The Three Cousins
Netflix’s latest series Gentefied starts its ten episode run with a decent pilot episode as we’re introduced to our main characters; all very different but united to face the common issue of gentrification in their beloved neighbourhood. There is a strong sense of family and culture in this drama too as we witness the granddad of the three cousins doing his best to make sure his grandkids have a good life while still keeping his traditions alive.
The first episode introduces us to the three cousins living in Los Angeles, Boyle Height. We see that Chris is an aspiring chef and Ana is an artist while Erik works with his granddad, Casimiro. During breakfast, Erik speaks to his pop about them owing rent money for their shop and suggests that he should stop paying for Ana’s rent.
Casimiro and Erik head to work in their taco shop called Mama Fina. Unfortunately, the owner of the building, Rob, arrives with two other men to look at the place. He speaks to Casimiro and Erik about being late with their rent and tells them that the partial payments they keep giving him are not enough. They confront him though as they’re struggling because he doubled the rent and again, are only able to give him part of it.
In the restaurant he works in, Chris speaks to chef Austin about helping him with a letter of recommendation as he’s applying for a chef job in Paris. After work, he joins Casimiro and his cousins as they speak about finding a solution to pay the rent and prevent the restaurant from being shut down. He gives them some suggestions, including getting rid of some staff, but this is met with reluctance from his granddad.
Later on, Erik and Chris follow Ana into the bar she works. Erik’s ex Lidia also arrives and as he tries his best to win her back, we find out she is expecting his child.
The next day, Erik has the difficult task of firing one of their workers called Geo, as he explains they need to make cuts while Ana confronts Chris about considering leaving for Paris instead of helping them. She then heads to an art gallery with her girlfriend Yessika to expose her art before later returning home to find all of her paints missing. She confronts her Mum about it, who tells her that she needs to start thinking about getting a real job as her grandfather is not able to pay her rent anymore.
The next day, Casimiro becomes outraged when he finds out that Erik has fired Geo. This prompts the granddad to visit Chris in his restaurant and asks for his help. He agrees to it but insists on giving him money first.
The episode ends after a very drunk Casimiro leaves a bar after drinking with his friends. While thinking about his business and the legacy he wished he could leave his family, he vows not to give up just before being stopped by the police after urinating on a sign and breaking a window.
Gentefied tackles some pretty harrowing issues in this first episode and manages to set things up well for the episodes ahead. It’s a simple story about a family trying to deal with their neighbourhood changing while each deals with their own personal issues. They all have very distinctive personalities which adds some depth to the series too.
Gentefied is set to be quite the binge-worthy series, with plenty of family drama, eye-opening subjects and likable characters to make this show an enjoyable and engaging title among the multitude of titles Netflix has to offer.