Apple TV+ has a new show debuting on October 8th. The show stars Eugenio Derbez and Enrique Arrizon, and is a spin-off of the 2017 film “How to be a Latin Lover“. “Acapulco” is authentic, funny, and just straight-up adorable. It boasts a fantastic and hilarious cast and is told in English and Spanish. And although it is a warm and authentic representation of Mexican culture and comedy, it’s definitely a show that is relatable to and for everyone.
What To Expect
This is a coming-of-age series set both in the 1980s and in present times (A-la “How I Met Your Mother”). With acclaimed actor Eugenio Derbez reprising his role as Máximo Gallardo from “How to Be a Latin Lover“. “Acapulco,” tells the story of a young twenty-something Máximo Gallardo played by Enrique Arrizon. Narrated by the present-day Máximo (Eugenio Derbez). Who explains how he came to be the person he is today. And how his dreams came true when he got the job of a lifetime as a cabana boy at the hottest resort in Acapulco. Máximo realizes the job is far more complicated than he ever imagined. In order to succeed, he must learn to navigate a demanding clientele and a complicated home life, without losing his way to shortcuts or temptations.
During an interview with us, Debrez explained, that when they were writing the series he really wanted it to be relatable. “I told my writer that in a certain way, I wanted to tell my story. How I went from Mexico City to living now in Los Angeles and working in the US,” Debrez says. The serious has a lot of heart. The characters struggle with real-life situations and make the most of their situations. The relationships feel real and the storytelling is well done. A lot of the story is especially funny because of Debrez’s voice-over narration (A-la “Arrested Development”) and the way they point out the obvious.
A Story Told in English And Spanish
I love when shows that feature a Latinx cast use both English and Spanish. And I especially love when the Spanish is not polished and uses more street slang. It feels more authentic. “Acapulco” does this very well. The way the characters switch between English and Spanish makes sense to the story. Like many people living in North America, at home we may speak our native language but at school or at work we tend to speak English. That alone makes the show very relatable, whether it’s because you speak Spanish or a different language.
The series has a sweet and funny way of discussing social and economic disparities. During our interview with Derbez he told us “I try to write about things that bother me. Everything that bothers me is what becomes a funny sketch later on.”
Set In Acapulco, Mexico
Acapulco is a beach resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Something that I really appreciated about the series is the music and the costumes. The show strayed away from typical 1980s and Mexican stereotypes. Their 80s looks were much more subtle. The music choices were excellent and I need a soundtrack for it ASAP! The episode titles even pay tribute to 80s music and trends. Even the fictional resort, Las Colimas, and the surrounding neighborhoods are portrayed in a genuine way.
Relatable Supporting Cast
I could probably talk about the supporting cast all day. The show is funny and so much of it is due to the great comedic timing of the supporting cast. The supporting cast isn’t there just as placeholders. Each character plays a role in shaping who Máximo becomes but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own struggles. ambitions, or dreams. That’s what makes the supporting cast so great. They are in a small way the center of their own stories outside of Máximo.
Fernando Carsa who plays Máximo’s best friend, Mem, is a favorite of mine. His character is the kind of best friend most people wish they had! He is both a hype-man for himself and for Máximo. He is someone who has very little in material goods but has so much in quality and personality.
Remember this is a coming-of-age story. And what is that without some unrequited love? Máximo’s love interest, Julia (Camila Perez), is in a relationship with his boss. But their love triangle doesn’t take the typical turns that we’ve seen in television shows before. This relationship has plenty of twists and turns, just not the twists and turns you might have expected. The character of Julia also is refreshingly her own person and simply there to serve as the love interest.
Feel Good Television
The show is all-around feel-good television. It had a smile on my face the whole time and it was hard not to fall in love with all the characters. The thing that I enjoyed most about the show is that all the characters are complex. They all have their good moments and their bad ones. They are far from perfect but they are not one-dimensional either. The show doesn’t really pit one character against another to create drama. It just shows us how life itself can have drama without a straight-up “bad guy”. Everything that happens on the show is circumstantial and has you saying “That’s life sometimes”. Sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down. “Acapulco” just does all of it in a funny and light-hearted way. And honestly, I feel like we, as a society, could use a lot of that kind of comedy right now.
Acapulco premiers on Apple TV+ on October 8th.