Netflix’s new series ‘Gentefied’ pokes fun at gentrification
Pop just wants to continue running his taco shop in peace, but with skyrocketing rents and an influx of wealthier residents moving into the neighborhood it doesn’t seem like he stands much of a chance.
Even with the help of his grandkids, it appears Mama Fina’s days will be numbered unless Pop changes tactics to lure in new clientele. Netflix’s “Gentefied” follows a Mexican-American family doing what they can to stay in the Los Angeles neighborhood that they’ve called home for decades. While Pop’s three grandchildren mean well, their help often leads to more scuffles.
Chris has recently returned to the neighborhood and is working on becoming a professional chef. Erik is working at Mama Fina’s with Pop and is trying to not only save the shop, but save up money to care for his baby. At first glance Ana might seem like a bit of a family black sheep given that she’s a lesbian artist, but her humor and passion for their community holds her bickering cousins together.
Chris tries to help Pop maintain the restaurant by suggesting new menu items like a chicken tikka taco to try to lure in the hipsters that have been gentrifying the area. Erik worries that Chris’s hipster tactics will chase off the shop’s loyal customers and instates a kid’s literacy program, where the children can receive a free taco for reading a book. While her cousins are driving Pop crazy at the shop, Ana finds that her art is gaining attention from people outside the neighborhood, but finds herself conflicted when she realizes her benefactor’s efforts to beautify the neighborhood come at the expense of local business owners.
This bilingual series, created by two Chicano writers, is packed with passion and laughter as it pokes fun at hipster culture and highlights the negative impact gentrification has on communities. Viewers who are hesitant to watch a series with partial subtitles are sure to find themselves in stitches as Erik and Chris bicker around Mama Fina’s or about Pop’s awkwardness when he dips his toe back into the dating pool.
Joaquin Cosio shines as the family patriarch and the heart of the show as Pop. Cosio’s effortless performance provides a depth to the show as an immigrant who wants to leave a legacy for his family.
Episode duration: Half hour
Language: English and Spanish
Similar series: “One Day at a Time”
“Gentefied” has one season available on Netflix. Viewers might also enjoy the wholesome nature of “One Day at a Time,” which is also available on Netflix.