My Take On…CRISTELA on ABC
Tonight on ABC, their latest multi-camera comedy, CRISTELA, a throw-back-feeling camera loosely based on a stand-up’s life and family (the charmingly funny Cristela Alonzo), finally premieres. And if I’m being completely honest with you, it is one of my top comedies of the new breed.
Alonzo stars in the self-titled comedy that follows a Texas lawyer (who is finally almost really a lawyer), dealing with her very close Mexican-American family and the expectation that she become a maid or call center worker, while she works towards finally finish law school with an internship at a prestigious firm in the city.
Cristela (the actress) is charming, funny, warm, bubbly, smart, you name it. Her character knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I found myself rooting for her and was happy to see a show that I could relax and laugh along with. It is a broad comedy in the truest sense. There’s nothing offensive, the show is bright and colorful; work jokes that have Cristela mistaken as a janitor and a receptionist are a bit below the belt, because I think the show is better than that, but they work because she’s so real and handles them with easy retorts. Episode 2 continues the broad comedy trend, but everyone seems to get even more comfortable with each other. CRISTELA is one of my top comedies of the season for many of the same reasons that I love the lead – you believe that this family loves each other; they have great chemistry, and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes to warm up to them and appreciate how much they like to rib on each other. That has a lot to do with the cast.
Carlos Ponce is great as Cristela’s brother-in-law (married to sister Daniela (Maria Canals-Barrera), often times the straight woman to the comedy) who isn’t so fond of her living there. He gives as good as he gets. They all live with the ladies’ mother Natalia (Terri Hoyos), an old school mama who likes to start many a sentence with “when I was your age.” If there is any issue with the show, it’s the over-use of Gabriel Iglesias’ Alberto, who harbors a not-secret infatuation on Cristela. It’s too much.
And while it’s hard to see Andrew Leeds playing anything other than a murderer (hello, typecasting), he’s a great foil for Cristela at the firm as she deals with her kind of racist (but maybe not really) boss (Sam McMurray) and his idiot (for lack of a better term) daughter (Justine Lupe).
The show has promise and I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!
Tune in to see the premiere at 8:30/7:30c and let us know what you think!