This week the fabulous María Santana of CNN en Español (btw, our jefe still owes her a Boston Cream Pie for losing a Super Bowl bet last year) filed a report about MTV’s “Washington Heights,” a show that has gotten both praise and criticism.
Here is what the cast had to tell María.
First of all, it was GREAT to see part of the cast speaking in Spanish, so much so, that we think that is one opportunity for the show to improve. A bilingual reality show on MTV? That would get our attention.
Also, the CNN piece does a good job summarizing the show and the issues surrounding it, but we tend to side with those from the Washington Heights neighborhood who think it could have done a better job. The “authenticity” of the show is not that it has to be more “Dominican,” it just has to be more “real.” Like we said, imagine if the actors could be more like they are in the CNN piece? Now that would at least give the show a bit more of a different focus. Instead, that type of “realness” doesn’t truly fit the MTV formula. That is why we have lost interest in the show, after catching the first few episodes.
We are all for positive portrayals of Latinos on TV, since the opportunities are so few and far between, but what is “real” and what is “manufactured reality” is still an issue for the show. We still think that it is the “manufactured reality” that has gotten more attention so far.
But maybe that will change. Or maybe not.