The original series ran for four seasons on Nickelodeon from 2000 to 2004. it is considered to be the first English-language sitcom to have an all-Latinx cast and creative team.
Now, the show is back and hopes to continue to history and change the game. The series chronicles the San Antonio-based Garcias, who gather “for a summer vacation in their fancy beach house in Mexico.”
The six stars from The Brothers Garcia reprise their roles: Ada Maris as Sonia Garcia, Carlos Lacamara as Ray Garcia Alvin Alvarez as Larry Garcia, Jeffrey Licon as Carlos Garcia, Bobby Gonzalez, as George Garcia and Vaneza Pitynski as Lorena Garcia. New cast members are Oliver Alexander as Max Garcia, Nitzia Chama as Ana Garcia, Paul Rodriguez, Jr. as Julian Ramirez, Maeve Garay as Victoria Garcia, Elsha Kim as Yunjin Huh Garcia, Ayva Severy as Andrea Huh Garcia and Trinity Jo-Li Bliss as Alexa Huh Garcia.
Shadow and Act recently spoke to original cast members Gonzalez, Licon and Pitynski, as well as new stars Chama, Kim and Bliss, about the series returning, the impact of the first series and more.
“I think a part of me always hoped that I would get a chance to be on this particular project again, just because I always knew it was special,” Gonzalez told us. “As a kid, when I was making it, I knew that we were doing something special, but I didn’t really understand how it was special until after the show came out and people would either come up to me or I would see it on like a YouTube comment or something. People would say, ‘This show is so important to me because I got to see myself represented. I got to see you a brown person on screen or a Mexican on-screen, or whatever your background is. Just their sense of normalcy was just confirmed. And that kind of representation is very few and far between in Hollywood. We [Latinx people] make up over 20% of this country, but only 2% of Hollywood, and that 2% is usually drug dealers, convicts, ex-convicts, etc. So I would always hope, even if it wasn’t this show, that a show like this would come out. But as soon as Jeff Valdez [showrunner] called me, I’m like, ‘I’m in 100%. Like, let’s do it.’ This show is always just very special to me and I felt like it was a very, very important show. And I’m so glad that another generation is going to be able to experience it and just be able to see the show and have their sense of identity confirmed.”
Licon shared similar sentiments in that it really didn’t hit him how important the show was until later on.
“I didn’t really fully grasp just how important it was when I was doing the original one either,” he shared. “But I think we’re continuing that tradition, just by normalizing a mixed-race family, normalizing that Latinos aren’t what the stereotypes are that they so often get portrayed on in Hollywood. And now that it’s not specifically a children’s show or a young adult show– it’s a family show– we hope that everyone finds something to relate to it and to identify and take something away. Representation is so important for everyone, but especially our younger generation or younger kids that they subconsciously get way more out of it than we realize.”
Pitynski noted how so much had changed since the first series but they were all eager to get back.
She explained, “Jeff Valdez has been trying to get a reboot going for a few years now, but it was one of those things where it was kind of like, ‘Alright, we’ll sit and wait.’ Some of us continued acting, some of us went into other things for our careers. And then the phone call came, he was like, ‘No, it’s actually happening.’ And I was like, ‘OK, whatever.’ And then he’s like, ‘No, no. But it’s happening. And it’s going on HBO Max.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, hold up!’ So the decision was simple. We’d had a crazy few years, it’s been rough for a lot of people and the show is something that I think we need. I was like this is a once-in-a-lifetime, we’re doing it, Lorena has come back, let’s go.”
The Garcias season 1 is streaming now on HBO Max. Watch the full interview above.