This article contains spoilers for “Gentefied.”
It’s a tug of war familiar to many Latinos.
“Do you want tradition or innovation?” Chris asks Casimiro, or “Pop,” on the new Netflix series “Gentefied.”
“What I want is a taco!” Casimiro says, in Spanish.
There are several contrasts at play in this exchange, as Chris tries to come up with ways to revitalize Mama Fina’s, his grandfather’s struggling restaurant, like making a chicken tikka masala taco. It’s old versus new, communalism versus individualism, family versus outsiders. These are familiar tensions, ones that a lot of first-generation Latinos, like myself, feel.
Both of my parents emigrated from Mexico, and I was born in the United States. My Mexican heritage is an important part of who I am, but I feel deeply American. We struggled to make ends meet growing up, and now I am middle class. And while I love barbacoa, I also have a soft spot for artisanal tacos — I would eat that chicken tikka masala taco.
The streaming era has given us more representation with shows like “Vida” and the “Party of Five” reboot, which also address gentrification and intergenerational conflict from the Latino lens. It’s a refreshing change of pace. But it’s the way “Gentefied” portrays its characters’ personal struggles and tackles serious issues with humor and nuance that I find so relatable. For some of us, “Gentefied” is a microcosm of the world we experience — complex, challenging and, yes, even funny.
This content was originally published here.