Tanya Saracho’s Vida is a celebration of authentic, and modern Latinx culture.
Vida ‘s narrative and representation is essential in shaping the understanding of the complexities of the Latinx culture in the U.S. Moreover, for the Latinx community, it is a chance to see themselves, and to have conversations that were once considered taboo.
Let us look at the women characters that make this show one of the best on television today.
Let’s look at the women characters that make this show one of the best on television today.
Emma, Lyn, Mari, and Eddy embody the vibrant life of Vidalia. They all knew her in different ways, and have a little part of her fighting and loving spirit. With this spirit, these ladies rage war against inner demons, like self-love and acceptance, and societal demons like gentrification and colorism.
More than a warrior, Mari is a lover. Portrayed by Chelsea Rendon, Mari represents the essence of growing up in a Latinx household. Living between two dominant and opposing men, she always reminded of her gender and the limitations and expectations imposed by this society. This inner turmoil to be the perfect, friend, daughter, sister, girlfriend, and Latinx warrior, can hinder Mari from knowing and loving herself. However, she is triumphant time and time again, proving she maybe everyone is “little sister,” but ultimately, she is the most responsible, selfless, and kind-hearted.
Lyn and Emma (Melissa Barrera, Mishel Prada) Vidalia’s daughters, start out believing they know it all and need no one. However, coming back to the barrio and living in their old house has time and time again proven to them that they cannot escape their past nor know who they genuinely are without it. While season one showcased their cultural disconnect, season two demonstrated the sisters’ desire to know more about their Latinidad and protect it at all costs.
Ser Anzoategui gives life to Eddy, Vidalia’s former wife. Eddy is someone we see in our every day but rarely in Latinx narratives. Due to this lack of representation, Ser and Tanya have been able to create a dynamic and complex character while avoiding stereotypes. Eddy is sweet, loving, sentimental, and passionate. Eddy was an upbeat and positive force in season one, but after a near-death beating, Eddy spirals into a deep depression. Even after this, Eddy manages to be a voice of guidance and love to Lyn and Emma.
There are many other representation of multilayered Latinx on Vida. As the show comes to an end, it’s important to recognize how it has layed the groundwork for not just the best representation of Latinidad, but of female and non binary characters on television!