For the minds behind the scenes of Gentefied, crafting a show that in season 2 is telling a very common story, and still finding an angle, a nuance that hasn’t been shown before, was particularly important. We had a chance to talk to Linda Yvette Chávez, Marvin Lemus, and America Ferrera about what the journey of the second season looked like, and they were all very excited for everyone to experience a story many people can relate to, told their way.
“All the conversations I had with Linda and Marvin; it was all about what’s the version we haven’t seen before?” Ferrera told us. “If we’re going to tell the story about Pop fighting to stay in this country, what’s the layer of this journey that we haven’t seen portrayed and explored in storytelling?” she continued.
In the end, what they wanted was to explore how this fight would affect someone like Pop, a proud family man, and the back and forth someone like him would be feeling. Because, at some point, they shared, a character like Pop would wonder: is it worth it? Is it worth having to beg?
“On some level, every character is, in some way, questioning what they’re fighting for and why.” Ferrera also shared, something that feels both very honest, and incredibly relatable for anyone watching – age notwithstanding.
For Lemus, it was a complicated thing, as they wanted to treat the storyline delicately, without veering into trauma porn, which is very easy to do. “What we wanted to capture is the nuance,” he explained. “We wanted to just capture that overhanging feeling, versus getting super into the nitty-gritty of the politics of it or the legal implications. Instead, it was really just trying to capture the heart of (the story) and that tone.”
And, while talking about the heart of the story, it was important to highlight one of the storylines that have gotten the most love, and excitement – that of Ana and Yessika, one of the ships at the heart of Gentefied.
“Anytime we get to see a queer couple on-screen loving on each other and trying to pursue their dreams, you’re going to celebrate that and want that,” Chávez told us, remarking that she was anything but surprised at the pair’s popularity.
“Like with any portrayal or any type of representation that you haven’t seen of yourself, you want to lean harder into it, you want to write fanfiction, you want more of it, you want to eat it up. It’s like you’re at the buffet and you want to eat all the food.”
But one of the most important parts, for Chávez, and for the team behind Gentefied, was the framing for the relationship they were creating. “It was exciting to tell stories about a character who’s not coming out,” because “those are very important stories.” Plus, they also wanted to “tell a story of a Latine family who is very accepting of Anna. They’re like, we don’t have a problem with that, we got other problems with you – get a job!”
This portrayal pushes a kind of normalization that, Chávez considers very important for our communities. “It’s a beautiful thing to put out there, so that families can feel that normalcy in their own families,” no matter how they look, who they love, or how they relate to each other.
Of all the reasons to watch Gentefied, this is perhaps, the most important one.
The ten episodes of Gentefied season 2 will be available to stream on Netflix this Wednesday, November 10th.