Arturo Castro is going places. Since the young Guatemalan actor kicked open his US career with a recurring role Broad City back in 2014, he’s moved on to indie crime thrillers like Mi America and even Hollywood war dramas like the upcoming Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. But perhaps nowhere has Castro been able to shine like in his Comedy Central web series Alternatino, which is entering its second season on the channel’s digital platform.
After establishing his unique brand of awkward, stereotype-busting Latino comedy in first season episodes like “Respect Your Mother” and “Telemundo App”, Castro is back with three new episodes that showcase an even weirder and more provocative humor. Kicking off with an exploration of bedroom racial dynamics, the episode “Borderline Racist” features an ethnically diverse group of friends kvetching about the shady sexual fixations of their significant others. But rather than just chuckling about casual racism, Castro flips the joke on its head by exploring how people of color accept and even internalize it.
Next up, “Buenas Noches” riffs off of the cheesier elements of late-night comedy while all but calling out Jimmy Kimmel Live for its use of security guard Guillermo Rodriguez as a recurring ethnic prop. Once again flipping this formula on its head, Castro’s fictional host Diego Luca brings out a white IT guy who becomes the butt of ridicule and objectification for a hyper-enthusiastic audience. Along the way, Castro takes the chance to make some pointed commentary about misogyny in comedy, while forcing the audience to reflect on its own complicity in this media shitshow.
To close out, “Biblioteca” makes a hilarious running gag out of a mystery any Spanish-speaking Latino will be familiar with: “Dónde está la biblioteca?” Yes, that iconic phrase that seems to be the only sentence high school Spanish students retain into adulthood is twisted by Castro into an absurd conspiracy theory taken on by a laughably serious investigative news show. Once again, TV itself is the butt of Castro’s parody in “Biblioteca”, but hopefully non-Latinos intent on repeatedly dusting off their 9th grade Spanish will also catch the hint.
Season 2 of Alternatino premieres Thursday, October 6 on Comedy Central’s website.