September 13, 2021 • By Christine Pasalo Norland

Gentefied Season 2

The second (and final) season of "Gentefied" arrived on Netflix on November 10. The Latinx dramedy follows primos Erik, Ana, and Chris Morales as they figure out how to help abuelo Casamiro keep the family taquiera going despite looming gentrification in their East LA neighborhood.

"We're back, cabrones," posted Linda Yvette Chávez on Instagram in Fall 2021. The co-creator and co-showrunner, who works on the show alongside Marvin Lemus and executive producer America Ferrera, took to the social media platform last September to tease a carousel of production stills from Season 2.

The gallery opens with Season 1 regulars: a somber Casamiro (played by the venerable Joaquín Cosío); bibliophile Erik (played by Joseph Julian Soria) and his budding family standing on a beach; a pinky promise between cousins Erik, Ana (played by Karrie Martin), and Chris (played by Carlos Santos); and Yessika Castillo (played by Julissa Calderon).

New faces appear about halfway through, including that of Manuel Uriza, who joins the cast as Pop's estranged son and Chris' overbearing father Ernesto Morales, and Ivana Rojas, who plays a truth-telling ambitious chef named Sarai Damian.

"Siri set the timer for 60 Days, 15 Hours, 47 minutes, 10 seconds…," posted Carlos Santos on Instagram, also in September.

"Gentefied" originally premiered last February and was a welcome breath of fresh programming at the start of the pandemic. While the story's tension is driven by the capitalistic business ventures of wealthy Los Angeles citizens, it's also much deeper and fluid than that. For instance, the people who represent the encroaching gentrification are also people who experience marginalization: the first is a Latinx businessman played by Wilmer Valderrama, another is a white LGBTQ+ art curator, and another is a white woman. One aspect of Ana's arc seems to ask whether her decision to pursue art as a career is one of privilege when juxtaposed to her mother Beatriz's (played by Laura Patalano) continuing sacrifice as an undocumented textile laborer, while another aspect asks how Ana can exist as her full self when the acceptance of being LGBTQ+ only seems to be experienced outside of her neighborhood.

The show centers around questions of belonging, pride, family, personal and professional growth, survival in a country that equally wants to profit off of your culture and expel you, and how to stay rooted in a world and time that seems to constantly message that happiness is had by pursuing wealth and notoriety. What does it mean to be seen? Is there really only one right way to feel fulfilled? Must one choose between community or prosperity, or is it possible to choose both? How can one be true to one's heritage without exploiting it? "Gentefied" looks poised to continue exploring these themes and more in its new season, which couldn't come soon enough.

"Gentefied" Season 2 arrived November 10, 2021. Season 1 is now streaming on Netflix.


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