Looking For A New Show To Obsess Over? Starz Series ‘Vida’ Is Coming Soon And You’re Going To Love It

With series like One Day At A Time, On My Block, The Get Down and Orange Is The New Black, Netflix has become the go-to for audiences craving Latinx representation on their screens. But Vida, a new drama coming to Starz next week, might make viewers close their laptops and turn on their TVs for the first time since ABC’s Cristela ended in 2015.

The series, set in East Los Angeles, follows the journey of two Mexican-American sisters, Emma and Lyn, who return to their hometown after the death of their mother and have their lives changed dramatically by hidden family secrets and major moral-slash-economic decisions.

Created by TV writer Tanya Saracho, whose previous credits include How To Get Away With Murder, Looking, Girls and Devious Maids, the show tackles feminist themes, LGBTQ discrimination, socioeconomic divides and gentrification with LA’s Latinx culture as its backdrop.

If this alone doesn’t sound appealing, here’s why Vida, premiering May 6, 2018 on Starz, should be the next series you toss onto that list of shows you said you weren’t going to add to but you actually totally are.

1. Its lead characters are both Latina.

(Photo Credit: Erica Parise/Starz)

Lyn, played by the Mexican-born telenovela star Melissa Barrera, and Emma, played by Miami Mexican-Dominican-Puerto Rican actress Mishel Prada, are estranged Mexican-American sisters on the show, which they lead. Most of the roles, including main and supporting, are presented by Latinx actors as well, from non-binary Argentine-Paraguayan actor Ser Anzoategui playing Eddy, the sisters’ late mother’s secret spouse, to Chelsea Rendon, who plays chingona activist Marisol, to Maria Elena Laas, playing Lyn’s love interest Cruz and more.

2. It’s hella Latinx behind the scenes as well.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

Often feeling like the “diversity hire” as the sole Latina writer on a program, Saracho made it a point to have a lot of color in her writing room. Her writing staff is entirely Latinx and primarily female and queer — making themes on latinidad, gender and LGBTQ feel authentic on the show.

3. It’s unapologetically feminist.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

In Vida, women of color are multidimensional characters. In addition to the female camaraderie throughout the series, we also see women who are business owners, have economic independence, embrace their sexuality and advocate for their community.

4. Queer representation is front and center.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

Many of the Latinx characters on Vida are queer, shattering stereotypes and offering portrayals not often seen in the entertainment industry. Not only did the sisters discover that their late mother was married to the non-binary Eddy, who remains a central part of the show, but Emma, who reconnects with an old female fling, is also questioning her sexual orientation. Saracho, who is queer herself, makes sure that different aspects of queer relationships — from exploration, falling in love, sex, discrimination, heartbreak and loss — are present and shown in real and nuanced ways.

5. On that, there’s lots of amor on the series.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

Who wants to watch a series without love? Not me! While romance isn’t the most important theme on the show, it’s sprinkled throughout, from the complicated relationships between Emma and Cruz as well as Lyn and her engaged love Johnny.

6. It gets real about gentrification, particularly gentefication.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

On the show, the sisters are gentefiers, gentrifiers who happen to be brown. Upon the death of their mom, the siblings receive the building and attached bar she owned. Not sure if they want to stay in the low-income neighborhood they grew up in, they’re thinking about selling, speaking with a Latino real estate developer who wants to transform the dive bar and low-rent apartments into pricey condos, which would leave the tenants, many of them undocumented, on the streets. The theme of gentefication is present throughout the series, including a Latino local selling artisanal tacos in Boyle Heights, and forces viewers to think about the ways they have entered — or re-entered — spaces and dictated what happens there.

7. They speak your language: Spanglish.

(Photo Credit: Starz)

While the show is primarily in English, to accurately represent the Latinx community, there must be Spanglish dialogue, and Vida brings it. From meshing words, to immediately shifting from English to Spanish when arguing to advocating hard for your Latinx community but speaking hella broken Spanish, the Vida cast speaks our language.

Vida premieres May 6 on Starz.

Read: ‘One Night’ Is A Love Story Between Latinx Trans And Queer Childhood Friends In Chicago

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