Everything to Know Before Starting Season 2

Gente-fied premiered on Netflix in February 2020 and was created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez. Co-produced by America Ferrera, the show follows a trio of Mexican American cousins and their grandfather as they juggle gentrification, family, and the American Dream in Boyle Heights.

Here’s everything you need to know before pressing play on Season 2 of Gente-fied.

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The Family

Casimiro “Pop” Morales (Joaquin Cosio): The patriarch of the Morales family and longtime owner of Mama Fina’s taco shop. He is a Mexican immigrant and undocumented. Casimiro drives an old beat up pick up truck he lovingly named Salma Hayek. He has a big heart and cares deeply about his community. Casimiro also shares a blossoming romance with Lupe, another local shop owner.

Ana Morales (Karrie Martin): Pop’s granddaughter and a queer Mexican American artisit. Ana paints portraits that reflect the intersection of community and identity. In Season 1, she creates a street wall mural of two luchador men kissing each other that creates controversy in the community. She has known her longtime girlfriend, Yessika, since they were both teenagers.

Chris Morales (Carlos Santos): Raised in Idaho, far away from Boyle Heights, Chris struggles to integrate into the community. He is seen as an outsider by his own family, and feels like he is not “Mexican enough." Chris can be a little stuck up at times, seeing certain things in the neighborhood as beneath him. Chris moves to LA to chase his dream of becoming a chef and lives with Pop and Erik.

Erik Morales (JJ Soria): Erik works at Mama Fina’s and lives with Pop alongside Chris. He loves to read books and is saving money to support his unborn daughter with Lidia. He feels he isn’t enough for Lidia because of her educational and financial background. Erik has a heart of gold, but can sometimes be stubborn.

Yessika Castillo (Julissa Calderon): Dominican American Yessika loves her community with intense passion. She is a community activist, always looking for ways to lift the people within Boyle Heights up. Her and Ana have known each other since they were teens.

Lidia Solis (Annie Gonzalez): Ambitious and well educated, Lidia is the daughter of a local bar owner. She is pregnant with Erik’s child, but wants to be as independent as possible. At the end of Season 1 it is revealed that she got a teaching position at Stanford University.

Beatriz Morales (Laura Patalano): Ana’s strict mother who works as a seamstress. Beatriz can be cold and cruel with her children. She was married to Pop’s son, but he died before the events of the show started.

Nayeli Morales (Bianca Melgar): Ana’s little sister and the youngest of the Morales family. Nayeli is inquisitive by nature and likes to hang out at Mama Fina’s to annoy her older cousins. She has a crush on a boy from school called Danny, who has to move to Central California because his father can no longer afford living in Boyle Heights.

Season 1 Recap

Set in Boyle Heights, Gente-fied follows a Mexican American family as they come to terms with love, identity, and the “American Dream” inside their quickly gentrifying community. Casimiro “Pop” Morales is a widower and the owner of a taco shop named after his wife, Mama Fina’s. Pop is the grandfather to Erik, Ana, and Chris. Ana is an emerging artist, Erik is a soon to be father with his on/off girlfriend Lidia, and Chris is adjusting into life in Boyle Heights.The three cousins are often at odds with one another, but when Mama Fina’s rent is doubled, the future of the shop is suddenly placed in peril and the three jump into action to help the shop survive.

While the three clash on how to help, they are fierce in their love for Pop and do everything they can to support him. Throughout the season, Erik and Chris each come with different ideas on how to save the shop. Erik believes they can weather the tough times by working harder, and Chris wants Mama Fina’s to lean into the gentrification in order to make enough money for rent.

At the same time, Ana navigates relationship problems with her girlfriend Yesika, an activist, while managing her own growing artist career. Ana catches the eye of some white benefactors and she has to decide if she wants to put her career over her community.

But theirs isn't the only relationship in turmoil. Throughout the season, Erik and Lidia’s on/off relationship is hot and cold. Lidia is highly educated and Erik isn't, which is a cause of friction between the pair. Lidia wants a life outside of Boyle Heights for herself and her daughter while Erik is comfortable where he is. but their love for their unborn daughter unites them through it all.

Everything comes to a boil when Mama Fina’s gets a spot on a hot LA food tour “Boyle Heights Bites”, hosted by LA Weekly. The food tour’s main demographic are the same gentrifiers that the crew have been trying to defeat all season. The Morales cousins see this as a way to thrive under their changing circumstances, but Yesika sees it as betrayal. She organizes a protest with other Boyle Heights locals, but Chris and Erick get wind of her plan and counterattack. They create a video ad that uses Latinx stereotypes to create buzz. They advertise the shop as a place where they can enjoy food while attending a live protest.

Besides the Morales family, the show features other members of the Boyle Heights community who are being affected by its gentrification like Javier, a mariachi singer who is struggling to make ends meet.

Season 1 ends when Lidia’s water breaks and everyone rushes to the hospital, giddy with excitement for the new bundle of joy. Meanwhile, Pop gets pulled over by the police who tell him he has an outstanding arrest warrant on a vandalism charge from six months ago. Confused, he explains that he can pay it, but instead, he gets placed in the back of a dark van. In a cliffhanger ending, it is revealed that Pop is actually being arrested by ICE.

What to Expect in Season 2

There are a few new additions to the cast. Melinna Bobadilla plays Melinna, a non profit lawyer with an intense loyalty to her community. Ivana Rojas has been added to the cast as Sarai, a food truck owner who Chris becomes immediately infatuated with. Clarissa Thibeaux plays Bree, a queer ad executive who can be seen flirting with Ana in the trailer. Pop’s estranged older son Ernesto, played by Manuel Uriza, also makes an appearance, promising to deliver tons of antagonistic goodness.

At its core, Gente-fied is a story about a multigenerational Mexican American family that is trying to create a lasting legacy in the United States. It has dramatic flair, laugh out loud comedy, and moments of extreme tension, but above all it’s a show that never forgets its heart.

Gente-fied Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.

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About The Author
Andrea Gomez (1 Articles Published)

Andrea Gomez is a Chicana writer based in Southern California. She has bylines in Tor, WeAllGrow Latina, Bold Culture, The Young Folks and more. Andrea also runs her own film site called FilmChisme.com, which is dedicated to Latin American and global filmmakers.

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