“What’s a sitcom? You mean The Kardashians?” This was the response that co-creator of the Wassup En LA? sitcom, heard when he was explaining his show to a high schooler. Many American adults would hear this term and feel a sense of nostalgia and then respond a little something like this, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Chico and the Man, Family Matters, or The Cosby Show.” The answer that the youngster gave however, should not be a surprise. Today’s youth are unfamiliar with the term sitcom. Reality television has overshadowed the traditional family sitcom so much so, that, The Jersey Shore and Teen Mom are what come to mind when kids are asked about t.v. shows.
It is for precisely this reason that Carlos and Rudulpho, decided to create Wassup En LA?, a show about a Cuban family uprooting, and moving to Los Angeles, as a means to follow their son’s acting career. What makes Wassup En LA? uniquely different from Latino sitcoms of the past- not like there were many to begin with- is that it includes many other cultures. Carlos and Rudulpho believe that no show can adequately portray life in Los Angeles without including all of the cultures that interact on a daily basis.
The initial decision to create Wassup En LA? began three years ago and was only meant to be a summer project. What would compel these two friends to turn a summer project into a three year undertaking? Their childhood memories and a conviction to give back to their community as Latino film makers. Like Rudulpho said, “Now we have a responsibility, we are not just film makers, we are Latino filmmakers. We can either join others in talking about Hollywood’s Latino stereotypes or do something. Its’s not everyone’s calling. But for us, the further we got into this project, and by dealing with so many cultures, we had to make Wassup En LA? a reality.”
Childhood memories of sitcoms run deep for both friends. Shows that they viewed as children instilled the importance of family, a quality that is lacking in today’s television. Their own words were, “It is what we knew. We didn’t grow up watching reality shows, we watched sitcoms. All of the knowledge that we obtained was from classic family shows. There were family issues, relevant situations.”
With the sitcom’s retirement as of late, Latinos as well as all Americans need a show like Wassup en LA?. For one, the actors of Wassup love the ideas of embracing the role model position on and off camera. Secondly, America desparately needs to fall in love with family again, which is easy to do with this show’s cast. Rudulpho and Carlos personally guarantee that you will love every character. The goal when creating this show was to make this family so personable that they could easily become a part of your family.
In order to make Wassup En LA? a full-fledged reality, Carlos and Rudulpho still need to raise 45,000 dollars by Saturday, September 8. You can help make sure that this show makes it to television by visiting the Wassup en LA? Kickstarter page and donating whatever you can contribute. If you are lacking the funds, use your own personal influence and talk about the show with others in person, on Facebook, as well as Twitter. If the Latino community pulls together, we can all aid in bringing back the sitcom. But what happens if they don’t raise the money in time? Kickstarter will give you a full refund and as Carlos and Rudulpho said, “We have invested so much of ourselves, we are not going to quit. Failure is not an option.”