4 TV Shows Celebrating Hispanic Heritage


4 TV Shows Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Jennifer Martinez
Marisa Nightingale
October 1, 2020
Three promotional posters from the TV show, 'Jane the Virgin.'

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and as young people head back to school (in whatever format that may be), we've put together a playlist of four TV shows that incorporate Latinx stories and characters as they deal with sex, love, and relationships. 

These award-winning, critically-acclaimed shows are also great discussion-starters with the young people in your life. We are proud to have worked with many of these shows to help inform viewers and to spark conversations as they entertain. Watch together (or separately) and then try out these questions on your teens and young adults. Check out our #TalkingIsPower resources and share your stories and suggestions with us @PowerToDecide

  1. Gentefied (Netflix) follows a Mexican-American family living in Boyle Heights. One of the main storylines is how gentrification is affecting small businesses like ‘Mama Fina’s Tacos, which has been around for decades. Erik, Ana, and Chris along with Pops look for ways to “save” the shop without losing their culture.

    Discussion point: Erik and his girlfriend, Lidia are expecting a child. But it seems that Erik and Lidia are on different pages in their relationship. How would you handle this situation?
  2. Jane the Virgin (The CW, Netflix) an American telenovela, is a loose interpretation of Juana la Virgen. Jane decides that she will remain a virgin until she is married, but an accidental artificial insemination leaves her pregnant. Jane pursues her education and her dream to become a writer all while juggling love and complex relationships with her mom, her Abuela, and the men in her life (and the other women in their lives).

    Discussion point: The main plot deals with an unplanned pregnancy under pretty unrealistic circumstances. Yet Jane's journey is very relatable. If you want to be a parent someday, what would you want to have in place before that happens?
  3. On My Block (Netflix) is about four friends living in South Central LA. As they approach their first year of high school, Cesar, Jamal, Ruby, and Monsé are determined to make a good first impression as high school is described to be the “foundation for the rest of your life.” While these four friends try to stick together, they go through many different obstacles, including a secret relationship between Monsé and Cesar, gang culture in their neighborhood, and love triangles.

    Discussion point: As Monsé returns from camp the first thing her friends, Ruby and Jamal say to her is “You got boobs.” She is immediately uncomfortable about her body once she starts receiving unsettling male attention. Monsé and Cesar are also in a secret relationship. Their relationship involves sex, love, and insecurities from both sides. Why do you think some people would rather keep their relationships a secret? What do you think makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy?
  4. East Los High (Hulu, EastLosHigh.com): East Los High is a groundbreaking, five-time Emmy nominated Hulu original series that revolves around the lives of a group of teens navigating their final years at a fictional high school in East LA. The series tackles real life issues in meaningful ways with complex characters and storylines that include love, sex, and pregnancy—as well as dance, heartbreak, betrayal, and drama. A game-changer in the industry, East Los High was the first English-language show with an all-Latino cast, creators, and writers. Thanks to the show's work with advisors and partners (Power to Decide is honored to be among them) independent research demonstrated that East Los High viewers were more likely to be knowledgeable about sexual and reproductive health and to have more protective views and behaviors as a result.

    Discussion point: Ceci has an unplanned pregnancy as a teen, and when her baby's father, Abe, goes to jail, Ceci is left to become a mom on her own. How does Ceci's path change as she becomes a more confident mom to Isela? How does Ceci's pregnancy journey affect her friendships and romantic relationships? Her future goals?

    East Los High Video extras: In-character webisodes tackle audience questions and scenarios that many viewers face.
  • Ask Paulie: What's the most surprising question/answer that Paulie tackles?
  • Ceci's Vlog: What advice would you give Ceci as she begins her journey as a teen mom?