15 must-watch shows for Latino Heritage Month: 'Los Espookys,' 'With Love,' 'Superstore,' more

Dear major streaming services, here's an unsolicited business tip: Embrace the Latinidad.

Onscreen Latino representation has been shown to correlate with stronger viewership from streaming viewers overall, according to a study released this month by Nielsen. In fact, 48 of the “most bingeable” streaming shows in 2021 featured Latino talent on screen. 

“It’s clear that inclusion plays a significant role,” said Stacie de Armas, senior vice president of diverse insights and initiatives at Nielsen, in a statement. “Latino-led content not only serves Latino audiences but attracts new viewers and subscribers to platforms.”

But in an era where #representationmatters, why do Latino-centric shows struggle to find their footing? Recently, fan-favorite shows such as "Gordita Chronicles" and "One Day at a Time" were canceled despite critical acclaim and audience interest. And viewers are feeling the brunt. Nielsen found that 41% of Latinos believe depictions of their community are inaccurate.

Shows like "Only Murders in the Building," "Superstore" and "Los Espookys," to name a few, prove Latinos have earned their place in front and behind the camera, to paint an all-embracing picture of the Latino community. 

Here are 15 must-watch shows — in no particular order — created, produced and led by trailblazing Latinos to stream this Latino Heritage Month, and beyond. 

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1. 'Only Murders in the Building' (Hulu) 

Selena Gomez (bottom), a Mexican American actress and singer, stars alongside actor-comedians Steve Martin, left, and Martin Short on the Hulu crime dramedy “Only Murders in the Building.”

The Emmy-winning crime dramedy “Only Murders in the Building” stars actor-comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short alongside Selena Gomez, a Mexican American actress and singer. Gomez plays Mabel Mora, one of a true-crime-obsessed trio that starts their own podcast after a mysterious murder in their apartment building inspires them to dig for the truth. Gomez’s generation-defying chemistry with Martin and Short, combined with the “genuinely compelling mystery” of the series, makes “Only Murders” a darkly humorous and endearing watch. — Edward Segarra

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2. 'Los Espookys' (HBO)

Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco, left) recruits dental assistant Ursula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) and chocolate company heir Andres (Julio Torres) to help him scare people in HBO's "Los Espookys."

If you’re into “Search Party,” then hit play on "Los Espookys," another quirky show about a group of friends getting into ridiculously insane shenanigans. The Spanish-language absurd comedy, created by Julio Torres (“SNL”), Ana Fabrega (“Father of the Bride”) and Fred Armisen (“Portlandia”) – the trio also star in the show – follows four friends that start a company dedicated to staging horror-like situations for people. But really, the show is just vibes. Set in an unnamed fictional Latin American country, “Los Espookys” takes you on a wild ride with lots of laughs and “WTF” moments. New episodes premiere on HBO Fridays (11 p.m. EDT/PDT) and stream on HBO Max. — Pamela Avila 

3. 'One Day at a Time' (Netflix)

(From left) Isabella Gomez as Elena, Justina Machado as Penelope, Rita Moreno as Lydia and Marcel Ruiz as Alex on the Netflix/Pop TV reboot of "One Day at a Time." Machado stars as Penelope Alvarez, a military veteran and single mother raising her Cuban American family in Los Angeles.

“One Day at a Time” offers a vibrant, Latino reimagining of CBS' Norman Lear sitcom that starred Bonnie Franklin, Valerie Bertinelli and Pat Harrington Jr. from 1975-84. The reboot, which streamed on Netflix and later aired on Pop TV, stars Justina Machado as Penelope Alvarez, a military veteran and single mother raising her Cuban American family in Los Angeles. (Oscar-winning actress Rita Moreno plays Penelope’s mother Lydia). The show’s warm humor, multigenerational cast, and down-to-earth approach to broaching issues such as mental health, LGBTQ identity and race paints a compelling picture of the diversity of Latino life. — Segarra

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4. 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' (Netflix)

Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka, center) takes part in a dark baptism in Netflix's "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina."

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” an adaptation of the comic book series, centers on the spellbinding adventures of teen witch Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka), who attempts to juggle the demands of mortal adolescence and witchcraft without wreaking too much havoc on the unsuspecting town of Greendale. The fantasy horror series was created by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, a Nicaraguan American writer and producer known for his work on “Riverdale,” “Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” and “Supergirl.” The show’s mixture of heartfelt friendship dynamics and thrilling action sequences makes “Chilling Adventures” a satisfying nail-biter through and through. — Segarra

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5. 'Gentefied' (Netflix) 

"Gentefied" is a comedy-drama series, streaming on Netflix, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez. It follows three first generation Mexican American cousins navigating issues like identity and heartbreak, assimilation and the meaning of success.

“Gentefied" offers a realistic and multi-faceted portrayal of the Latino experience. The show follows three first-generation Mexican American cousins, Erik (Joseph Julian Soria), Chris (Carlos Santos) and Ana Morales (Karrie Martin) and their immigrant grandfather “Pop” (Joaquín Cosío) struggling to keep their family taqueria afloat amid rising rents and rapid gentrification in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. On top of grappling with a changing community, members of the Morales family are dealing with issues like identity and heartbreak, deportation and generational trauma. Bleak storylines aside, though, “Gentefied” is at its core a celebration of Latindad. — Avila

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6. 'Tales of the City' (Netflix)

“Tales of the City,” based on the eponymous book series by Armistead Maupin, offers a colorful reimagining of PBS' adaptations of the novels. Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) returns to San Francisco, where she reunites with her friends (and former roommates) on 28 Barbary Lane, which is home to a welcoming boardinghouse turned apartment complex. One of the newest denizens of Barbary Lane is Jake Rodriguez (Garcia), a Latino transgender man reexamining his sexuality. The nuanced depiction of Jake’s journey of self-discovery provides a refreshing and heartwarming portrayal of the trans experience. — Segarra

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7. 'Gordita Chronicles' (HBO Max)

“Gordita Chronicles,” starring Olivia Goncalves, Diana-Maria Riva and Juan Javier Cardenas, premiered on HBO Max on June 23, 2022, and was canceled on July 29, 2022, after only one season.

“Gordita Chronicles” was canceled a little more than a month after premiering on HBO Max, but the show’s sweetness will live on. Set in the 1980s, “Gordita Chronicles” follows the story of Carlota “Cucu” Castelli (Olivia Goncalves), who narrates her formative years as a gordita (or chubby girl) after her family immigrates to Miami from the Dominican Republic in search of the American Dream. Cucu navigates the struggles of culture shock in a witty and spunky manner, and “Gordita” is a feel-good show where many young Latino girls can feel seen. — Avila 

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8. 'Pose' (Hulu) 

(From left) Indya Moore as Angel, Ryan Jamaal Swain as Damon and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez as Blanca on "Pose."

The FX drama “Pose” draws back the curtain on New York City's lively Ballroom Scene in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, as well as the sobering AIDS crisis that served as a backdrop in the lives of the LGBTQ individuals who were part of it.  The Ryan Murphy-produced series features Latino actors Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Angel Bismark Curiel and Jason A. Rodriguez in starring roles. “Pose” seamlessly juxtaposes gritty drama, cathartic revelations and emotional intimacy to create profoundly relatable portraits of its characters. The show earned Michaela Jaé a historic Emmy nomination for outstanding lead actress in a drama series in 2021. — Segarra

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9. 'On My Block' (Netflix) 

"On My Block" is a coming of age comedy about a group of bright and street-savvy friends navigating their way through high-school in the rough inner city.

“On My Block,” starring a predominantly Black and Latino cast, follows a group of five friends – and a gangster who goes by “Spooky” – as they navigate high school in the fictional city of Freeridge, California, which is loosely based on South Central Los Angeles. The show explores storylines about family struggles, gang violence, friendship, young love and a little magical realism to boot. “On My Block” can at times feel a little cheesy, but it tackles complex issues youth face in real life with lightheartedness and care that’s important for young viewers. — Avila

10. 'The Casagrandes' (Paramount+, Hulu) 

Nickelodeon’s “The Casagrandes” follows 11-year-old Ronnie Anne Santiago (voiced by Izabella Alvarez) as she adjusts to life in the city with her extended Mexican American family, the Casagrandes.

Nickelodeon’s “The Casagrandes,” a spinoff of the animated family sitcom “The Loud House,” follows 11-year-old Ronnie Anne Santiago (Izabella Alvarez) as she adjusts to life with her extended Mexican American family, the Casagrandes. Several Latino actors, including Wilson Cruz, Eugenio Derbez, George Lopez and Danny Trejo, join the Casagrandes' hyperactive world in guest voiceover roles. The zany antics of Ronnie’s multigenerational family, as well as the show’s sincere incorporation of Latino heritage, make the series a sidesplitting palate cleanser. The show won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding main title for an animated program in 2020. — Segarra

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11. 'Vida' (Starz, Hulu) 

Created by Tanya Saracho, "Vida" on Starz," was inspired by the short story "Pour Vida" by Richard Villegas Jr. The series stars Mishel Prada, left, and Melissa Barrera as two estranged sisters that are forced to return to their childhood home in East Los Angeles after their mother dies.

In “Vida,” two estranged sisters are forced back to their childhood home after their mother dies. Their grief isn’t the hardest part, but rather returning to a place they wanted to leave behind to put back together the pieces of the life their mother left behind. The sisters then learn their mother was leading a secret life – one as a happily married lesbian who ran a bar that served as a safe space for the queer Latino community in the neighborhood. Starz’s “Vida” is ambitious in its undertaking of one of the biggest taboos in Latino culture: sexuality. And does it with care, humor and nuance. — Avila 

12. 'George Lopez' (Peacock)

(From left) Constance Marie, Valente Rodriguez, Emiliano Díez and George Lopez on the ABC sitcom "George Lopez."

Grammy-nominated comedian George Lopez stars in the loosely autobiographical sitcom, which ran on ABC from 2002-07, about a Mexican American factory worker raising his family in the suburbs of Los Angeles. The wry humor of Lopez’s comedic style allows the series to poke fun at tropes about Latino life and identity in a way that’s both amusing and thought-provoking. — Segarra

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13. 'Sense8' (Netflix)

Alfonso Herrera, left, and Miguel Ángel Silvestre in the Netflix series “Sense8.”

The Emmy-nominated sci-fi drama “Sense8” centers on a group of eight individuals from around the world who discover they're “sensates”: people connected by a powerful metaphysical telepathy. As the sensates begin to explore their incredible bond, they must also contend with mysterious enemies bent on extinguishing their kind. The series features performances from Mexican actors Eréndira Ibarra and Alfonso Herrera, the latter of whom plays Hernando Fuentes, the boyfriend of closeted soap opera star Lito Rodriguez (Miguel Ángel Silvestre). The frank portrayal of Hernando and Lito’s love story is both evocative and refreshing for queer representation. — Segarra

14. 'Superstore' (Hulu, Peacock) 

(From left) Colton Dunn, Ben Feldman, America Ferrera and Nichole Sakura on NBC's workplace comedy "Superstore."

This zany workplace comedy about a ragtag group of employees working at the always-unpredictable Cloud 9 big-box store stars Honduran American actress America Ferrera alongside Ben Feldman, Lauren Ash, Nico Santos and Mark McKinney. The series manages to cleverly subvert the mundane, unglamorous work life – through wacky group dynamics and madcap scenarios – in a way that’s both endearing and hilarious. The show spawned a Spanish-language spinoff on Azteca 7 titled “Supertitlán,” which stars Mexican actors Sofía Espinosa, Jesús Zavala, Juan Carlos Remolina and Ricardo Peralta.— Segarra

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15. 'With Love' (Amazon Prime Video)

From left Jorge Jr. (Mark Indelicato), Beatriz (Constance Marie) and Jorge Sr. (Benito Martinez) in a scene from Amazon Prime Video's "With Love."

Amazon Prime Video’s “With Love” is a romantic dramedy that spotlights the ever-changing love lives of siblings Lily (Emeraude Toubia) and Jorge (Mark Indelicato) Diaz, as they navigate the highs and lows of life across various holidays.

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The show, helmed by “One Day at a Time” co-creator Gloria Calderón Kellett, also stars Latino actors Benito Martinez and Constance Marie. “With Love” further embraces Latin heritage with its “Día De Los Muertos” episode, which features the holiday as the backdrop for the character’s storylines. The show’s warm tone and relatable portrayal of Latino family life make it must-see TV.— Segarra

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Contributing: Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY