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Series / Vida

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Vida is a Dramatic Half-Hour series created by Tanya Saracho for Starz. It premiered on May 6th, 2018.

The series follows two sisters - Emma and Lyn Hernandez- as they return to their hometown in East Los Angeles in a primarily Mexican-American community. The sisters must come together after a long absence in the wake of their mother's death, whereupon they learn that she was secretly married to another woman. From there, they must confront their own issues while Emma tries to sell her mother's bar, even though her widow, Eddy, won't allow it. A sideplot involves a local girl named Marisol who is fighting gentrification in their town.


No relation to the video game of the same name.

This series provides examples of:

  • A Date with Rosie Palms:
    • Emma tries this but finds herself unable to do so since Eddy and another group of women are praying or singing for Vida.
    • In the second season, the councilman implies he'll be doing this after Lyn backs off from sex with him.
  • Attention Whore: Lyn is the kind of girl who actively goes looking for drama yet complains that drama always finds her no matter where she goes. Case in point, Lyn was delighted when Johnny's fiancee finds out she was sleeping with him and goes to confront her.
  • Berserk Button: Eddy will not tolerate anyone speaking ill of Vidalia, even her (Vida's) own daughters.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There's a lot of Spanish in the series that's untranslated.
  • Bi the Way: In season two it's revealed Emma is bisexual, rather than a lesbian as she seemed at first. This is Played for Drama to a degree, as some lesbians she meets are skeptical of this.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: Season One ends with Eddy in a coma after being beaten unconscious by a thuggish bar patron, but it's implied that Emma and Lyn will go into business to keep the bar running without having to sell it. The final shot is of what appears to be Vidalia's spirit holding Eddy's hand.
  • Butch Lesbian: Eddy. In the second season, a bunch of others are shown. They even discuss the idea of advertising that they're lesbians by masculine clothing and hairstyles.
  • But Not Too Black: Prejudice against darker-skinned Latinos is discussed as being common in the community. Nelson, the sleazy developer, told someone right to her face he wasn't interested after she turned out darker than in her online photo. Marcos and Lyn decide to use this by setting up a fake profile on a dating site of a very white girl, then catfish him. He tells Lyn (thinking she's the girl) he's not into Latinas due to preferring "pink nipples".
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  • Category Traitor: Emma and Lyn are accused of not being "real" Latinas frequently, using such slurs as "coconut" or "White-ina", because they left the neighborhood, then came back to do some stuff differently with their mom's bar. Nelson is also accused of this, though with far more justification in his case, as he's gentrifying at the cost of the residents plus shows contempt for most Latinas.
  • Country Matters: Lyn tells Emma to "tone down [her] cuntiness" when they reunite in their mother's apartment.
  • Disappeared Dad: Emma and Lyn’s father is only mentioned once briefly-apparently he was deported to Mexico, but there's no indication of them being in contact with him since.
  • Double-Meaning Title: "Vida" means "life" in Spanish, though it may also refer to the sisters' mother, Vida, which is short for Vidalia.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Lyn is the foolish sibling, Emma is the responsible sibling. Lyn causes trouble wherever she goes, such as starting an affair with Johnny and going on a thousand dollar shopping spree just to cheer herself up. Emma, on the other hand, is hard-nosed and prudent to a fault, driving everyone nuts with her high expectations.
  • Granola Girl: Lyn, to the point that Eddy tries to accommodate her diet with vegan options. Even so, she breaks down by eating flan in Episode Two.
  • Groin Attack: Emma throws hot coffee onto Nelson's groin.
  • Hypocrite:
    • The main reason Emma was estranged from her mother was because she freaked out upon finding out that Emma is queer, and it only angers Emma more to find out Vidalia was married to a woman herself.
    • Emma calls Mari out for being a “woke activist” who then slut-shames Lyn. And that's not getting into her racism in earlier episodes.
  • Ice Queen: Emma, who is generally cold to nearly everyone she comes across. She frequently refers to Eddy as simply "the wife" and always refers to her own mother by her first name.
  • Jerkass:
    • Not to the point of being malicious—maybe—but Lyn's seducing of an old flame of hers, knowing he had a fiancee who was pregnant with his kid, as well as going on shopping sprees using her dead mother's credit cards don't point towards good character on her part. A saint she is not.
    • Marisol falls into this as well. Fighting against gentrification may or may not be a worthy cause depending on one's point of view but Mari gets pretty racist about it, to the point where she considers Emma and Lyn a pair of race traitors and "White-inas" for leaving their neighborhood.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Emma's more of an ice queen than a true jerkass but she does have a legitimate (and pretty heartbreaking) reason to speak ill of her deceased mother. After being kicked out—twice—by Vidalia as she's queer (especially while Vidalia was working out her own "gay shame"), can you really blame her for being angry?
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Emma (or perhaps a lipstick bisexual in her case) and, to a slightly lesser extent, Cruz. Possibly also Vida, assuming she was a lesbian and not bi.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Emma and Nico have sex in the bar's bathroom (they lock it at least).
  • Ms. Fanservice: Both sisters whenever they share intimate moments with their lovers. Lyn has had a nude or sex scene in literally every episode so far.
  • No Bisexuals:
    • Emma and Lyn assume their mother was a closeted lesbian for years while being married to their father, after they learn she had married a woman before her death. Neither considers that she might have been bisexual.
    • The second season has Emma revealed to be bisexual, and she's faced with lesbians who are skeptical about it. All of this is said right to her face, and Emma's very upset by it.
  • Parental Title Characterization: The Hernandez sisters' relationship with their late mother is clearly demonstrated by how they address her. Emma, who is still angry and hurt about being sent away for liking girls, only calls her by her full name, Vidalia. Lyn had a much warmer relationship with her and calls her "Mommy".
  • Really Gets Around: Lyn has casual sex pretty frequently, with the second season also revealing that she even regularly attends orgies (though this stops in the episode we see, as she's grown tired of it). Emma does this too, but to a lesser degree, with her number of sexual partners in the show being more limited.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Johnny has a pregnant fiancee, but he has sex with Lyn multiple times, despite telling her he is over her.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Eddy is appalled by Emma's coldness and Lyn's self-centeredness in regards to their mother's death.
  • Widow Woman: Eddy is devastated by her wife Vidalia's death.

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