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Party Of Five (2019)

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Freeform has picked up to series the pilot for its immigration-themed Party of Five, a reboot of the popular 1990s family drama that revolves around Mexican-American siblings. It hails from the original series’ creators Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman and studio Sony Pictures TV.

Co-written by Lippman, Keyser and newcomer Michal Zebede, the hourlong drama series will follow the five Acosta children (fka Buendia) as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported to Mexico. The series stars Brandon Larracuente as Emilio, Emily Tosta as Lucia, Niko Guardado as Beto and Elle Paris Legaspi as Valentina.

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I hope they have a twist of the parents dying trying to come back to the USA after being deported. Dead parents were a key part of the original and simply deported isn't the same, especially in this day and age where communication is so easy. 

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On 5/14/2019 at 11:45 AM, paulvdb said:

Interesting and timely premise, but everyone looks so sad. In every scene. Is this going to be even more of a downer than the original?

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On 2/6/2019 at 11:35 PM, jamfly said:

I hope they have a twist of the parents dying trying to come back to the USA after being deported. Dead parents were a key part of the original and simply deported isn't the same, especially in this day and age where communication is so easy. 

If well written, there is more than death to the forced separation. The parents are deported and might be forced to hide, or try to cross back to the U.S. and disappear for a while, so no one will know what happened. They could be back and taken to a facility again, and deprived of their rights, no able to have visitors, because that happens in real life. Or they can just focus on the family separation and have the drama unfold in the U.S. with the government trying to put the baby up for adoption, like it is happening in real life. 

It all depends on how well or not the written turn out if they decide to keep the parents alive, and how "real" they want to go. But I would prefer to see the parents completely out of the picture at some point  - before the end of the season.

I just hope the younger sister is not insufferable - like the original one was.

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S1.E1: Pilot

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Party of Five follows the five Acosta children - Emilio, Lucia, Beto, Valentina and baby Rafa - as they navigate daily life struggles to survive as a family unit after their parents are suddenly deported to Mexico.

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Original air date: 1/8/20

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Watched the premiere on Hulu and liked it.  There are a lot of kinks to them being gone.  Oldest brother is a dreamer and therefore can't leave the country so he doesn't get to see his parents again.  He also could be deported at any time.

I'm guessing Lola from Degrassi is going to be the JLH role.  Girlfriend who becomes part of the family.

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I liked it too. It is going to be hard to watch. Too close to reality. They are softening how immigrants are actually treated by the thugs but still heartbreaking. And the Valentina is way better than Claudia, so that in itself is a plus.

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Lucia bugged me a lot more than I remember Julia did, so she may be the one who actually takes Claudia’s place. 

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16 minutes ago, Lsk02 said:

Lucia bugged me a lot more than I remember Julia did, so she may be the one who actually takes Claudia’s place. 

Yeah, she was the defiant teenager, and I guess Julia was more like the brooding type. She was defiant but what I remember the most was the angst.  Neve Campbell was good as Julia and, if I remember well, she was believable, her reactions and actions related to all that was happening. Probably the best of all the actors in the original. Lucia, the character and the actress, still need to find her footing.

Emilio was the weakest link, imo, in this first episode. 

 

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Were Bailey and Julia twins in the original? I don’t remember that, and was surprised at the reveal of Lucia and Beto being twins. I was feeling like Beto was a year older than Lucia, not sure why. 

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In the original Bailey was one year older than Julia, and Julia was 15 on the first episode. Lucia is 16

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On 2/6/2019 at 8:35 PM, jamfly said:

I hope they have a twist of the parents dying trying to come back to the USA after being deported. Dead parents were a key part of the original and simply deported isn't the same, especially in this day and age where communication is so easy. 

 

On 11/27/2019 at 9:56 AM, alexvillage said:

If well written, there is more than death to the forced separation. The parents are deported and might be forced to hide, or try to cross back to the U.S. and disappear for a while, so no one will know what happened. They could be back and taken to a facility again, and deprived of their rights, no able to have visitors, because that happens in real life. Or they can just focus on the family separation and have the drama unfold in the U.S. with the government trying to put the baby up for adoption, like it is happening in real life. 

It all depends on how well or not the written turn out if they decide to keep the parents alive, and how "real" they want to go. But I would prefer to see the parents completely out of the picture at some point  - before the end of the season.

I don't have an issue with this major change because regardless of whether the parents are dead or in ICE custody, these kids are on their own which is why they need the oldest brother to step up and start being responsible so that there is food in the refrigerator and the restaurant doesn't go under (taking away their main source of income).

The original Party of Five was about the struggle to keep their family together and financially afloat which is what will happen with the parents in custody or deported. If the oldest brother can't get his shit together, his siblings will go into foster care and they'll lose the house and the restaurant which is the same premise whether the parents are dead or deported.

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As much as I remember liking the original Party of Five, I also remember being annoyed with everyone but Owen. It didn't take long before I couldn't stand the way Claudia whined, "CHARLIE!" or the way Julia would sigh, do this shoulder thing, and look to the side. And duh, Charlie speaks for himself as does Bailey. So here's hoping that the new family is less annoying!

I just rolled my eyes when Valentina complained about the dishwasher being broken and how unlivable things were becoming. Just wash the damn dishes by hand - problem solved! I mean, not that I'm excusing Emilio for thinking that getting some random girl he slept with to babysit Rafa was completely fulfilling his duties as head of the household because yes, he still should have done something about it, but come on, kids, use your heads. If the dishwasher is broken, the answer isn't to just stop washing your dishes and let them pile up in the kitchen! Anyone should be able to figure that out, let alone Valentina the child prodigy.

Emilio might not be the most responsible guy but at least he knows how to shut down a party. You either turn all the lights on or your turn them all off. Usually just turning off the music is enough to get people to leave.

I love that Valentina calls Beto "Bey" - awwww, nostalgia!

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S1.E2: Margin of Error

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After their parent's deportation, Emilio struggles to adapt to his new responsibilities as primary caretaker for his siblings; Val prays for a miracle; Lucia makes a new friend; Beto feels the pressure to step up as an older brother.

Original air date: 1/8/20

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Hour One: I thought the acting was very well done. I could see and feel the emotions behind Mami deciding the baby Rafa would be better off with his siblings. Papi was right- what were they going to do about childcare, trying to work to send money back to the 4 at home. Emilio wasn’t as immature as I expected him to be, I hate it when shows make men under 40 total imbeciles because they are single with no children- 24 is young but it’s not that young, most 24yrs olds are self supporting and capable of independent living. 
 

The babies (I assume it’s two babies) playing Rafa are SO CUTE. That hair!

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I have a feeling that I can’t watch too much of this because over time it will get a little depressing.  I watched the original show, and one thing that always bothered me about that show was the constantly dark sets.  I think this show will be similar in that way as the premise of the show is about them struggling to make it work.  I don’t know if I can do round two as part of the thing I liked about the original were some of the characters/ actors more.

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Lucia: Thanks a lot for telling on me to my mother.
Priest: I didn't. She asked and I said she should talk to you. Though for the future, if you want someone to lie for you, you should probably choose someone other than a priest.

Lucia: All I know is that being angry feels better than being sad.

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One thing this show reminded me of was how much I hated going to confession when I went to Catholic school. I only attended elementary school but we were already being sent to confession and, like Val, we had nothing to confess. When the priest said, "Take your time," I always felt pressured to come up with something. Heh, but unlike Val, I didn't start spilling other people's sins.

Emilio has no poker face. All he had to tell Oscar about switching shifts and doing the deposit is that he wants to learn about all aspects of running the restaurant since it's his responsibility now. I'm glad he tried to make amends later.

I was afraid that the new hostess (Vanessa?) was supposed to be the new JLH and I was like nooooo, she's too old for Beto! Then I finally realized that she's the new Kirsten. Duh, she's a psychology grad student! Emilio is lucky that she's so forgiving because he was rude AF to her.

What kind of physics teacher gives multiple choice tests? My physics tests were always like math tests - we had to show our work and everything got checked/graded. At least Beto had a chance of passing by just guessing since it was multiple choice.

Val is supposed to be smart but she really thinks that if she finds $900 in her baby brother's sock drawer that she gets to keep it? She's 12, not 5.

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6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Val is supposed to be smart but she really thinks that if she finds $900 in her baby brother's sock drawer that she gets to keep it? She's 12, not 5.

I’m giving Valentina (the 12yrs old) a pass on that- she misses her parents terribly and has been emotionally traumatized by their absence. I’m sure intellectually she knows it’s not hers, but she’s angry like Lucia and this is how she’s expressing it. Emilio told her right though. 

 

6 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Emilio has no poker face. All he had to tell Oscar about switching shifts and doing the deposit is that he wants to learn about all aspects of running the restaurant since it's his responsibility now. I'm glad he tried to make amends later.

I’m glad they made up. Oscar isn’t a perfect person but he wasn’t a thief. Although wouldn’t you also think your employee with the drinking and gambling problem was the one swiping from the till??? I do wish Mrs Acosta (I cannot remember her first name) and save that money from her grocery allowance or something (like telling her husband she need more than she did), because what if someone had been fired suspected of thief when it was HER!

Good to see Lola from Degrassi. 

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4 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:
4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

Val is supposed to be smart but she really thinks that if she finds $900 in her baby brother's sock drawer that she gets to keep it? She's 12, not 5.

I’m giving Lucia (the 12yrs old) a pass on that

The first poster actually had it right.  Valentina is 12.  Lucia is 16.

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I really like this show though it is heartbreaking to see adults being assholes to them because they are small-minded. 

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3 hours ago, pivot said:

I really like this show though it is heartbreaking to see adults being assholes to them because they are small-minded. 

Unfortunately I find this aspect of the show to be very realistic.

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On 1/9/2020 at 8:35 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

What kind of physics teacher gives multiple choice tests? My physics tests were always like math tests - we had to show our work and everything got checked/graded. At least Beto had a chance of passing by just guessing since it was multiple choice.

Which is weird because I swear, when Beto was taking his test and flipping through it, that it looked like short answer, not multiple choice. 

I'm tentatively in for this show. I did like a lot of the aspects and I didn't hate many of the characters, so that's good.

I liked Beto the best, honestly. I'm really enjoying his character stuff more than the other kids' stuff. 

It's just sad to see the Acostas get hit with issue after issue in these first two episodes. It's realistic and I appreciate that they're not afraid to show them lose, but it's just going to be hard to watch. 

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I am shocked that Valentina is supposed to be 12. I thought she was around 8.

This show is painful, but if it wasn't painful it would be bullshit.

And let me say: I grew up washing dishes by hand, and in fact it was one of the chores we were given to do as part of the household. So these kids did seem like idiots for not figuring that out when the dishwasher broke. But I will chalk that up to them being spoiled by their overly indulgent mother, and also being in denial, at first, about what was really happening, and kind of trying to stay kids and not realizing they need to step up.

 

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I liked Claudia but then I was closer in age to Claudia than Julia.   

Rafa's got a better name than poor Owen.

I think there is a clear difference in them being able to reach out to the parents but I don't  mind it much.  Clearly having the parents around is giving them some support the original kids didn't have but is also causing some problems the others didn't have as well.  Claud couldn't run off to see the 'rents.   Dad couldn't erroneously tell Charlie somebody was cheating him.

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Claudia was the most insufferable character in the original but when the actress was young the (bad) acting was masked by some seemingly natural and spontaneous deliveries. As she got older the actor lost the novelty and the "talent" was gone. But the kid that plays Valentina is not good at all. If the show survives another two or three seasons she might improve, we shall see.

I am not very impressed by the acting of any of the actors so far but will stick with the show and see where it goes.

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Unfortunately a lot of the immigrant scenes are pretty common. The psych teacher who I assume is an immigrant herself disparaging the "bad" immigrants. The whole deportation process.

The actress playing Lucia reminds me too much of the actress that played Claudia in the original.

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That physics teacher, ugh, I want to scream in frustration. If I were in that situation, I would be angry like Lucia too. I am sad how little their school is supporting them, and angry that this is probably happening in real life. 

I think the acting is good? The scene where they are separated by that chain fence? I bought their sorrow. 

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I don't understand why Beto is taking Physics. If he is struggling so much in his classes (including in Spanish), why wouldn't the school place him in a less challenging science course.

As heartbreaking as this story is, the family still has hope of one day reuniting and despite the distance, they can keep in daily contact with their parents.

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1 hour ago, nilyank said:

I don't understand why Beto is taking Physics. If he is struggling so much in his classes (including in Spanish), why wouldn't the school place him in a less challenging science course.

Most schools put placement for the following year on the teacher for the previous year. At my high school the sequence was biology, chemistry, then physics so the bio teacher had to sign off on whether you could take chemistry the next year.

But just because you did okay in one class doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to do well the following year. I know people who did fine in geometry but struggled with algebra 3/4 the next year. Same thing with language. I know people who did fine in second year French and then barely passed third year French.

It's entirely possible that the year before, Beto's grades were decent enough for his teachers to say it was okay for him to go on to the next year but he's just not keeping up this year.

Based on what his mom and Valentina said in the first episode, I don't think Beto was ever a straight A student, but getting a B or even a C might be enough for a teacher to let you take the next level because they don't think your grades were abysmal enough to make you repeat the same course next year.

He's in pre-calc and physics which is the normal track for junior year, but I can understand if he's not doing well. Physics is so different from bio and chem so even if he did well in both of those classes, that doesn't translate to doing well in physics.

As for Spanish, Beto said his parents didn't speak much Spanish to him so he doesn't really know the language. Knowing little things your parents say like mijo and mi amor aren't going to help you learn how to conjugate verb tenses correctly.

I also know some fluent Spanish speakers who thought taking Spanish in high school would be an easy A but it ended up being difficult for them because they never learned all the grammar rules.

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I wonder if the writers will allow the parents to stay alive but somewhat unreachable to emphasize how hard it is on kids this whole family separation atrocity. It is hard to watch but it is a way to reach more people with a message. If so, I hope they go all the way in the subject, showing the effects in other kids less fortunate to have siblings and stay together. It is a reminder that while death is definitive, uncertainty can certainly cause trauma.

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21 hours ago, memememe76 said:

That physics teacher, ugh, I want to scream in frustration. If I were in that situation, I would be angry like Lucia too. I am sad how little their school is supporting them, and angry that this is probably happening in real life. 

I think the acting is good? The scene where they are separated by that chain fence? I bought their sorrow. 

Seriously. That teacher was awful. Schools give kids make up tests for sickness, field trips, deaths in the family, sports tournaments, learning disabilities, and all other kinds of reasons. What sort of teacher throws their parents’ deportation in a student’s face?

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4 hours ago, Jeddah said:

What sort of teacher throws their parents’ deportation in a student’s face?

The kind of teacher who thinks that Beto and his family make other Mexicans/immigrants look bad to the point where she doesn't care if four children are about to get dumped into foster care through no fault of their own! I agree that she could have let him take a makeup test or offer an extra credit assignment or SOMETHING. Considering all the upheaval that their family has been through, it wouldn't kill her to be the tiniest bit compassionate. But she's too busy worrying that they will be lumped together and how it potentially reflects on her.

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1 hour ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

The kind of teacher who thinks that Beto and his family make other Mexicans/immigrants look bad to the point where she doesn't care if four children are about to get dumped into foster care through no fault of their own! I agree that she could have let him take a makeup test or offer an extra credit assignment or SOMETHING. Considering all the upheaval that their family has been through, it wouldn't kill her to be the tiniest bit compassionate. But she's too busy worrying that they will be lumped together and how it potentially reflects on her.

This is all correct and I hope the writers kept the whole thing somewhat subtle/without major repercussions for the teacher on purpose, because it happens and nobody ever does much to protect the students from this bigotry, or to make the teachers accountable.

In the same way that we have seen racist teachers abusing black students, and how we know that students of color and disabled students are punished at much higher rates than white students, what the episode showed is the helplessness and the snowball effect on families when parents are deported.

Hopefully all these messages will subliminally reach viewers that have the wrong assumptions about undocumented immigrant families. If that's the intention, kudos to the writers. I am not good at gentle approaches when it comes to bigots but it is a way and maybe it works.

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I'm in for the time being. Was a huge fan of the original.

You know there will be drama regarding Vanessa, who hooked up with the oldest brother while also being nice to the high-school brother (Beto?).

Lucia is super-annoying. I take it she is bi or lesbian? Was that an ex?

The teacher may have been un-empathetic, but I would say you do NOT go to a teacher's house to discuss school issues.

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10 hours ago, MoreCoffeePlease said:

The teacher may have been un-empathetic, but I would say you do NOT go to a teacher's house to discuss school issues.

Yeah, that was really inappropriate. Boundaries, Lucia!

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On 1/12/2020 at 10:32 PM, Jeddah said:

Seriously. That teacher was awful. Schools give kids make up tests for sickness, field trips, deaths in the family, sports tournaments, learning disabilities, and all other kinds of reasons. What sort of teacher throws their parents’ deportation in a student’s face?

I'm pretty sure the deportation came up because Lucia tried to use it as an excuse for Beto's bad grade, and as a way to get the teacher to give him a makeup test.  Lucia also made the mistake of telling a teacher that her class wasn't going to make much of a difference for Beto in the future, which is pretty insulting.

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2 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

Lucia also made the mistake of telling a teacher that her class wasn't going to make much of a difference for Beto in the future, which is pretty insulting.

To be fair, Lucia was telling the truth. Most people who take physics in high school don’t use that knowledge in their day to day life afterward. I took physics and calculus but I don’t use either at work or at home. I don’t regret taking those classes but I haven’t used the info I learned since I finished school. 

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3 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

To be fair, Lucia was telling the truth. Most people who take physics in high school don’t use that knowledge in their day to day life afterward. I took physics and calculus but I don’t use either at work or at home. I don’t regret taking those classes but I haven’t used the info I learned since I finished school. 

Oh it may be true, but I have yet to meet a teacher who would appreciate being told that about their class, particularly by a student seeking a favor! 

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6 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I'm pretty sure the deportation came up because Lucia tried to use it as an excuse for Beto's bad grade, and as a way to get the teacher to give him a makeup test.  Lucia also made the mistake of telling a teacher that her class wasn't going to make much of a difference for Beto in the future, which is pretty insulting.

I thought Lucia was totally out of line, but I’d expect a teacher to be a grown up about it. She could have just said there’s no makeup test and told Lucia to go home. Instead she had to really make sure Lucia understood that she has zero compassion for her students who have to live without their parents. Yeah, that’s the way to motivate students to care about your class.

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I finally caught this, and as I never saw the original, I dont have much to compare it to beyond what I know from general pop culture osmosis, and I liked it quite a bit. Interesting having the parents be alive but tragically separated from their family instead of dead like in the original, which makes it better for them in some ways, as they have hope that their family can be recruited someday and they can still talk, and worse in other ways, as the whole thing is just so horribly tragically unjust, in a way that is almost more infuriating than dying in an accident. I mean, there family should be together, but it isnt because the system is just unfair. Plus, the parents being around can lead to even more complications, like with the dad telling Emilio that Oscar is a thief when it was actually the mom who was giving it to Emilio. 

I hope that they can catch a break sometime soon, it seems like everything is going wrong all at once, I half expect one of the kids to get hit by a car! At least when everything is all heartbreaking, I can appreciate how cute baby Rafe is. 

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14 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

I'm pretty sure the deportation came up because Lucia tried to use it as an excuse for Beto's bad grade, and as a way to get the teacher to give him a makeup test.  Lucia also made the mistake of telling a teacher that her class wasn't going to make much of a difference for Beto in the future, which is pretty insulting.

Lucia is a teenager. Whatever the reason, or reasoning, she had to ask the teacher for a make up test doesn't really matter. The teacher is the one who turned it into a xenophobic rant. If she had any compassion, she could have said that she is very sorry the family is going through these hard times but she would not give Beto a second chance. She chose to be an awful person. And a teacher feeling insulted by a teenager who was - maybe - not very carful with her words is a from of gaslighting, considering the situation of the student.

As I mentioned before, maybe this plot is intentional because PTSD due to forced separation, for any reason, is very real and the lack of compassion from some is equally problematic.

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S1.E3: Long Distance

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Emilio renegotiates an unfair business deal; Beto is devastated to learn his older brother is dating Vanessa; Lucia attempts to help Matthew and discovers he too is undocumented; Val's dependency on her mother takes an unhealthy turn.

Promo:

Original air date: 1/15/20

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This episode wasn’t as good, but I still liked it. Vanessa is an idiot. First she was loud enough when Emilio was on the phone for Beto to hear her, and then she purposefully butted into the call with their dad. Way to start drama.

Rafa is so cute!

And 30% of the bar for 16 years is a lot of money!

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