Monday, September 13, 2010

Entourage and Crossing Over

I watch the TV show Entourage regularly and have been told that it's a fairly realistic depiction of the Hollywood film industry. After our discussions last week about Jennifer Lopez and Selena "crossing over" to the US entertainment market, I was reminded of Entourage. One of the characters, Turtle, is attempting to market Mexican tequila in America through with his ex-employee, a Latin@, Alex. To be completely honest until I looked it up I thought that the woman was played by J-Lo, probably because of the way she was portrayed using stereotypes we have discussed in class. When Alex was first introduced onto the show she was Turtle's assistant, the low-profile kind of job that Latin@s are often portrayed in. Her attire is very sexually provocative with a tight, small pencil skirt and semi-unbuttoned, short sleeved, collared dress shirt that reveal her big butt and chest. She very much seems like a first generation Latin@ who is trying to make it in Hollywood but seems to be used only for her looks. She has a breakdown about her parents getting divorced, which has been the source of a lot of mistakes she has been making at work, alluding to her intense attachment to her family. Later on in the series she begins to play a larger roll incorporating even more stereotypes of the attempts to "cross over" that J Lo succeeded at.

Alex suggests to Turtle a lucrative business offer with her Uncle who has a family owned tequila company in Mexico. Although Alex and Turtle's attempts to make the tequila a popular product in the US are less about her personal success, they are still indicative of the typical difficulties with bringing popular Latin@ products into the US. Through the dealings with the family owned tequila company the stereotypical strong family ties are also brought up again. Alex's Uncle is very overprotective when Turtle expresses sexual interest in the Alex, acting as a replacement father for her. When changes to how the tequila is marketed are suggested her Uncle is very insistent that the age old family traditions won't be changed, typical of the adherence to long-lasting traditions. Although there is a lot of "Americanized" attributes in how Alex's character is portrayed many stereotypes hold true. I also found it interesting that the actress was Dominican and her character was a Mexican.

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