Unlike some blogs that I have read that claim that SNL played up to Latino stereotypes when Jennifer Lopez hosted on February 27th, I completely think the opposite. Much to do about nothing.
I laughed SO HARD when I saw the Telemundo sketch on their Vancouver Olympic coverage.
While Spanish news shows happen to be in my opinion, far more informative than English main stream media or cable news (Chile earthquake is a great example of that), entertainment news is very comical, much like El Gordo y La Flaca. Personally, I am terrible with anything on my feet, I cant rollerblade, ice skate, ski, surf, skateboard or snow board. The idea of sliding down a mountain with something strapped to my feet is terrifying. I barely walk in heels. So to me, seeing JLo and Fred Armisen wonder what happened to the ramp or why the rest of the ramp wasn’t completed when an Olympic athlete literally goes zooming down a ramp into the vast empty space, does a loop and magically lands several feet away, touched me very personally! I related to that! Why would ANYONE do that?! And then, they had Bill Hader reporting from the Curling sport and he was so disappointed that he couldn’t even enjoy a pie from the clever and mischievous Bobby Moynihan who was dressed like a little boy prankster with a helicopter hat – HA! I loved it! That’s such a staple in Latino comedy!!! Spot on! Here’s the clip:
My LOL’s continued. I laughed just as hard with the novela sketch “Besos y Lagrimas.”
It was an EXCELLENT sketch on a novela!
You had the one-eyed pirate patch wearing rich man “Carlos” who was bound to a wheelchair (Ay no!) and who was secretly in love with JLo’s nun character, “Josefina” (Si!), and who was poison by his greedy jealous wife (Ay no!), “Magdalena”, in her attempt to inherit all his money (Ay!). But ALAS! when the testament is read, Magdalena inherits nothing (No!) and all is given to Josefina (Si!), who cries and shows that she truly loved Carlos (Ay!), who at that moment, walks in through the door (GASP!) as Josefina tearfully exclaims “Esta vivo!” (Ay!!!!)
Along with the dramatic piano music, the rich dark wooden furnishings in the fancy hacienda and the sharp cuts to the montage of the characters, the sketch was hilarious! Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig were both amazing as novela stars. They were all SO GREAT, I actually want to see the novela.
The point is, for the stuffy uptight Latinos that think these portrayals were stereotypical, I say, get over it.
“Despierta America” morning show has more viewers than all the morning shows on network tv combined according to CNN’s Latinos in America and Neilson Ratings. Spanish novelas, usually run for 120 episodes, playing everynight in millions of homes throughout the world leaving countless people at the edge of their seats anticipating the “what happens next.” Spanish novelas have a higher demand than American soap operas, which run for decades and never seem to end. In novelas, there is love, betrayal, murder, tropical diseases, really intense music, handsome men, beautiful women, and DRAMA!
Whether we like it or now, these “stereotypes” are part of our overall identity. They are not “bad” stereotypes, they are realistic and really do represent what we accept on our own television set as forms of entertainment. I commend JLo and SNL for making our own viewing habits part of the mainstream. I thinks its progressive, entertaining and really weaves the fabric of American identity.