Netflix’s beloved series Gentefied just premiered its highly-anticipated second season. Created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, this series explores the lives of three Mexican-American cousins and their community.
The first season debuted to a solid start— racking up a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes— and the show is continuing on an uphill slope. It has been praised for its diverse representation and drive to tackle topical storylines about immigration and gentrification.
In an exclusive interview with Monsters & Critics, Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, and executive producer America Ferrera spoke about the creation of Season 2: coming up with the storylines, their boldest decision, and the future of the series.
Monsters & Critics: Marvin, my first question is for you. Can you talk to me about coming up with the storylines for Season 2? Did you always have these ideas in your head? Or did it kind of come after the positive reception of Season 1?
Marvin Lemus: We left off on all these cliffhangers last season. We definitely had the storylines that we knew we wanted to explore. Linda and I, like pretentious artists, went away to Big Bear [California] for a couple of weeks just to try to figure it out.
We’re just like, what is it? What do we want to feel? What’s something we haven’t seen yet? And what didn’t we get to do last season that we’d like to try to accomplish this season? That’s kind of where we started from. We’re able to come out with a season that I think feels, compared to last season, a little more raw, a little more moody, while still retaining a lot of the comedy— but more grounded.
Monsters & Critics: America, as the executive producer, what was your first reaction when you found out that Gentefied was renewed for a Season 2? And what do you hope for the future of the series?
America Ferrera: Well, my first reaction was just total excitement that Marvin and Linda got to step up into the positions of running the show by themselves. They did an amazing job of. And that we get to continue with this awesome family that they built and people loved. We just got to dive deeper into each of these characters. We are far from done telling the stories of these characters and this neighborhood and all the themes it’s exploring.
Not to give too many things away. But we got to expand outside of the world that was beautifully created. Getting to move outside of that and see our characters in a new context is what’s fun. To get to evolve and see what’s next for them.
Monsters & Critics: Linda, our fabulous co-creator, what is the boldest decision that you all made for season two?
Linda Yvette Chávez: The statements that Pop is making, there are two moments. In 201, where he says his name and I’m undocumented— it was a big bold move for this character to say something that is so scary to say out loud for somebody in our community. And in 207, we have Pop doing his interview, and he says, “I belong here, whether you like it or not,” he says it straight into the camera.
You know, it’s for us to show the world something that we feel for ourselves and our communities and our parents, our grandparents, and the family that we love and hold so dear. We’re here, we’re here, and we belong here. Whether you like it or not. I think that was a scary thing to put in there. But it’s a real thing.
Watch the full interview below.
Gentefied Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.