Keeping up with the neighbours


By Tania Phillips



We have all seen it – it has been happening all around us – an old working-class suburb becoming the next real estate hotspot, the up and comer, but what does that feel like for those who have lived there for a generation or two and have to watch the gentrification of their neighborhood?

That’s the premise of gentefied, a semi-autobiographical dramedy (there’s that word again) about a family of Mexican descent living in what is likely to become the next yuppy suburb in East LA.

Pops (Joaquin Cosio) is the widowed owner of taco restaurant “Mama Fina’s” the place is run down and he is behind in his rent, under threat of losing the only legacy he has to leave to his grand children, Erik (JJ Soria) who works at the shop and has a baby on the way, Ana (Karrie Martin) an aspiring artist and Chris (Carlos Santos) a chef working for a Gordon Ramsey-like head chef.

With four lead characters to get to know in 10, 35 minute episodes and have the dialogue in subtitles (including a lot of the early jokes) this isn’t a show where you can sit back relax and turn your brain off.

It takes a few episodes to settle and for an audience to start to learn enough to like them and laugh with them but it is worth the work as what emerges is a real family with a bit of over the top humour thrown-in along the way.

– Tania Phillips