HBO Max Greenlights ‘Vegas High,’ a ’90s-Set Teen Drama About a Mormon Latina

Lead Photo: Photo by Douglas Sacha / Moment
Photo by Douglas Sacha / Moment
Read more

HBO Max has an interesting slate of programming coming in the near future. The streaming service, debuting in 2020, will be the home of the 1997 biopic Selena. It’s also picked up Bobbie Sue, a drama starring Gina Rodriguez as a lawyer, as well as Dani Fernandez’s depression dramedy 1% Happy, which finds the main character moving back in with her estranged father after a rough period of her life. Recently, HBO Max also announced Vegas High, an upcoming teen drama.

The series is written and based on the life of Sarah-Raquel Jimenez. She will work with Gillian Robespierre, who will direct the series. Vegas High is set in the 1990s and follows Laura, a teenager caught between the heady world of Las Vegas and her Mormon upbringing. Her mother, Diane is the “epitome of a Mormon housewife” and will be played by Ozark star Jordana Spiro, while Laura’s “reckless” and charismatic brother, Josh, will be played by Josh Andrés Rivera, who will have a key role in next year’s West Side Story remake.

It’s unclear how much the family’s Latinx heritage will play into the series. A recent casting call for the character of Laura, who has not been secured as yet, described her as “half-Cuban and half-Caucasian,” though the casting agents are willing to look at someone “ethnically ambiguous.”

Vegas High sounds interesting, particularly if it examines being a Latinx person living in a Mormon household. Too often Hollywood focuses on Latin American characters through Christianity, so it’ll be unique at the experiences of other Latinos of other religions.