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The Garcias Review: Is Reboot Of The Brothers Garcia Worth Watching?

The Garcias

The Garcias

“The Brothers Garcia” was a hit on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s, depicting a loving Latino family in San Antonio anchored by squabbling brothers.

Six of the show's prominent cast members are returning for a sequel series on HBO Max. Jeff Valdez produced “The Brothers Garcia,” which shows an extended family vacation on a Mexican beach.

“The Garcias” is a broad comedy with poignant plotlines. The real annoyance of “The Garcias” is its lack of texture and identity. It seems to have taken on characters and a sensibility from Nickelodeon, with its first-thought punchlines, disregard for visuals, and too-easy sentimentality appeals.

The show is about growing up, as seen through the eyes of its adult characters and their families. But it seems like an old Nickelodeon. To wit: the cast seems uninspired, coached toward a kind of camp exaggeration.

The Garcias

This is particularly odd when it comes to storylines about reconciling with a distant family member or growing apart from a sibling. And these tales are set in a world of endless antics: Characters trapped in rooms and tents, conspiring to keep harmless secrets, colliding in misunderstandings.

Valdez may be reaching for story points that a Nick-style zany sitcom cannot accommodate. “The Garcias” contains an intriguing nugget: Carlos Lacámara, the family patriarch, is a Mayan historian, so being in Mexico is doubly significant.

But this, when addressed, gets subsumed in a goofball plotline about his engagement with a more successful historian with whom he trades Chichen Itza puns. There’s an ambivalence about how to take on anything more important than a bit of argument that holds back “The Garcias” from expressing something substantial about its people or their location.

The Garcias

With anything more severe than a board-game conflict between the kids, “The Garcias” framework threatens to fall apart. The series tackles uninteresting themes for youngsters in a way that adults find childish.

The Garcias Trailer

Opening Shot

Taking a look at photographs of the Garcia family taken around 20 years ago, a little girl's voice can be heard saying, “If one image is worth one thousand words, then one painting must be worth a million words.”

The Gist

The Garcias

For the time being, several of the Garcias from San Antonio are stationed in a big beach mansion in Mexico, which they built themselves. With the help of Carlos, George has chosen to gift his activist daughter Victoria (Maeve Garay) with a new phone.

Still, Victoria and her mother, Ana (Nitzia Chama), are disappointed to discover that George has installed a tracking program on the phone.

Meanwhile, Carlos (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss) is dealing with the reality that his elder daughter Alexa (Trinity Jo-Li Bliss) wants to be an artist rather than a scientist like his younger daughter Andrea (Kaitlyn Dever) and that his younger daughter Andrea (Kaitlyn Dever) wants to be a scientist (Ayva Severy).

The Garcias

When their mother, Yunjin (Elsha Kim), discovers that he has given Alexa a non-artistic birthday present, she takes it upon herself to ensure Alexa does not feel alienated. Back in San Antonio, Ray and Sonia are preparing to travel to Mexico to meet Lorena's family, and they will be accompanied by Max (Oliver Alexander), Lorena's son.

Even though she has to stay behind and work, she does so since she is a weather forecaster for a local television station. When Ray interrupts one of her live remotes, she is humiliated at work by jerky anchor Conner Rascon (Jeremy Ray Valdez). It's difficult for her because her spouse Julian (Paul Rodriguez Jr.), is serving overseas.

Oh, and where has Larry vanished to? He is now stationed aboard the International Space Station.

What Age Group Is This For?

Despite its TV-PG rating, The Garcias is a family-friendly show that children aged seven and above will enjoy.

What Television Shows Will It Brings to Mind?

Previously, we mentioned that The Garcias is a relaunch of The Brothers Garcia and that both series are single-camera shows. Compared to other single-camera kids comes of the day, such as Lizzie McGuire, this one has a more grounded vibe than the guffaw-fest studio audience kid from the same era.

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Our Recommendation

The Garcias

One of the original series’ creators, Jeff Valdez, developed The Garcias along with Sol Trujilo, and the DNA of the old series is in this new one. It’s designed to be light and pleasant, with issues that tend to resolve themselves during each episode.

In a way, it’s a program that harks back to the aughts-age era of child sitcoms, with the noticeable exception that the show featured an all-Latinx cast and crew. Because this is a next-generation reboot, however, with all the kids from the previous iteration having kids of their own, the cast is pretty crowded.

It’s fantastic that the original six cast members are back, and they all seem to represent their characters effectively. Yet, the entire “befuddled guy whose wife has to remedy his mistakes” thing also feels like a throwback.

The Garcias

But when you add wives and kids, the spectacle becomes big and cumbersome. The primary cast now numbers 13, and devoting adequate attention to them feels like an impossible feat.

We question if this is going to be about the kids, like other next-generation series like Girl Meets World have been, or will it concentrate on the grown-up challenges the used-to-be-kids confront, more like the new version of Punky Brewster was.

It can’t be both, not without such a vast ensemble. There’s a risk that, with so many personalities to deal with, the kids will become adult-dialogue-spewing wise-alecks instead of actual kids. The broadness of having the dads having no power inside their own homes will be increased.

WATCH IT. Despite the clunky ensemble and regressive humor, The Garcias have the same warmth as The Brothers Garcia series and should be pleasant nostalgic viewing for fans of the original program.

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