Hulu is making history with the first English-language Latino teen drama. The series “East Los High” focuses on Hispanic students in a Los Angeles high school. The show premiered June 3 and is being advertised as a “Hulu original series.”
According to Hulu’s blog, this “is not your typical high school.” There is dancing, romance, sex and mystery. East Los High features “an all Latino cast, director, writers and creators…more than 15 leading public health organizations such as Advocates for Youth, Voto Latino, California Family Health Council and Legacy LA…advised on the scripts.”
Even better than all the organizations who gave input on the scripts is the fact that the show is getting away from Latin stereotypes.
According to an interview with producer/director Carlos Portugal, he gave his writers three “no’s” for the series.
“The cast of “East Los High” will have no gardeners, no gang members and no maids,” says Portugal. “Although there is nothing wrong with these types, I feel that we are over-represented by gardeners, gang members and maids in TV and movies. I know that a lot of my actor friends are sick of playing them. It’s time to create new characters for Latino actors to play and show the world the potential of their range as actors.”
Although the focus of the story is on two teenage cousins who fall in love with a popular football player, Portugal said in the interview that there are other storylines involving sex, social issues, pregnancy and most importantly, empowering girls.
“You see them as they go through all their drama, at the beginning coming off a little rough around the edges …and at the end of the series they all begin to get their lives together. At the end of the day, it’s a fun, sexy love story but it’s also about connecting our viewers to the resources they need if they ever come up against some of the issues the characters face,” Portugal said.
By Being Latino Contributor, Christina Ortega Phillips