Pan Y Circo

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Pan Y Circo TV Poster Image
Diego Luna-hosted dinner parties serve up mature topics.

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Positive Messages

The series addresses important social issues like climate change and the legalization of drugs, and allows guests to share their different points of view about them. It encourages open and honest debate as a way to find solutions to these problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Diego Luna is a polite host who attempts to be introspective. The people featured on the show are from all walks of Mexican life, and represent many of the different political and social attitudes of the country. 

Violence

There are some violent moments seen in the news footage, and some conversations get heated. One episode is about gender violence and rape, and other conversations sometimes point to violent situations, too. 

Sex

Potentially sensitive sexual topics, such as rape, prostitution, and abortion, are discussed. 

Language

Mature topics are discussed, but there's no profanity. "Fag" is used in second episode. 

Consumerism

It showcases a range of Mexican chefs, and their food styles. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Wine, tequila, and other alcoholic beverages are consumed before, during, and after meals. The legalization of drugs is a topic in one episode. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pan Y Circo is a Spanish-language, English subtitled Mexican food and talk show created and hosted by Diego Luna. It explores social topics ranging from legalizing drugs to climate change, and includes conversations about violence against women and related issues. The guests are respectful, but conversations sometimes get a little heated. Folks are also shown drinking alcoholic beverages before and during meals. It’s not meant for young viewers, and chances are that most teens won’t be interested. 

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What's the story?

Created and hosted by Mexican actor Diego Luna, PAN Y CIRCO (Bread and Circus) is a Spanish-language talk show featuring people from all walks of life discussing difficult topics over a meal. Each episode features Luna and one of Mexico’s premiere chefs hosting a group of six people -- comprised of thinkers, scientists, artists, journalists, and activists -- for a fantastic meal and conversations about the important societal problems that are impacting the country, and other countries around the world. After talking to the chef, and joining the invitees for a pre-dinner drink, the group sits down at the table to be served a three-course meal. From racism and climate change, to drug legalization, abortion, and violence against women, the guests share their honest views about each topic. The chefs also reveal how the meals they prepare connects to the episode’s theme. Throughout the conversations, news footage and interviews addressing the topic at hand are also shown. 

Is it any good?

This talk show-like series uses food and drink as a way to bring together people from different walks of life and encourage them to participate in open and honest discussions about controversial social issues. With the exception of an episode produced during the global COVID-19 pandemic (in which gourmet meals were delivered to guests and consumed during a video chat), the act of having a diverse group of guests physically sit around a table and find common ground by sharing a meal serves as a powerful metaphor for what needs to happen if Mexico, or any other country, wants to find real solutions to very complicated problems.  

It’s an interesting concept, but the edited conversations fail to go beyond the superficial aspects of each subject. This is not surprising, given that within each 50-minute episode, guests enjoy a three-course meal service, briefly talk to the chef, and talk to each other in between the presentation of archival footage. Watching people eat and getting their water glasses refilled throughout is also distracting. But Pan Y Circo does touch on some important topics, the conversations about which sometimes lead to interesting and heated moments. Overall, it’s a good recipe for a series, but the execution of it can certainly use some work. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the objective behind Pan Y Circo. Is it about finding solutions to some of Mexico's complicated social problems, or is it simply about bringing people together to discuss them civilly? Does the dinner party format make for better conversations?

  • The term pan y circo (bread and circus) often refers to how governments and politicians use superficial means to appease their citizens. What is the purpose of using it as the series’ title?

  • What are the various backgrounds and professions of the dinner guests? Why do their views differ, and do their backgrounds and/or professions shape their views? 

TV details

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