Our favorite Latine shows are constantly getting canceled. We fall in love with these relatable, quirky, personable characters that represent our incredible culture in ways that have never been done before, only to feel disappointed when the show isn’t renewed for a next season.
We recently felt this crushing feeling when Netflix’s comedy-drama “Gentefied” was canceled after only two seasons, leaving us on a dramatic cliffhanger that left us wanting more of the character’s developing stories.
Before that, we felt the same type of way when the Starz show “Vida” was canceled after three drama-filled seasons, seasons that thoroughly created a concrete plot which we were intensely invested in but unfortunately had to abruptly say goodbye to. At this point, we resonated with both sets of each series’ characters on a personal level — from the ways they dealt with issues such as gentrification, to being LGBTIQA+ in a Latine household, to the traditions they would celebrate on the screen.
Furthermore, we couldn’t help but feel seen and relate to their sets that were curiously both centered in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights area. With our extensive (and growing) Latine U.S. population watching, why weren’t these types of Latine shows renewed, though?
As far as Netflix’s “Gentefied” goes, the streaming platform’s renewing approval presumably heavily weighs on the viewership based on the first week of the season’s release. According to NBC News, “Season 2 of ‘Gentefied’ did not appear in Netflix’s Top 10, and most of Netflix’s cancellations and renewals are driven by viewing, not by cost.”
However, it’s important to point out that this is not a fact but only a presumption that many of us keep in mind. We base this knowledge on social media and what we see, but everything ends up being under Netflix’s or any streaming platform’s final discretion.
However, digging into this theory based on Netflix’s Life’s article “How to make sure Netflix renews your favorite show,” the five strategies follow the same vein. They suggest watching the series early, watching multiple episodes at a time (also known as “binge-watch”), finishing the season, telling your social circle, and finally re-watch the show.
But, could our situation with Latine shows be a deeper issue? Could it be because these types of Latine shows portray a healthier, more realistic cultural lifestyle, rather than the Narco-culture type of shows that instantly get rebooted?
It’s an issue constantly discussed, especially now with social media. In another similar situation, the ABC Network series “The Baker and The Beauty” was canceled based on low viewership. However, the leading actress Nathalie Kelley spoke out against this decision, to the point where she encouraged her fans to sign a Change.org petition to get a second season renewed.
In a prior conversation BELatina News had with Kelley, she expressed that: “It is important to see ourselves on the screen to help promote compassion and empathy. Whether we know it or not, telling these stories is significant. We need all types of shows to encourage different perspectives. Minorities are underrepresented in many aspects of society. The time has come to shine a spotlight on all cultures, not just on the stories of a few.”
While we can hope for this to change in the future, we can now support and amplify our Latine creators, who don’t fit into stereotypes. We can spread the new Latine show’s message, binge-watch the shows, and recommend them to our social circle.
More importantly, we can also encourage our emerging Latine film industry to keep telling their unique stories and never give up. As cliche as it sounds, we are making a change, but we must remain resilient to continue creating these opportunities. Surely, but slowly paving our way for the next film generation!