Thursday, September 27, 2007

Raisin' Cane

I thought I'd post some links to various stories about the new TV show, Cane which has proven to be controversial in its first week.

First up is an article from Johnny Diaz of the Boston Globe. The headline is: Cuban-Americans have a special interest in new CBS series 'Cane'

The series is also the first prime-time drama to focus on the Cuban immigrant experience. And that has local Cubans and bloggers divided over how well their community will be portrayed. The show has been one of the most searched new programs on this month.

Regla Gonzalez of Roslindale has watched the first episode and she doesn’t like what she sees.

‘‘Middle America is going to be exposed to this show showing Cubans as a generality. It’s going to be a show full of aggression, killing,’’ says Gonzalez, who came to the United States from Cuba in 1971. She viewed the episode courtesy of The Globe. ‘‘Cubans have been well known for helping not only Cubans in Miami but others. It’s very discouraging seeing un balsero [a rafter] stealing from another Cuban. It’s another ‘Scarface.’ ’’

Alberto Vasallo III of Revere has higher expectations.

‘‘My own particular reservation is how accurately they are going to represent a Cuban exile family, which is what I can totally relate to,’’ says Vasallo, whose father, Alberto Vasallo Jr., fled Cuba on a boat and founded El Mundo, a family-owned Spanish-language newspaper in Boston. ‘‘Will it be over-the-top Cuban or mildly Latino? With Cuban-American families, it involves family, food, music but undoubtedly politics. This is a lot closer to home.’’

Vasallo also watched the show’s pilot episode. He said he was surprised but impressed by how well the show captures the Cuban flavor. ‘‘They portray a very strong family patriarch, the food, the music, the big family — it was cool,’’ says Vasallo, who also related to the fictional father and son running the family business. ‘‘That adds another connection for me. It’s like a Latino ‘Dallas,’ when you become very involved in these people’s lives.’
Diaz also spoke to Cynthia Cidre the show's creator:

A lot of the Cuban sensibility comes from the show’s executive producer and creator, Cynthia Cidre, who wrote the screenplay for 1992’s ‘‘The Mambo Kings.’’ Cidre, who grew up in Miami, is the Cuban-born daughter of a sugar chemist. She chose rum as the family business because of its Cuban connection.

‘‘[I wondered,] ‘What is the sexiest thing I know about Cubans?,’and rum came to mind,’’ Cidre recalls of her brainstorming process. ‘‘I always wanted to do a show about a rich Latino family.’’

She said she hopes viewers will be entertained by the show’s family story lines and not just see ‘‘Cane’’ as a Latin show. ‘‘I see the world through Cuban eyes. Everything I do will show that,’’ Cidre says. ‘‘I want it to be a fabulously entertaining show that is also really well done; that they are Cuban is almost incidental to it. I don’t want a show about Cuban politics.’’

Another excerpt:

Alana Greer, a recent graduate of Boston College, where she was president of the Cuban-American students association, plans to tune in to the show. ‘‘I saw the previews, and I was like, ‘This has to be Cuban people,’ ’’ says Greer, who was born in Miami.

She hopes ‘‘Cane’’ will buck any stereotypes about Cubans being ‘‘rich, right-wing white people, that our political beliefs are one way or that we are automatically of high society in Cuba.’’ She also hopes people will realize that the show is pure fiction, entertainment.

‘‘I hope that other people will take it as that,’’ she said, ‘‘and not the story of what we all are.’’

Ms. Greer gets to the heart of the argument right there. She wants people to take this show, regardless of whether it's good or not as what it is...a work of fiction. I still don't understand why we should care about how we are perceived by anyone who forms their world view from network TV's prime time soap operas.

Smart people will understand it's TV and that it's Hollywood. Dumb people...I don't care about dumb people.

1 comment:

beakerkin said...

Cuban Americans are the only group other than Jews the left is comfortable with stereotyping.

The Eurocastroites have lost their minds. A Euroweenie claimed that I see Cubans as less than human because of the Posada bit on a blog called on the capital punishment post.

I have never blogged on the Posada bit. How one would ever make a claim that I see Cubans as less than human is absurd.

Obviously according to the far left being anti Castro is being anti Cuban.