The George Lopez Show is the first situation comedy (Sitcom) television show that started and was written and produced by a Chicano. It first aired in 2002; lasted 6 seasons through 2007. The famous actress Sandra Bullock and her production company searched Latin clubs which led her to find George Lopez. Her approach was to create and star a Chicano-centered series, a Sitcom, which would represent the successful strides that Chicanos had made in the United States.
The Shows family consisted of the more mature, seemingly smarter, and more rational wife Angie (Constance Marie), his two kids, a rebellious, free-spirited, book smart; not street smart, teenage daughter Carmen (Masiela Lusha), his mischievous son Max (Luis Armand Garcia), his quick witted, very sexual, alcohol drinking, unaffectionate mother/grandmother Benny (Belita Moreno); who was not the most ideal parent and often centers her jokes around George’s difficult childhood, and his childhood best friend Ernie (Valente Rodriguez). For the first five seasons of the show, the cast was all-Latino, except for Lusha who is Albanian.
Although the show does depict some stereotypes, however, it also focused hard to break those stereotypes about Chicanos/Latinos. In the first episode after working on the assembly line at the airplane parts factory, George was promoted to a supervisor that took him off the assembly line into the office breaking the stereotype that Latinos/Chicanos are not management caliber and can only perform manual labor. Even though George grew up without a father, throughout the episodes and seasons, George stressed to his family that he will always be there for them, this sentiment contradicts the stereotype of the absent Chicano father, of which George did not have growing up.
George owns a home located in a middle-class suburb of Los Angeles. His wife Angie has her own part-time cosmetic business; is generally a stay-at-home mom. George’s mother Benny, who raised George as a single parent, also lives with them in their home from time to time. George’s difficult childhood is often at the center of the jokes, as Benny was not the most ideal parent.
In many ways, the show tackled some stereotypes by the way it dispels negative view about Latinos in that they have large families. The Lopez family is a four person household, a husband, a wife and 2 children – the national average, and sent their kids to private not public schools. Although, throughout show the cast members do on occasion make jokes about Chicanos’ large family size, first generation immigrants having difficulty adjusting to the American social norms of the United States and speaking at time with a heavy Spanish accent. The Lopez family has dealt with discussions of the cost of the kids’ private school vs. paying for their homeowner’s insurance; these issues reinforce the Lopez’s status amongst the middle-class. Also, Angie and Carmen speak French to each other so that George would not understand. This scene strengthens the notion that the family is well educated and speaks languages besides Spanish.
I feel George worked hard to correct the general view of Chicanos/Latinos representation from the previous generations’ television in the United States. Exemplifying the extent of which Chicanos have their own tradition of inquiry into the politics of representation, Born in L.A. (1987) is a mestizaje of cultural codes (Fragoso, 1993, pg. 62). I felt the way he incorporated positive examples of Chicano/Latino into his show, George provided a guide, a different perception, for Americans to see and understand Chicanos/Latinos. I also felt the show helped to provide an accurate portrayal of the contemporary Latino families’ experience that were present before the show’s creation.
Fregoso, R. L. (1993). The bronze screen: Chicana and Chicano film culture. Retrieved from http://ebookcentral.proquest.com Created from csudh on 2019-10-27 14:04:20.