There aren’t many Latinx-fronted series on television, but Starz’s Vida is here to pave the way for more shows of the same ilk. Although the series set in East L.A. focuses on the Latinx experience, with Latinx stars in front of and behind the camera, it has become a universal story to which all can relate. Stars Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada joined show creator Tanya Saracho recently at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys to talk about their show’s impact.
“It was exciting to learn that the show was resonating with so many people, not just Latinx [and] and queer Latinx,” Saracho told the Paramount Theatre audience of TV Academy and key guild voters. “The reaction was surprising but very welcome.”
The series premiered last year, with Season 2 set to debut May 23. The new season will see sisters Lyn and Emma (played buy Barrera and Prada, respectively) try to save their mother’s bar while attempting to find respect and common ground. Emma can no longer carry their mother Vidalia’s debts and has problems on her own, meaning Lyn will have to step up to the plate or run the risk of losing her sister forever.
Barrera and Prada said they were pleasantly surprised their characters are resonating with audiences.
“I was very invested in [her character] Lyn’s story, and in order to be able to portray her honestly, I can’t judge her,” said Barrera. “So for me, I didn’t see all that she was doing as wrong. It was very surprising to me seeing the reaction and the hate that she got from the audience.”
For Prada, she was even more surprised because she expected people to hate Emma, and she was ready. However, Emma turned out to elicit quite the opposite reaction.
“I was surprised about how so many people would come up and tell me they wished they could be more like Emma,” said Prada. “It was interesting. It was also seeing such a strong woman that had flaws but also was still trying to pick up the pieces and see what that was. It resonated with people, especially with her being Latinx and queer. Just from a brown gaze, we don’t really get to see that portrayed on television that often. People were really excited to see that.”
Check out the conversation in the video above.
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