‘Gentefied’ is a comedy- drama whose first season was released on Netflix earlier this year.
The television show documents a family running a taco shop that has become the lifeblood of the family, and a central figure for the community. Through the season, they struggle to support their business among rising rent prices and sharp changes in their neighborhood. The increasing impact of gentrification changes the customer market and drives up prices.
In only a few short episodes, the viewer is drawn into the close knit family and their community, which has become like family. They struggle to manage their careers, their identity, and their relationships all in very different ways. We see the eccentricities revealed especially when they are forced to reckon with the challenges of catering to a customer base that at best views their business and culture as an “experience.” Some advocate to lean in, others resistant to any sort of adaption.
These topics are always approached with heart, humor, and appreciation for the complexity of the situation. What makes the show so refreshing is that the comical moments never feel cartoon-ish, instead they reinforce the compassionate message of the show, that the characters reveal through their strong bonds and determination. ‘Gentefied’ resists playing into the stereotypical plot lines that pit characters against each other for the sake of furthering dramatic tension.
The characters make mistakes, act on impulse, and learn to adapt in a changing world that has arrived at their doorstep. But, no matter what, they always come back together as a family and community, ready for the next escapade.