Lopez

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Lopez TV Poster Image
Latino comic uses life for laughs, social commentary.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lopez is unapologetically proud of his heritage.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Endless stereotypes designed to reclaim, empower, insult.

Violence

References to jail time, warrants, gangs.

Sex

Occasional innuendo; dating; mild paparazzi-created scandals.

Language

"Damn," "pissed," some Spanish curses.

Consumerism

GMC, Porsche, Bentley, Red Bull logos partially visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Hard liquor, cocktails; marijuana references, such as "stoner."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lopez is a semiautobiographical comedy series that features lots of racial and ethnic stereotyping, mostly designed to poke fun at these issues. There's some inappropriate language, including a few Spanish curses, and occasional innuendo. Jokes reference gangs, warrants, and felons but nothing really violent. There's some drinking (hard liquor, cocktails) and a few references to marijuana. Logos for GMC, Porsche, Bentley, and Red Bull are sometimes referenced or visible but not prominently. Teens should be able to handle it, but not everyone will understand the purpose behind the ethnic-based humor.

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What's the story?

The semiautobiographical comedy series LOPEZ stars George Lopez living his life as a father, entertainer, and resident of an upscale part of Los Angeles. A successful comedian and actor, he is constantly torn between giving back to the Latino community while trying to expand his fan base with the help of his annoyingly relentless manager, Olivia Michaels (Haley Huntley), to include non-Latinos and younger, hipper audiences. His home life is only slightly less stressful, thanks to his smart and somewhat entitled daughter Erica (Ashley Zamora) and his annoyingly nosy neighbor Stephen (James Michael Connor). Luckily he's got his friends, including driver Manolo (Anthony "Citric" Campos), a pal from his old neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley, and Maronzio (Maronzio Vance), his comedy show's opening act, to help him put things in perspective.

Is it any good?

The amusing series is a classic sitcom featuring the irreverent ethnic-based humor George Lopez is known for. As is his style, the comedian plays up common Latino stereotypes, ranging from gardeners to gangsters, as a way of reclaiming them. But his jokes also point out the various, and often puzzling, relationships between Latinos and various non-Latino communities. They also highlight the entertainment industry's conventional ideas about these subjects and underscore the challenges Latinos face when navigating the business according to those expectations.

Guests such as Snoop Dogg and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa help create some fun moments. However, it's far from being politically correct and meant to poke fun at the way we think about race and ethnicity in America. Not everyone will appreciate Lopez's brand of social commentary, which sometimes feels like he's adding to, rather than diffusing, racial tensions. But his approach isn't as cynical as it is fearless and, to some extent, honest, because it reflects his life experience. This, combined with good writing and comedic timing, makes the overall show work.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about using stereotypes for laughs. Some entertainers believe that using them to describe their life experiences is a way of empowering themselves. What do you think? Should racial, ethnic, or any other stereotype ever be used to portray a person or their community? What if they're trying to make a point, or if there are elements of truth to these generalizations?

  • Do actors who appear as themselves on TV really act in real life the way they do on the show? Or are they simply acting the way people expect them to? 

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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