Episode 1 : Casimiro – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 2 : Bail Money – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 3 : Bad Hombres – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 4 : Unemployed AF– | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 5: The Mural – | Review Score –3.5 /5
Episode 6: The Grapevine – | Review Score –4/5
Episode 7: Brown Love – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 8: Women’s Work – | Review Score – 4/5
Episode 9 : Protest Tacos – | Review Score –3.5/5
Episode 10: Delfina – | Review Score –4/5
Netflix’s new series Gentefied offers us a fresh family dramedy which tackles some controversial and current issues present in America but thankfully never feels too forced. With each episode loosely concentrating on one character at the time, the show manages to deliver some great characterization as each of the main protagonists have quite the distinctive trait, adding some depth to the interesting premise. With 10 episodes lasting around 30 minutes, Gentefied is a show that’s easy to binge-watch as the story advances at decent speed throughout.
The story revolves around a Mexican-American family living in Boyle Height neighbourhood in Los Angeles. It follows the lives of three cousins and their granddad Casimiro. They try to help him save his taco shop as gentrification slowly changes their beloved neighbourhood as businesses start closing down. Each character faces their own personal issues while trying to pursue their dreams; Chris is an aspiring chef who has recently returned, Ana is a struggling artist trying to break out and Erik is trying to juggle helping out in the taco shop with proving to his ex girlfriend that he will be a good father to their unborn child. What follows is their personal journeys as they try finding their place in society and what they want to do with their lives, leading to a bittersweet ending.
Gentefied offers up some real societal issues surrounding gentrification which is quite the eye opener. The Morales family are at the heart of the problem and have to face many hurdles to try remaining true to their cultures whilst dealing with their own personal problems. Each cousin have very different personalities which adds quite a clever contrast to the show, while all of them share deep affection for their Grandad, Casimiro. He is the glue that holds the family together and this anchor helps to ground this drama nicely.
Each episode loosely concentrates on a specific character, giving us some decent characterisation for each of them. There are some interesting differences between the cousins as each have goals that could take them away from their family and culture. However, two of the best episodes are centered around secondary characters, showing us the struggles people face following gentrification, causing homelessness for Javier and very harsh working conditions for Ana’s mum. While these chapters could feel like fillers, they actually add more emotional depth to the show, helping to tie in with the main story line and themes being explored.
The cast do an excellent job with their character portrayals but it’s Joaquin Cosio who stands out in his portrayal as the caring and fun grandfather to the three cousins. He has some touching and amusing scenes with each while trying to leave them a legacy to make sure they have the freedom he didn’t have when he was younger.
The drama manages to remains consistent in terms of tone and pace, partly thanks to its 30 minutes episodes. It’s the perfect show to binge-watch as it manages to balance humour, drama and real life issues quite well. The soundtrack offers some decent hip-hop titles, fitting well with the theme while the colours remain bright and vibrant throughout too adding more energy to the title.
Gentefied offers up a refreshing and vibrant dramedy with genuine and wholesome characters. While the show leaves things open for a second season and ends with a big cliffhanger, there is enough to keep you engaged and entertained throughout this binge-worthy series. Whether Netflix renews Gentefied remains to be seen but for now, the show is certainly worth watching, conveying a strong message around the importance of family.
Verdict - 7.5/10