I have been watching Vida since the first episode and now that it has reached its finale, I feel kind of sad. I have been with them these brief years and they somehow felt like friends. If there was one word I can use to describe the people in Vida, I would use unapologetic. These people lived their lives with all the fire and passion one can muster, ad you have to give them credit. Over the yeas, the show has raised a couple of issues – perhaps too much at times – and in the third season, there were more. We see scenes of ICE operatives arresting undocumented people in the middle of the streets, in front of their families, and they even raise the issue that some of these officers are their own people. The relationship between Lyn and Emma is the heart of the show, and though the last scene is a bit open-ended, we get the feeling that everything will be alright – these sisters have each other.
I had been looking forward to the third (and supposedly last) season of Vida. I have been with these girls from the very start, and want to continue with them on their journey. As the third season starts, we see both Emma and Lyn very… happy. Lyn is enjoying seeing a good review of Vida the bar, and Emma and Nico has been having a ‘finger fiesta.’ (Lyn’s exact words, which I thought was hilarious) But you know that there is drama around the corner, because as we learned from last season, their father is very much alive, and that is looming over everything – I suspect that will be a major story line this season.
But we aren’t there yet – their happiness seems to be sustaining even if things are coming their way. For Emma, it’s the appearance of Zoe at the bar – she is Nico’s ex and is acting like a fool. The old Emma would have made a big stink of that, but this new one is even-keeled and I like it. Lyn is still going hot and heavy with Rudy – he even invites her to a party to meet his mother, where Lyn gets to meet people who don’t think she is Mexican enough. Again, this is the new and more mature Lyn, and after a conversation with a waiter, realizes she just need to fight on. I don’t think that is the end of it, though, as I feel Rudy’s mom is up to something.
This happy set up is, of course, going to be upended. And I can’t wait for the season to rumble.
I’m now halfway through Season Two of ‘Vida.’ The second season is definitely slower, and in a sense less soap-y than the first season. It feels more established, and it knows exactly where it is going, and is taking its time to get there. You have to admire its confidence – this show has its own identity, and there is much to see from that. Its point of view is very specific, and I think that is what endears me most to the show as it brings me to a world I normally will not visit, or willingly visit anyway. It goes deep with the characters – we get to know a little bit more about Lyn & Emma with each episode, and accept both, warts and all. I liek the new characters they are introducing, from the handyman (played by Raul Guttierez, who I know from HBO’s Looking) to Nico, the new bartender, which gives Emma a new and better love interest. Even if the story isn’t moving much (I read there is something explosive about to happen) I am committed to seeing these characters through.
The second season of Vida starts with a bang. Well, a couple of bangs to be exact. It starts with an orgy. The first season of Vida had a lot of unapologetic nudity, and it looks like that is continuing on the second season. To be honest, I feel like it has been a while since the last episode ended, o I had to remind myself of the story line, but after a couple of scenes, I think I can feel caught up. Lyn is still a hot mess. I thought that the orgy was some kind of dream sequence, but it is real. Emma is still a dom – she probably has more testosterone than me. The bar that they had inherited from their deceased mother is still there, prime for reopening. Eddy, their mom’s lover, is in the hospital after being beaten up, and now they are discovering that their mom’s marriage might not have been legal. I feel like this is very important information on how this season progresses. I wish there were more narrative on this episode, but I guess everything is being set up. This show is quite unique for me, it shows a world – the queer Latina experience – that is very foreign for me, and I am eager to explore it.
I have binge-watched the rest of the first season of Vida – with only a sex episode first season, it wasn’t difficult – and I love it even more. I think I even like it more than its companion show on Starz, which is Sweetbitter. Vida is richer, and it successfully says something else besides your usual soapy situations. I mean, it has those, too but Vida also addresses issues like gentrification, immigration, and how people shy away- and come back from their cultures. I knwo some people have accused me in the past of being “too american,’ whatever that means, and I do feel like I am still very much attached to my original heritage. But back to the show, I love that it explores sexual orientation in a very frank manner. The sex is on the saltier side here, and is part of the overall tone of the series. The Latino characters here are not stereotypical ones – though some of those are here as well – but these are full living, breathing people. They start at as cliches – the icy older sister, the slutty younger one – but writer Tanya Saracho gives these people real depth, and we get a sense of who they are as the first season ends. As a matter of fact, we are really getting a sense of these characters now, so I hope this comes back for a second season (I hope Sweetbitter does, too)