Review: ‘Gentefied’ spreads love for community, family

Netflix original series collectively loved nation-wide


Courtesy of Netflix.

Gentefied,” the latest of Netflix’s newest original series, was released on Friday, Feb. 21, quickly becoming adored nation-wide for its hard-hitting topics and lovable characters. According to Netflix, the show quickly rose in ratings and became part of their Top Ten, ranking at 4 by Tuesday Feb. 25, 2020.

The show tells the story of three cousins, Ana (Karrie Martin), Chris (Carlos Santos) and Erik (Joseph Julian Soria), as they come together to save their Pop’s (Joaquín Cosio) restaurant in Boyle Heights. The neighborhood they grew up in becomes gentrified, meaning it was changed and refined to better suit the middle-class. The community watches as the culture is drained away from their home, replaced with privileged and ignorant people moving in.

The plot is centered around a real and ever-growing problem in cities and successfully shows the struggle people have to go through in order to face it. Although the show is mainly about Ana, Chris, Erik and Pop, it also shows the narratives of other people in the community, showcasing their daily fights against poverty and discrimination.

A large variety of characters, personalities and conflicts are inserted throughout the show, creating a more interesting plotline that’s difficult to get bored of. Each character has admirable traits as well as flaws, making them more realistic and likable. For instance, Erik cares for his family immensely, even more so since he is a father-to-be. However, he feels the need to fix every problem himself, his pride stopping him from receiving help. His and other characters’ flaws caused conflict that moved the plot forward.

The characters themselves are also well-written, having complex problems and personalities that add depth to the show altogether. The viewers are able to relate and connect with the characters from outside their screens. The intimacy and love the characters have for one another, whether familial or romantic, transfers easily to the viewers, forcing them to become emotionally invested in the plot.

Although the show mainly focuses on gentrification, it also expands on other issues as well. Ana, a gay aspiring artist, faces a lot of adversity in her work and love. Members of her community and family showed their obvious disdain for her relationship with her girlfriend, Yessika (Julissa Calderon). Along with that, she had a passion for her art but struggled to find work that allowed her to follow her passion while also supporting her financially. Ana’s mom (Laura Patalano) exemplified another issue of having to support her family’s financial needs as a single parent while being underpaid and overworked.

The production of “Gentefied” itself was of a higher quality compared to other Netflix original sit-coms and shows that are directed towards a younger demographic. Instead, the show had a similar atmosphere to other dramas on the platform, such as “On My Block.” The show’s dialogue impressively maintained a balance between its serious themes and a natural humor among the characters which managed to not feel forced.

“Gentefied” ended on a dramatic cliffhanger that left fans excitedly waiting for a potential season two. Overall, the show balanced humor and entertainment with issues viewers might not have been aware of. It maintained a realistic and relatable feel throughout, which successfully made fans fall in love with the characters’ charisma and charm, deservedly earning the show 5 out of 5 stars.