Latina Create Starz Vida

Latina Created STARZ series VIDA is ‘So Much Sexy’, ‘So Much Crazy’

Shows that center on the Latinx experience are a rarity, however season-after-season there are more multicultural, diverse stories being told on screen which is an indicator of changing demographics and ‘the people’ are demanding it! When was the last time you supported a Latinx series that resonated with you?

When a Latinx-centered television series launches, it’s a cross-your-fingers moment in hopes the series survives past each season. Talented creators are tasked to create, build cultural and universal resonance with compelling story lines and characters we ‘get’ with each TV series.

One of those series that shines is premium cable STARZ’s ‘Vida’ created by a Mexican-born, Latina storyteller, creator and executive producer, Tanya Saracho. Saracho landed a three year deal with STARZ, the only Latina in the premium cable space to do so. According to her Wikipedia, Saracho is known for centering the ‘Latina gaze‘ telling the stories of women of color. Her writing creds include ‘Devious Maids’, ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, ‘Looking’ and ‘Vida’ which is now in it’s second season, premiering May 23rd. A potential future Saracho project to look forward to? ‘Brujas’ about  four Afro-Caribbean/Latinx women living in Chicago. 

Why is ‘Vida’ so rare and what is it about?
Estranged sisters Emma (Mishel Prada), a successful lawyer in Chicago, always pragmatic and career focused, and Lyn (Melissa Barrera), a flaky Yoga loving Vegan relying on her looks and other people’s money to get by, return home to their historically Mexican neighborhood in the  Eastside of Los Angeles when their mother suddenly dies.

Discovering a surprising truth about their mother’s identity, Lyn and Emma, who have clashing coping skills, confront their loss, relationship, old neighborhood friends and the mismanagement of the family business, unspooling old childhood traumas and hard truths.

“Vida” is a never-before-seen contemporary portal into a multi-generational Latinx neighborhood exploring complex narratives and an intersecting range of issues including sexual, cultural and spiritual identity, class and race, all under the gaze of fast changes and growing conflicts with gentrification.

STARZ ‘Vida’ premiering on STARZ app May 23 and channel May 26.

Latinx audience over index on TV, especially movie watching. When it comes to entertainment, the Latinx community is a coveted group of small and big screen watchers that overspend and definitely make attending a movie a family affair. Ever take up a whole row at the movie theatre with your familia? Yip. That’s us.

Though Latinx rarely get a chance to see themselves on screen – Latinx still subscribe to premium cable TV, attend movie theaters in greater numbers year-after-year, regardless if the story is a Latino-themed one or not.

However, could Latinx audiences grow more exponentially by seeing more Latinx on both small and big screens? Could that be incentive enough to big Hollywood honchos to cast both behind-the-scenes and on-screen talents? Afterall, Latinx/multicultural audiences vote with dollars and ‘word of mouth’ are mighty influential forces. Or will the Latinx TV and movie viewing audience continue to consume and contribute to widening the gap of Latinx representation without even knowing it? Whether directly or indirectly, by paying into cable subscriptions and/or movie tickets, Latinx/multicultural audiences invest in Latinx creators, writers, on-the-screen talent getting paid to put our stories out there – let’s make our dollars count and continue to spread word.

Shows that center on the Latinx experience will continually be needed, STARZ’s ‘Vida’ is fresh and optimistic, it speaks  to the future of Latinx stories and more Latinx in general being cast in mainstream stories. 

When was the last time you supported a Latinx television series? Let’s hope this answer is recent, is now and ever increasing at the rate the Latinx audience is growing.

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