By Linda Dianne
It took twenty-eight years for me to relate to a family on
Primetime television. Twenty-eight. And while many average television viewers may find that statement ludicrous, I am
not what one considers average.
I am a first generation American; the first to complete
their Master’s degree—not to mention the only one to attend college. I work for a media company and am actively
working towards the very things my parents and grandparents only hoped to
achieve in their wildest dreams. This life, or something like it, was never
once written about in positive light. It was mocked or veiled. It was a
storyline reserved for tertiary characters whose life needed saving. That was until Cristela Alonzo brought us Cristela on ABC.
Cristela was like
the first snowfall of the season in New York: refreshing yet delicate, familiar
yet unique. This groundbreaking program allowed me to truly see myself, and my
family, on television. For the first time, I saw frank discussions onscreen
that would discuss conversations and family strife that I had witnessed
first-hand. Would Cristela put aside her career to help her family in time of
need? Would Daniela really pretend that her sister was her maid in order to fit
in with the other mothers in school? It was these plotlines that I had missed
for nearly three decades and it was these stories that would keep me tuned in
week after week.
But much like a first snowfall, Cristela was over far too soon. On May 7th, after poor
ratings and only a “small” following, the show was ceremoniously cancelled. And
while many television critics might not have paid Cristela any mind, it created an environmental shift that will be
felt for years to come. For with this show, we have witnessed a milestone: the
first primetime sitcom created, written and produced by a Latina, Cristela
Alonzo has told the world that Latinas and
Latin@ stories matter. Alonzo has exposed the “typical television viewer” that
#NotAllLatinos are cholos, maids, or gardeners. We have nuance. So thank you, Cristela,porque con tu guía podemos.