“Out of 520 shows right now, now five are of a Latinx gaze, you know,” Vida executive producer Tanya Saracho notes of her Starz series and the culture for which it comes in the math of the Peak TV Era. “That’s not enough,” she added. “We make up almost 20% of this country, so that’s erasure. So for so long we’ve been erased.”
Having inked a three-year overall deal with the Lionsgate-owned premium cabler this year, the once Chicago-based playwright, How to Get Away With Murder scribe and now Vida showrunner wants to make damn sure that representation grows and represents, as she told me during the season’s final installment of Deadline’s Next Generation TV video series.
“The reaction of representation has been so heartwarming because I’ve never seen myself,” Saracho said of the feedback she has received since the six-episode Vida, the siblings series set in East L.A., debuted May 6. “I’m a brown queer girl and I’ve never seen myself on television, and that’s been amazing,” the EP added. “I built the show I wanted to see.”
Although we filmed this Next Gen TV just before the Saracho-penned June 10 season finale and before the excellent Mishel Prada- and Melissa Barrera-toplined Vida was unsurprisingly renewed for Season 2, we were able to discuss the intricate process that went into the narrative construction of the show, its influences (can you say The L Word?) and the origins of its POV.
“When you are a playwright, you constantly are testing your voice in front of an audience, and seeing if you are delivering the message that you want or the themes,” Saracho recalled of honing her skills on the stages of the Windy City and how that prepped her for Los Angeles and the small screen. “So, you arrive here, especially if you’ve had a while at it, you arrive here sort of with a point of view and a voice.”
Check out the video above to see more of my sit-down with the inspiring Saracho as we disucss her notions of getting it right, dealing with the haters, and telling the story she wants to tell.
You can also click here to watch my conversation with Westworld’s Jonathan Tucker from June 12 and my June 5 sit-down with Atlanta’s Brian Tyree Henry. Thanks for watching this year, get those Emmy votes in, and we’ll Next Gen TV again soon.