A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Made in Mexico is a Spanish-language reality series featuring a group of privileged young socialites in Mexico City. Just like many U.S. reality shows, it features lots of gossip and arguing, dramatic relationships, and the foibles of marriage and children. There's lots of cursing (in both English and Spanish), drinking (wine, beer, hard liquor, etc.) and smoking (cigarettes and cigars), and visible logos for brands like Apple, Lamborghini, and Corona. Discussions about Mexican stereotypes are had, and on occasion, stereotypes Mexicans reinforce about others are also alluded to.
What's the story?
MADE IN MEXICO is a (mostly) Spanish-language reality series that follows an extended group of socialites from the upscale neighborhood of Polanco, in Mexico City, Mexico. Included in the group is clean-cut TV actor and news weatherman Carlos Girón Longoria; Kitzia Mitre, a woman from a historic Mexican family that has lived their lives in the public eye; and singer and TV host Shanik Aspe. Also joining them are folks like model Columba Díaz, Harvard graduate Hannah Jaff, and Roby Checa, a member of a prominent ranching family. Also joining them are U.S. transplants, including Mexican-American fashion blogger Chantal Trujillo, and Liz Woodburn, who relocated after marrying her Mexican husband. From attending high-profile events to learning the latest gossip about each other, the group defines what it means to be Mexican in a way that challenges popular U.S. stereotypes.
Is it any good?
The series offers a look at "fresas," which means "strawberry" in English, but in Mexico refers to the stereotypical characterization of wealthy, well-educated, privileged people in high-society circles. While some of the members proudly highlight the role their family has played in Mexican society (some with the help of antique society books, newspaper clippings, and historic narratives), others claim their place as a result of having money or being famous. All of them, however, are open about the fact that they're an elite group that's very careful about who they spend their time with, and who they need to be cautious of. They also provide all the soapy drama one comes to expect from reality shows in the United States and Latin America.
Some of the cast members assert that appearing on this show is an opportunity to counter the negative characterizations of Mexicans articulated by U.S. President Donald Trump, and to challenge the common stereotypes that exist about Mexicans all over the world. To this end, Made in Mexico features a cast that is fair-skinned and well-educated, and who frequently speak English, raising questions about Mexican attitudes toward race and class. It also showcases some of the cultural values that are common in Mexico, including maintaining strong Catholic beliefs, putting family first, and reinforcing specific gender roles. Folks who know little about Mexico may be surprised by what they see here, but if you're looking for a unique spin on a reality show, the formula here isn't anything new.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the many stereotypes that are used in Made in Mexico. Where do these characterizations come from? Why do they persist?
Are reality shows like Made in Mexico a good way of offering people outside of Mexico a chance to think about Mexico, and Mexicans, differently? Are their other stereotypes being used to do this?
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