A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
This fictionalized interpretation of Celia Cruz's life entertainingly highlights issues like challenging racism, classism, and patriarchy.
Positive Role Models
Celia Cruz overcomes some traditional values as they relate to race, class, and patriarchy to pursue her career. Simón Cruz considers singers to be cheap and low class. Ollita Alonso is much more supportive of Celia's goals. Noris is jealous and vindictive. Many of the men featured are misogynists, and most of their wives and daughters are expected to fulfill traditional roles as wives and mothers.
Cast members play Cubans from various racial/ethnic backgrounds, and the actors are Puerto Rican, Colombian, and from other Latino communities. Afro-Cuban music and culture is featured.
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Violence & Scariness
People are occasionally yelled out, punched, slapped, and shot at. A dead baby is shown at her wake, and a bereaved mother breaks her finger within the context of a spiritual understanding.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are scenes featuring men and women making out while cheating on their spouses, in their underwear, and with the tops of their dresses down (but no nudity). Pedro Knight is a womanizer with five children. Women are sometimes accused of being "cheap" or "trash."
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There's no cursing, but coarse insults typical in some Latino cultures are uttered. Not all are translated in the subtitles.
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Products & Purchases
Lots of Celia Cruz songs are performed throughout the series. Occasionally music from other performers is also featured. It's all offered in context.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Beer is consumed at local establishments, and cocktail drinking is visible at nightclubs. Drunken behavior is also featured.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Celia is a Spanish-language telenovela (with optional subtitles) inspired by the life of Latin music superstar Celia Cruz. It features some coarse language, strong sexual innuendo, and drinking and drunken behavior. Race and sexist attitudes are themes. Occasionally people are slapped, punched, or shot at. Death and dying are themes, and a dead baby is shown in a coffin, but this appears within the context of traditional beliefs and practices. Latin music performed by Cruz and other famous Latin performers is featured.
Is It Any Good?
The Spanish-language, 80-episode telenovela mixes drama, a bit of humor, and great musical performances to create a colorful story based on Celia Cruz's life. The narrative is told with the help of flashbacks that recreate Cruz's journey from her early years in Cuba as a young guaracha singer, but brings audiences back to her later years as an international performer (played Aymeé Nuviola) with husband and manager Pedro Knight (Modesto Lacén/Willie Denton). Throughout it all, Celia highlights how Cruz broke racial barriers in pre-Castro Cuba by playing at high-end clubs like The Tropicana, and honored Cuba's Black heritage by yelling ¡azucar! (sugar) during her performances. But Celia is ultimately a work of fiction, and includes characters like jealous half-sister Noris Alfonso (Aída Bossa), who "passes" as White, and lots of soap opera-like plot lines that range from interesting to over-the-top. Meanwhile, those unfamiliar with Cuban culture may be confused by some of what is featured here. Nonetheless, if you're a Celia Cruz fan, it's easy to get caught up in the story world. If you like salsa music, it'll be easy to dance to it too.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.