latinos in entertainment

Executive producer Sofia Vergara is bringing Mujeres Asesinas to ABC

Executive producer Sofia Vergara is bringing Mujeres Asesinas to ABC

Well at least the title kind of makes it seem like she is.  I caught this commercial during Scandal last week and it immediately made me remember how good the runaway series Mujeres Asesinas was on Univision not too long ago.  In fact, Mujeres Asesinas was an adaptation of the Argentine series by the same title.  I haven’t seen that one yet, but it is on my list…

Bueno, let’s see if Killer Women is as good as its predecessors when it gets started.

How Mexican Comedian Eugenio Derbez delivered the Latino box office hit Hollywood couldn’t

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There was nothing conventional about the way comedian Eugenio Derbez went about promoting his unexpected box office hit this weekend, Instructions Not Included.  Or No se aceptan devoluciones in the Mexican entertainer’s native Spanish, which coincidentally is also the primary language of the film.

Despite having been released in only 347 theaters nationwide, compared to 2,735 theaters for One Direction: This is Us, Instructions Not Included brought in almost four times more revenue than the One Direction film per theater.  That is to say the average box office take in for Instructions was $22,594 while the average for One Direction was $5,777 (through Sunday).  Although total revenue for One Direction ($18 million) did exceed the $10 million earned by Derbez’s directorial debut.

What I find interesting though is just how Derbez went about making this happen by leveraging his bicultural, bilingual and multigenerational appeal.  Rather than hitting the more obvious and much more glamorous Hollywood talk show circuit (in English), Derbez connected with his established fan base through shows like Despierta América and Don Francisco, reminding us over and over again in his signature humor why we should watch this film and support him.  The film itself was reportedly a passion project for Derbez 10 years in the making.  He not only acted in the lead role, he directed the film and shares writing credits for Instructions.  His wife is also in the film.

For Derbez there has been no talk about a crossover either.  He hasn’t made one.  He isn’t making one.  And he doesn’t need to.  That in it of itself speaks volumes of how different the entertainment landscape is for Latinos today as opposed to what it was like even just 10 years ago.  The words “Latin boom in entertainment” don’t even mean anything to me anymore.

At the theater we went to watch Instructions Not Included on Friday, entire families, from infants to los abuelos were laughing and enjoying the film together.  In a way it was like watching a little bit of ourselves because the cultural and language nuances were on point and appropriate, not cliche as is so often the case in other Latino films.  Derbez gets us and understands what it is to be bilingual and bicultural and it showed in the minutest details of his film, from the funny banter about nothing to the choice of Mexican slang and it’s placement in the script.

I can’t think of another artist who can genuinely and effortlessly entertain such a cross section of our culture and community so well.  The box office results mean something.

That we are hungry for entertainment that speaks to us, but above all else, that is genuine and honest to who we are as a community and as a people.

Here’s to more hits from Derbez and others like him who get us at the box office.  And Hollywood, ¡ya hombre! get with the program, no more limited releases for our films!

Festival People en Español

This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Festival People En Español however, all opinions expressed are my own.

Festival People en Espanol 2013

Y’all knew this was coming, right?  So People en Español is hosting this pretty star-studded music festival in San Antonio this weekend… AND I’ve been asked to help promote the event by telling you about it and offering you a special 15 percent off discount code.  If you’re only interested in the discount and would normally just scroll through the post until you find the code, allow me to save you the trouble (hey, I’m always the first one in line to save a pretty penny… I understand).

The code is PSP15 and you can enter it now for your 15 percent savings at PeopleEnEspanol.com/Festival.

If you’re still reading, the lineup includes (besides Gloria Estefan obviously) 3BallMTY, Alejandro Fernandez, Demi Lovato, Kat Dahlia, Lili Estefan, Maite Perroni, Wisin Y Yandel, Bobby Pulido, etc., etc., etc.  A lot of big names, I’m telling you.  They’ll all be performing at the Alamodome on August 31 and September 1.

During the day on Saturday, August 31 at 2 PM, you can also attend a special FREE panel hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien on Latinos in Higher Education: Staying in School and Achieving Success at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.  I’m pretty sure you can attend only that event too if you want.

So there you have it.  If you’re interested, are in the area, or were planning to be in San Antonio this weekend anyway, you should definitely attend.  I myself don’t know if I’ll be able to make it.  This week is my jefito’s birthday and I want to spend some time with him here in Houston.  ¿A ver qué pasa? 

If you do make it, I’d love to hear how you like the show.

Could Eugenio Derbez replace Don Francisco?

Could Eugenio Derbez replace Don Francisco?

This weekend Anjelica asked me that question.  We were watching Don Francisco’s Sábado Gigante (of our own free will this time, believe it or not).  Usually the only time we catch snippets of the more than 50 year old show – the longest-running variety television show in the world, thank you very much – is when we’re either at my parents’ home or hers.  It’s not that we don’t like Don Francisco and/or all of the cast of characters who accompany him on the show.  From the lovable La Cuatro, to the Chacal, Javier, and all of the models and kids, it’s like they are all a part of our cultural familia.

We know who they are.  They’ve always been a part of our lives.  Only now, they’re like our older aunts and uncles, who we respect and honor, but who we wouldn’t necessarily hold a serious discussion with about social media, pop culture or even Miley Cyrus’ less than enviable twerking skills.  Don Francisco especially.

I thought about it for a second and then I said: “Nah… he’s Hollywood now!”

Hollywood, because Eugenio Derbez was co-hosting Sábado Gigante to promote his first feature film as a director, Instructions Not Included (which coincidentally opens this Friday in theaters nationwide).  It also struck me after I said that que Eugenio Derbez is one of the few Latin American artists who have managed to find “cross-cultural” success in Hollywood.  He went from starring in Mexican comedy shows like La Familia Peluche, to small roles in big Hollywood productions, and now his own feature film, all the while maintaining his established English- and Spanish-speaking fan bases… and gaining more loyal followers along the way.

He’s one of those entertainers that both my parents and I can relate to, and who my nephews, nieces and Edgar can find amusing and relevant.  I started to rethink my answer.  Maybe there is more to this move by Univision?

Would it be fair to say Derbez is a Millennial entertainer?

I wouldn’t mind watching him on Sábado Gigante actually.  And I do believe I would be watching more often.

You’re move now Univision!

Telenovela Parodies: For The Hell Of It!

Yes, it’s a bit out of character for me.  In person soy mucho más calmado than you may think.  I like to dot my “i’s” and cross my “t’s” and, at least in my head, I’m more practical than anything else.

Pero también me gusta el borlote.  I’m a dork quite honestly.  And together, as you can see from this video, Anjelica and I somos unos locos.  Well, Los Metiches to be more precise.

We’re having fun with parodies and skits lately.  I hope you at least get a good chuckle or two out of them.  This one is about how funny and cheesy telenovelas can be.  Oigan, and be gentle with us… we’re not the greatest actors :-)

We’ve got more at our YouTube channel, which you can subscribe to and watch at losmetichesonline.com.

¡Gracias!

William Levy: With or Without the Long Hair (Greñudo)?

William Levy with or without hair?

William Levy with or without hair?

We haven’t played this game in a long time.  I’ve been a bad host, I know.  So I have made an executive decision.  Since el cubano William Levy is coming back to television next week on Univision’s latest telenovela, La Tempestad (check your local listings if you want to watch it with or without subtitles).  And because he’s sporting such a funny new hairdo, I thought why not post a side by side and see how you prefer your Levy?

I heard on the radio today that he’s actually suing the people who implanted those hair extensions on his head because they looked so horrible.  También por hay dicen los chismosos (not me this time… I mean other people) that his hair was the reason this telenovela didn’t do all that great in Mexico.  Let’s see if Latinas on this side of the border are more forgiving on those greñas.  

jajaja!

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