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New “Cristela” TV Show Offers Glimpse Into Mexican-American Life

Cristela is a new sitcom coming to ABC that is written, stars, and is produced by comedian Cristela Alonzo. She’s a first generation Mexican-American who grew up along the Mexican border in Texas outside of McAllen. The show will feature a blue collar Mexican-American family trying to get by in the modern world of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Alonzo is a successful comedian who has appeared on numerous shows including the Conan O’Brien show. Though Cristela took a circuitous route to get to air, ABC apparently believed in it enough to finance it. The show sounds promising and Alonzo is certainly funny, but I hope it doesn’t suffer the same kind of fate as other “ethnic” sitcoms.

First of all, it is unheard of for a Latino woman to have this much power in a show. Hell, for there to be a Latino man is practically impossible, but a woman? Never. So, that in and of itself is amazing. My only fear is that the network will do what networks have always done and turn a sitcom about a non-White ethnic group into a parade of stereotypes. That’s because even though Alonzo is a Latina, I guarantee that the big wigs at ABC are not. In fact I can tell you from personal experience that they are not and don’t “get” the whole Latino thing. It will be interesting to see if Alonzo is able to steer her vision on the screen. Cristela premieres October 10 on ABC.

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