I finally started watching Vida. Vida has been on my radar and I know that I am late in the game but I finally watched the show. Before watching it, I was intrigued because of the cast. I didn’t know their names and I didn’t know the storyline. All I knew was that the name was appealing; Vida.
I really loved the first episode. Right away, I felt that I could relate to the characters in more ways than one. In the show, there are two sisters, Emma Hernandez and Lynn Hernandez, who reunite for their mothers funeral. In the sister’s first interactions, I can tell that they have a broken relationship. This reminded me of the relationship I had with my sister when I moved back home after college. Although our relationship was not as damaged, still we had a lot of challenges.
I left for UC Davis to study and although she also went to college (she commuted), she took on a big chunk of the responsibility of helping my mom take care of our grandparents. This put a strain on our relationship because she was resentful towards me and at first, I did not know what she went through as a partial caretaker.
In Vida, there was also a scene where Maria-Elena Laas, a long time resident and community organizer called the sister that was living in Chicago, Emma, a “sell out”. It is clear that Emma was not seen as part of the community even though she had been born and raised there.
Although I was never called a sell out, as soon as I moved to Stockton, I felt a huge disconnect between me, my family, and my community.
On the one hand, I was not welcomed by my family and on the other hand, I did not feel like I could claim being from Stockton because I had not lived there for ten years.
My family thought I was a know-it-all because I had a degree and always talked about the things that I learned while I was at Davis. Some of them still think that of me. What I hadn’t realized was that as a college student, I was indirectly taught to adopt a “savior mentality.” Even though my intentions were good, my suggestions and input on how I wanted my family to live to “better themselves” were unwelcomed and rightfully so.
Not only was I a know-it-all, but I was always clashing with my family when it came to ideologies and the way I chose to live my life. It became such a huge problem that both my grandpa and my uncle asked me to leave because I “no longer belonged to the family.”
This clash in ideologies has been a common struggle for first generation college graduates, especially for those who decided to go back to the communities they came from.
Although I eventually learned to redirect my focus on myself, my needs and my goals, I knew that I wanted to help my community. I also knew that If helping my community was my goal, then I could do so, as long as I had input from the people who lived in the neighborhoods I wanted to help. I also learned that I needed to decolonize my mind and my understanding of what it meant to address my community’s needs. To come back home with the desire to create positive change after being gone for so long is tricky and complicated and can be done without arrogance and without adopting the savior mentality.
Back to Vida, what I loved about the first episode is that it incorporated a few cultural components that I could identify with. Let me start by pointing out that Amor Eterno by Rocio Durcal was playing at the funeral. It reminded me of my Tio Rosendo’s funeral and other funerals I have attended.
Can we also talk about the sex scene between Lynn Hernandez and Johnny Sanchez. I loved that sex scene! It was sensual and beautiful (even though I feel bad for baby momma, oops sorry, his fiancé). Can I just say what everyone is thinking? The head he was giving homegirl looked so damn good!
Although I don’t know what their story is yet, it seems like she has a long history with him and that he, for some reason, cannot resist her. It reminds me of a “friendship” I used to have (don’t worry, he was single) but it wasn’t good for either of us and even though we both knew that, we still couldn’t keep our hands off of each other for years! I won’t get into details. That topic can be saved for another post!
Last but not least, can I just marvel at the scene where the sisters are looking at an old tape of when they were little. In the video, they are dancing with their mom to Selena. Ending with a beautiful memory intertwined with an icon like Selena Quintanilla is the cherry on top of a wonderful episode!
As you can see, I loved the first episode of Vida! Now that I have finished this blog post, onto the next episode! I am so excited!
If you have seen Vida, let me know what your thoughts are about the show! Is it also relatable to you?