In honor of ABC Family’s highly anticipated new series, 10 Things I Hate About You (based on the hit 1999 teen movie starring Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles), and premiering tonight at 8 EST, I decided to make my own list of the 10 things I hate about television, starting with the show that inspired me to create this list in the first place. Let the hate-fest begin, y’all!
1. I hate that there’s not one Latino or Latina actor (or character for that matter) in the main cast of 10 Things I Hate About You. And this from a network that has the word “family” in their name to sell folks on the idea that what they do best is portray different types of families. Well, folks, you’re not portraying mine…
2. I hate that there is not a single Latin actor or actress starring in any HBO show. The main casts of shows like Entourage, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Concords, True Blood, Big Love and Hung are comprised largely of white actors. How is that an honest picture of what America really looks like? The answer is that it’s not. Get with it, HBO.
3. I hate that Latinas don’t land starring roles on their own TV shows. Sure, América Ferrera has Ugly Betty, but that’s just one example. I can think of so many shows that star a Caucasian woman front and center as the star: The Closer (Kyra Sedgwick), Nurse Jackie (Edie Falco), Medium (Patricia Arquette), Weeds (Mary-Louise Parker), Damages (Glenn Close), Brothers & Sisters (Sally Field), 30 Rock (Tina Fey), Parks and Recreation (Amy Poehler), The New Adventures of Old Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus)...Need I go on?
4. A couple of Hollywood actors I know tell me they only get seen for Latin roles because “we’re Latino and they don’t think we can play anything other than Latino.” Silly me, I always thought that (Latin or not) the whole point of being an actor was to become something you’re not? I used to get pissed when I’d hear actors like Andy Garcia saying they were actors—not Latino actors—but now I understand why they do it. Saying they're Latin puts them in a box and limits their opportunities. This is sad.
5. I hate that so many of my fellow Latinos lost their jobs on TV this year, either because their shows got cancelled or because they were collateral damage as a result of budget cuts. These include Rick Gonzalez (Reaper), Nadine Velasquez (My Name is Earl), Bobby Canavalle and Camille Guaty (Cupid), Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break), Julie Gonzalo (Eli Stone), Joanna Garcia (Privileged), Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace) and, of course, Mr. Facebook himself, Kirk Acevedo—who was unjustly booted from Fringe. R.I.P.
6. I hate that Legally Mad, the Kenny Ortega–directed pilot from acclaimed producer David E. Kelly, wasn’t picked up by NBC—especially since Kenny told me in April how much he was looking forward to doing the show: “I’m very excited, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed [that NBC will pick it up]." What a shame.
7. I hate that ABC has moved Ugly Betty to no man’s land: Friday night. Are they trying to get the only show about a Latino family on network television cancelled? It sure does seem that way, and we can’t afford it, because all of our other family shows (Cane, Freddie, American Family and George Lopez) are unfortunately already cancelled. Is Betty next?
8. I hate that Shiloh Fernandez’s Gossip Girl prequel, Lilly, didn’t get picked up by the CW 11, and that as a result he will not get to keep the nickname I gave him: “the Latino Chuck Bass.” Sorry, Shiloh.
9. I hate that Desperate Housewives’ five-year flash-forward required Eva Longoria Parker not to wear makeup and turned her glamorous character Gaby into a frumpy, miserable (and miserable-looking) housewife. Doesn’t Marc Cherry understand that Gaby’s appeal is that she’s equal parts glamorous and conceited? Plus, not to be mean, but Mrs. Parker doesn’t look great without makeup. Maybe they should give her another makeover for next season. I’m just saying…
10. Jessica Alba is selfish. She used to bring her bad acting skills to television, but these days she’s just stinking up movie screens. I hate that! Dear Jessica, please give us another Lazzie-worthy small sreen performance like your turn on Beverly Hills, 90210 in the late '90s.
What say you, Vivo Por TVians? Do you like my list? Or better yet, do you hate it? Take the conversation to the comments section!