We have to give it up to East Los High creators Carlos Portugal and Kathleen Bedoya. East Los High is the first show in English with an all-Latino cast on Hulu, has a diverse writer’s room — meaning lots of women and Latinos — and there’s dope Latin music setting the tone for each episode.
The series focuses on issues that affect the everyday lives of ordinary East L.A. high school students (i.e. contentious family relationships, sex, and dance offs.) All of the stories are legit; the creators reached out and partnered with community organizations like Advocates of Youth, Alianza, Break the Cycle, and California Latinas for Reproductive Choice amongst others.
Now, don’t get intimidated. I know this makes it sound super serious, and it is, well sort of. It’s educational melodrama wrapped up in the package of a web novela. It’s a guilty pleasure that’s a joy to watch.
If you’re semi-curious about the show (and you should be), we give you 10 very important life lessons we didn’t know before watching ELH. Feel free to take notes. Then, head over to Hulu to watch both Season 1 and 2.
10. Good grades aren’t enough to get into college.
Join your school’s Bomb Squad, the hip hop and cumbia-loving dance team. Master these 3 easy moves and you’re in: Pout your lips (it’s all in the face), twerk with intention, and do the crotch hop. If you haven’t heard of it before don’t sweat it, the crotch hop is exactly what it sounds like.
This one is for the ladies who like ladies…
9. If you’re dating your best friend and she gets invited to a “L.O.L Comedy” show, go with her.
Do NOT go to homecoming with her brother. Why? L.O.L. stands for Lesbians Out Loud and these word slayers have game.
Exhibit A: “Ay, Dios Mio. My parents cannot handle the fact that I am gay. So every time I go over for dinner, they serve a plate of sausage. Se los he dicho mil veces: I DON’T EAT MEAT.”
8. Love Triangles (1): If it’s good girl vs. bad girl fighting for the school’s hot-motherless-therefore-golden-hearted-jock, the good girl will always win.
Unless, the kind-hearted jock meets another good girl, who happens to be the O.G.G.’s (Original Good Girl) shy and troubled cousin. Basically, the girl that wears the least amount of make-up wins the guy. Always. No exception.
7. Love Triangles (2): If it’s virgin vs. side-piece, everybody loses.
The dude will give everyone gonorrhea, whose origin you won’t be able to trace, and will leave all of you for the army.
You tell him, side piece!
6. On changing your mind about losing your V-card. That’s cool. You didn’t sign a contract.
Also, the contract thing extends beyond the scope of virginity. You can use it for non-contractual jobs as well.
5. Everybody needs a Tía Paulina.
Beautiful, independent and will give you $500 if you take an AIDS test (you get the money even if you fail. Eek!) She’ll even demonstrate how to put a condom on using a banana. She’s your Sex Ed fairy godmother. Do you hear that? That’s the sound of easy money. Te amo, tía!!! How much for donating blood?
4. If you are the Head Bitch at your school, brainstorm ways other than unprotected sex with multiple dudes to get your way.
Why? YOU WILL GET AIDS.
3. Internships are for white people.
Classic Camila. She’s a lead bitch in Season 2 and she’s full of wisdom.
2. Good girls shall always keep the promises they make to their mothers.
It takes a special kind of human to break a promise to their mother. If you’re the O.G.G. (see #8) and pregnant and you promised your mother you’d keep the baby and get married, it’s pretty daunting. However, if your mother dies… LOOPHOLE!
Tía Paulina says, “If it’s what you want, it’s not selfish.” MIND-BLOWN. Te amo, tía!!!
1. Suicide by breath mints is not a thing.
Tiff (side piece from #7) taught us that taking and posting naked selfies will get all the skonkas at school talking about you and will get you an offer to be on the cover of a dirty magazine but, both will make you want to kill yourself. This cannot be achieved by taking lots of breath mints.
Uff. So many lessons! Thanks, ELH. World, here we come!