When Halloween time arrives, I ask myself, “Why do I love horror so much?” The thrill of being scared, adrenaline pumping through my veins, and knowing it does not really come to mind as an answer. While I wasn’t scared in the least (for scaredy cats, there’s no gore or jump scares), I appreciated the elements of the supernatural and the way the show managed the tone and humor.
Los Espookys is a Spanish Language comedy created by Fred Armisen, Julio Torres, and Ana Fabrega. They are all of Latinx descent and brought their quirky and strange humor to a show about the goth/horror genre. “We make real horror for people who need it,” says Renaldo in an episode. This is what their tagline would read if they had one. The primary occupation for Los Espookys, the name of this group on the show, is to create horror experiences, whether it’s a fake exorcism for a church to one-up the new priest with very moist lips or to fake an abduction for an ambassador while she’s away on vacation. In the vein of Twin Peaks, Portlandia, and Arrested Development, the show’s details and supernatural elements add to its allure.
Torres and Fabrega are comedians/actors on the show and were contacted by Fred Armisen, who serves as an executive producer and actor on the show, to write this show with a creepy and mysterious atmosphere. While the creators are necessarily fans of the horror genre, they managed to make a story about a ragtag group of misfits interesting and hilarious.
Tati, played by Ana Fabrega, is a standout character who embodies that person hustling and juggling three or four jobs at a time. We see her literally breaking in someone’s shoes as a gig and physically turning a broken fans’ blades for air. It’s her conviction in the role that has you invested in what she’ll do or say next. She’s a perfect yang to Torres’ Andres, who adorns blue hair, can move oceans and is the heir to a chocolate fortune. The leader, Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) is the heart of the group and we are always rooting for him. Ursula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) hates her job as a dental assistant and provides the brains behind the production value of each “haunt.”
A show as eccentric as Los Espookys provides the Latinx/Hispanic community with representation in a genre not embedded in telenovelas but provides a mainstream appeal to folks that don’t speak the language. The humor and the camaraderie is what pulls you in and makes you follow their journey in an unnamed Spanish speaking country.
The show is available on HBO and was recently renewed for a second season. I am hopeful for more content featuring the Latinx community in different genres. It’s about time.