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Alternatino with Arturo Castro

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Alternatino with Arturo Castro TV Poster Image
Sharp satire, some language in hilarious Latinx sketch show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Castro's comedy explores tricky topics like stereotypes, gender roles, politics, and racism. They often circle around heavy subjects, but the humor makes the points land lightly, and the show may encourage viewers to consider more carefully about how they think about and treat other people. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

As a Latinx man who doesn't conform to stereotypes yet exists in a world in which he's expected to, Castro has a unique comic viewpoint and casts light on many aspects of being a man of Latin descent in America. Castro's cast is diverse in terms of race and ethnicity, but the majority of actors are in their 20s and 30s. 

Violence

Some sketches use cartoonish or comic violence to make a point, like one in which two men have a fake standoff to impress a woman and one slaps another at his urging, or a sketch that targets ICE and shows injured immigrant children, and a roomful of detainees who appear unconscious and lie still on the ground. 

Sex

Some sketches revolve around romance and sex, like a parody of a home buyers' show which states that one of its participants takes "work trips that are bisexual vacations." In another sketch, a woman says "Let's get out of here" and kisses a man in the taxi as they travel back to his house, presumably for sex. 

Language

Language and cursing includes "s--t," "hell," "a--hole." Words like "f--k" are bleeped. 

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Adults drink wine and beer in some sketches; no one acts drunk.  

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Alternativo with Arturo Castro is a sketch show starring comic and actor Arturo Castro and presents comedy from the point of view of a millennial Latinx man. As is typical of a sketch comedy show, humor may touch upon or concentrate on sensitive topics such as race, ethnicity, religion, politics, and gender; the humor is generally lighthearted but makes serious points that could encourage deeper thought and conversation. Mature material in Castro's sketches includes one in which a woman is aroused by stereotypes of Latin men and a promotional video for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that shows children being imprisoned and unconscious on a floor. Language is infrequent; expect to hear "s--t," "hell," and "a--hole," while words like "f--k," and "motherf--ker" are bleeped. Adults drink in some sketches, but no one acts drunk. 

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What's the story?

The eponymous host of ALTERNATIVO WITH ARTURO CASTRO is best known for playing a deadly serious cartel dealer on Narcos, as well as Ilana Glazer's free-spirited roommate on Broad City. In his self-created sketch show, Castro continues to whip between wildly different character types, many (but not all!) pinpointing some of more ludicrous aspects of being a Latinx millennial in modern America. 

Is it any good?

Fans of Narcos and Broad City have known for some time that Arturo Castro is outrageously lovable, but it may come as a surprise that he also has a sharp, sly comic sensibility. Alternativo with Arturo Castro could have skewed shrill, or preachy, or esoteric. But as Castro cycles through a delightful variety of characters from telenovela stars to Che Guevera to a father with traditional values trying to give the sex talk, he nimbly captures both the indignities of living within a marginalized culture in America, and the absurdity of being a thinking human in the world at all. Castro's sketches are rich, and inspired -- a faux "Visit Guatemala" travel ad is an early highlight, but the interlinked segments when he plays himself are even better. As he riffs on his own life, we're treated to ridiculous scenarios such as a party in which every guest attempts to turn the conversation to Latinx topics, and a look at two dates with a woman who has a "thing" for Latinx men. There will be many newly minted Castro fans after word about this show gets out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes something funny. Does it depend on your viewpoint? Do different people find different things funny? Is Alternatino with Arturo Castro funny to you? Can you explain why? Does any of the comedy depend on stereotypes? Does it confirm, or confront these stereotypes? 

  • What is the purpose of satire in our culture? How do you feel when someone or something you admire is being made fun of? Is it harder to laugh at some jokes than others? 

  • Why would it be important to have a show featuring comedy from a Latinx viewpoint? Are Latinx comics heavily represented on other comedy shows? In comedy in general? 

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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