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No Human Is Illegal – | Review Score –4/5
When Gentefied dropped on Netflix last year, it brought with it a fresh family dramedy, complete with plenty of character drama. At the center of this conflict is the subject of gentrification, which is still just as prevalent here as it was the first time around. Most of the season revolves around Casimiro though, who’s really the anchor that holds everything together.
Last season we ended with Casimiro being taken away by ICE. The second season skips forward several months later, with Casimiro back after three months, awaiting his hearing and on the verge of being deported. While this hangs heavy over the family, they contemplate selling Mama Fina’s.
Around this main plot thread tying the second season together are several other plots to consider. Ana finds herself on the verge of starting a new job, while friction with ex-girlfriend Yessika makes that all the more difficult. Adding an extra layer of spice to proceedings is Bree, a prospective employer and love interest.
Erik, now a new parent and struggling to find his way with Lidia, spends most of this season torn between the past and the present. Lidia wants to make a fresh start and move away while Erik is driven by his conflicting devotion to Pops and the others.
Finally there’s Chris, who still has dreams to become a top chef and move to Paris. Along the way he finds himself wrapped up with new love interest and fellow restauranteur, Sarai. The pair have their ups and downs, with a whirlwind romance and subsequent betrayal in their future. No spoilers here of course!
All of these plots essentially interweave around the subject of gentrification. Unlike last year though, there’s much more focus on the character dynamics and drama rather than the larger subject of the community. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still here but it’s not quite as direct as before.
After establishing itself as a dramedy last year, Gentefied really nestles itself within the soapy melodrama it’s so good at portraying for most of its run-time. It’s here where Netflix’s show thrives, and the characters are well-rounded and wholesome enough to make that worth indulging in. There’s some good jokes in here too but they’re more amusing tidbits than genuine laugh out loud segments.
That’s not to say Gentefied doesn’t have its share of dramatic moments. A Thanksgiving dinner during episode 6 is really quite dramatic, typified by a flying turkey and flared tempers. All of this drama crescendos into a satisfying and well-rounded finale that wraps everything up with a neat little bow. If you were a fan of the first season, you should find lots to like here too.
Verdict - 7/10