The Emmy-nominated Hulu original series, East Los High, is an extreme social commentary on life of today’s Latino teens and also for that reason, is much more than worthy of a quarantine binge.

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Set in eastern Los Angeles, this Degrassi meets Skins Latino series is a reality depiction that the trials and also tribulations that young Latinos navigating their early on independent lives. Despite the series aired in 2013 and concluded in 2017, the issues discussed in the series are pertinent today.

Forbidden Love

In the very first season, Jessie Martinez serves as our protagonist. She very plainly fulfills the quiet, great girl trope who by luck and also looks secures a relationship with the high school heartthrob Jacob. She cousin Maya, a runaway teen with a troubled past, end up continuing to be with Jessie and her mother, after ~ escaping from she alcoholic mom and her mom’s sexually and physically abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend.


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East Los High

After having actually unprotected sex with another man, Jessie becomes pregnant and despite utilizing a condom v Jacob, insists that he is the father, that course, when withholding the fact that she cheated.

Though Jacob plan to rest up v Jessie after falling in love through her cousin Maya, the news of pregnant terminates the option, setting up a storyline that forbidden love.

Jessie’s mommy rejects the abortion option, insisting that she keeps the baby and takes responsibility for she actions. Jacob’s dad insists the same, forcing Jacob to provide up his scholarship, university dreams, and true love.

All the while, Maya struggles with a past that follows her. This starts a story in which these characters are required to make challenging decisions and also learn come act in methods that best serve themselves.

Exploring problems like unprotected sex, cheating, STIs, sex-related violence, drugs, and solitary parenthood, the series is unlike any kind of other U.S. Collection in that, it speaks directly to young Latinos (in ways that enlarge parents could not) about issues that directly affect the Latino neighborhood all if fitting right into a novela-esque style that keeps an audience enthralled.

Important Latino Themes


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East Los High

Despite the show’s slow and cliché start, aligning through tropes usual in mainstream teenager media, prefer the popular, average girl that bullies the quiet girl and also the nerdy finest friend who gets sidelined after ~ her friend starts to day the high institution superstar, the storyline that complies with is much from formula.

As stated before, the series is unafraid in exploring tough topics which makes sense given that the show’s writers and executives teamed up v social scientists and health employees to create this series. Important information is embedded within the plotlines to depict the harms in keeping sex education taboo.

Though in ~ times, the show could come off together a long, spoon-fed PSA around unprotected sex, the storyline distracts indigenous the display seeming also self-righteous since the personalities are free to make various decisions and also take time in make those decisions together well, do the present that much more realistic.


The show’s themes are vital for all Latinos to explore, specifically considering that in 2017 Latinas age 15-19 had actually a greater birthrate the 29.8 births every 1,000 females as contrasted to your white counterparts who had actually 13.4, follow to the Centers for disease and control Prevention.

This show helps explain that when poverty and socioeconomic aspects contribute to higher teen pregnant rates, the taboos and also beliefs the Latino family members often hold contribute to these rates as well. While challenging to erase a culture that, at times, holds virginity and also piousness together a priority, the result of avoiding conversations around sex and also disallowing birth regulate is all as well clear.

Still relevant Today

East Los High is effective in going past the preachiness that pointing out this problem head on can have. The personalities are humanized, and the audience can conveniently imagine oneself, a friend or family member in the position that castle are. The show illustrates just how sexual education and also birth manage are not so lot political topics as they room truths and also choices that need to sometimes it is in made to lead a fulfilling, for sure life, i beg your pardon is a priority for every communities.

While in the present (and real life), one could feel anger towards these characters who carelessly do life changing mistakes, us are additionally reminded the they space young, only recently being faced with making adult decisions. Ns mean, even I was shouting in ~ the display when Jessie blamed others and refused to take accountability because that herself.

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Nevertheless, many, myself included, have potential come act simply as selfishly, specifically if going with something similar at that age. Everyone, particularly young people, must be allowed to make mistakes or when confronted with adult decisions, be allowed to make their decisions as an adult, there is no too much pressure from others.

Moreover, the truth that the collection focuses top top Latinos in specific makes it that much much more unique. This is diversity done ideal in that, their identities space not completely solidified in your ethnicities. The Spanish language, Catholicism, and also Latino culture are embedded in their stories but are no heavily defined for a mainstream audience nor space the characters overwhelming stereotyped.

It is together if the audience to be dropped into the lives of Latino teenagers in the United claims who are comparable in some methods but really different in others. The range of Latino stories and also the establishing shots of east L.A. Among other homages come this Latino inhabited city, produce a feeling of truth that Latino audiences can easily affix with.

The next seasons discover topics past teen pregnancy and unprotected sex, choose immigration and LGBTQ identities. Again, though the series concluded in 2017, the display is still pertinent today and also may even serve together a method for Latino family members to open up up discussions about these matters. The collection of 4 seasons is available to stream specifically on Hulu.

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