s “Riverdale”

CREDIT: The CW

While the Latino family in this show are dirty rich, the heiress to the Lodge empire is pure of heart. Watch Veronica Lodge cleverly go up against a very twisted power struggle father-mija relationship to save Riverdale.

ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder”

CREDIT: @KarlaSouza7 / Twitter

Mexican icon Karla Souza’s superpower in this show is pure ingenuity. She plays a lawyer that seems to know how to work the legal system to her advantage. It gets gooooood.

ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy”

CREDIT: Netflix

You weren’t expecting doctor or lawyer shows to make this list, but we’re all chasing a feeling here. Seeing Sara Ramirez play bisexual Callie Torres as she goes up against her Catholic father with all the emotional strength and resilience we yearn for is contagious. You want these cooties.

“The Fast and the Furious”

CREDIT: @gucciartx / Twitter

My gay self needs Michelle Rodriguez here. Even though she isn’t a ‘good guy,’ we all want to be here. Use her badassery powers for good, mi gente.

Netflix’s “One Day at a Time”

CREDIT: Netflix

The best superhero show of all is the recently canceled “One Day at a Time.” Why? We get to see the most modern Cuban family simply be themselves and that cultural mirroring will reaffirm your very remnant-loving Latino soul. #SaveODAAT!!!

READ: Netflix Canceled ‘One Day At A Time’ And Fans Are Livid With The Network’s Decision

‘Vida’ Premiered Last Night And The Reactions From Latina Twitter Are Proof Of How Much This Show Is Needed

Entertainment

‘Vida’ Premiered Last Night And The Reactions From Latina Twitter Are Proof Of How Much This Show Is Needed

If recent trends are any indication, everything will be coming up Latino when it comes to the future of the small screen. Netflix’s “Orange Is The New Black” has held a cast for five seasons that is filled with Latinx actors. The online streaming service’s other series, “One Day At A Time” has a Latina showrunner that also leads an entirely Latino main cast that represents a Cuban family. And even though the CW is bidding its despedidas to its hit show “Jane The Virgin” next year, it’s banking on the wiles of an all-Latina cast for its “Charmed” reboot.

Now, Latinx representation on screen is going premium. This past Sunday, Starz premiered “Vida,” a show that zooms in on the lives of two Chicana sisters who return to their east side LA neighborhood after their mother’s sudden death, despite their many reservations.

The morning after reactions to the show’s premiere on Twitter are proof that this one is a show that’ll be sticking around for awhile.

CREDIT: “Vida” / Starz

Mostly because on top of all of the representation the show is bringing, the series also has material that is just plain good shit.

Fans are feeling totally seen with the sex-positive women on this show.

This show is throwing down the guantelete and bucking any notions your mama might have about “good” Latinas. 

And there is literally not a single calladita on this show in sight.

Right off the bat, viewers of “Vida” see that the show has no plans on shushing up women or their outspoken tendencies. The show’s opening sequence observes Mari, a local Boyle Heights resident who is viciously protective of her neighborhood and the gentrification it is enduring.

Fans are lAO living for all of the Spanglish that the series promises to bring to the screen.

This show has lessons on lessons on lessons for those of us who grew up on Jamberger and conflei.  After all, what’s a show about Latinx communities with una pequeña spanish / inglés mix.

But they were also super present for all the conversations about gentrification.

And it really isn’t a homecoming until someone calls your sister a puta, knowwhadaymean?

And for all of the ways, the show brings it home for LGBTQ representation.

Not only do we get to see a non-binary actor portray a non-binary character named Eddy, we also get to see the various forms of acceptance and rejection this character experiences in their community. (TBH though I’m high-key ready to see what the show does for Afro-Latinx, Indigenous-Latinx, and every other Latinx representation now!)

Basically every Latina who watched last night is rallying so hard for this show’s future.

All over Twitter Latinas are embracing the show for being the “Girls,” “Sex and The City,” and even “Game of Thrones” that those shows were for white people.

Read: Looking For A New Show To Obsess Over? Starz Series ‘Vida’ Is Coming Soon And You’re Going To Love It

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