Growing up in a place like New York City has its advantages. Neighborhood family bodegas and bakeries frequented as kids are reminiscent of childhood for many of us. Who can forget the infamous pastelito, the guava, cheese, or meat-filled turnovers that are a favorite of Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican foodies? Imagine my excitement to finally see a show on American television that embraces our love for comfort food and family. The new ABC series, The Baker and the Beauty gives us a piece of home every Monday.
The Baker and the Beauty is an adaptation of a 2013 Israeli romantic comedy series, centered around a love affair between a high-profile celebrity and the everyday nice guy working as a baker in the family business. The unlikely pair, Daniel Garcia and Noa Hamilton — played by Victor Rasuk and Nathalie Kelley, respectively — turn out to complement each other, finding fireworks where they never expected. The updated American version takes place in Miami, Florida and the endearing plot unravels around the romance, the Cuban family’s meddling in their children’s lives, and the deep conversations that take place in the family-owned bakery.
The light-hearted show is full of familiar Latino faces that we’ve become enamored with over the years, including Lisa Vidal. Vidal’s energetic and sassy personality pops out of the screen right into our living room, reminding us of the incredible passion Latina mamas have for their children. The rest of the ensemble is just as amazing, including a well-known Cuban actor, Carlos Gomez, in addition to Dan Bucatinsky, Mari García, David del Rio, Belissa Escobedo, and Michelle Veintimilla.
The cast’s chemistry is natural, organically delivering some of our favorite moments making us chuckle or warming hearts. The show is about love, family, and how we often deal with the reality of it all with humor and compassion. We need more programs that portray Latinos in a positive light moving away from the stereotypes used in Hollywood for years.
The latest episode of this show took viewers on a trip to Puerto Rico, as characters Daniel and Noa visited the island giving us a peek into the people and its food. Allowing others to see the essence and beauty of Latino culture is an opportunity. It is a chance to tell a different story than the one that has been told for far too long. The support from our communities to shows like The Baker and the Beauty is crucial to their survival. It encourages networks to re-evaluate programming that not only caters to Latino audiences but showcases the great people that we are.