The sophomore season of the Netflix dramedy Gentefied is in full swing and continues the story of the Morales cousins.
Picking up from their acclaimed first season, Chris (Carlos Santos), Erik (J.J. Soria) an Ana (Karrie Martin Lachney) fight alongside Pop (Joaquín Cosío) on his arduous battle to stay in the country, all while dealing with new love, new babies, estranged fathers, and of course, tracking down Bad Bunny at a Halloween party.
Needless to say, the love letter to Latinx and Boyle Heights communities created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chavez has a lot to unpack in the second season.
During an event to celebrate the new season for Gentefied, producer America Ferrera talked to Diaspora about the new season and they continue to bolster the community and their stories. “I think I can confidently speak from me, Marvin and Linda, when I say that, for all three of us, it’s why we do what we do,” said Ferrera. “It’s really important to to tell stories about our community that really resonate with us that have never been told before.”
Ferrera points out that Gentefied resonated with the community and beyond as they fell in love and related to the Morales family and their world — and it wasn’t just about gentrification. It’s about exploring gentrification, art as capitalism, and intersectionality with identity. She added, “Marvin and Linda were so brave and bold about continuing at path in the second season and not being shy about it.”
The first season came out before the pandemic and as they went into production for the second season, the world was still navigating the coronavirus. Even so, the Gentefied team made a conscious decision not to set the show during the pandemic.
“I feel like through the pandemic and after I’ve been looking for things to take me out of the reality a little bit,” said Ferrera. “Marvin and Linda made the decision to not address it — to not have people wear masks, to not talk about the pandemic.”
She continued, “At the time it was not clear how long this would go on or how prevalent it would be in our lives and so it wasn’t like the most obvious choice, but I’m really glad that they did because it allows us to just really live in the lives of our characters and not make it all about the pandemic.”
Ferrera spills some details about the new season saying that her favorite episodes include one directed by Chavez which follows Lidia and Erik as he follows her to Stanford. The season explores the real kind of challenges and struggles that exist for them while there. In addition, Ferrera direct three out of the eight episodes this season.
“I love directing and had such a great time,” said Ferrera. “Marvin and Linda asked me to direct the first two episodes, which felt like a lot of pressure, but we had so many conversations about where we wanted to go this season and it was really important to all of us that all of it feel like an evolution — like a step up. Like visually it felt more cinematic… like it had matured a little bit. The characters matured a little bit — and so there was that challenge, But also, they really wanted to dive into the drama too and the balancing of the drama and the comedy was also a new challenge.
Ferrera also directed the Thanksgiving episode. “All of it logistically, dramatically, comedically was like directing a play and it was so much fun and I’m so happy with how it turned out. I love directing on the show.”
Watch the new season of Gentefied here.