It’s a holiday weekend and while that traditionally brings to mind thoughts of outdoor barbeques and beach side picnics, sometimes it’s just too hot to spend time outdoors – making the idea of a few hours inside in the cool air conditioning sound heavenly. And if you’re torn between what to watch, we’re here to help: from gritty drama “Breaking Bad” to “oh-no-she-didn’t” prime time soap “Dallas” and the law firm series “Suits,” here’s our list of five shows – starring five outstanding Latino actors – to watch. Because sometimes when it’s hot outside, nothing is better than staying cool indoors.
“Breaking Bad” on AMC
This critically acclaimed drama features the gripping story of a high school chemistry teacher whose struggle to support his family in the aftermath of a cancer diagnosis leads him to the production and sale of methamphetamine. Now about to start the second half of the fifth and final season, it’s the perfect time to get caught up in a story about transformation, family, human trial and redemption. And while the show may center on lead star Bryan Cranston, there are a host of Latinos on the show – as becomes a show produced and set in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is must-see-TV. Our fave actor? Steven Michael Quezada, who plays federal drug agent Steven Gomez, a do-gooder that stands out against a story centered on the drug trade and how it affects suburban America.
“Homeland” on Showtime
“Homeland” has been one of the most-buzzed about shows since its debut in 2011 – sweeping up multiple Emmy and Golden Globes awards. Its plot centers about a United States Marine Corps sniper Nick Brody (played by Damian Lewis) who has been “turned” by al-Qaeda and is a potential terrorist threat to the United States. And Brody’s wife – played by the gorgeous Morena Baccarin – is one of the characters most affected by her husband’s actions, leading the show’s storyline in a daring and unexpected way. Baccarin’s portrayal of Jessica Brody has helped make the show a smash hit, and while fans will have to wait for season three of the show to hit airwaves this fall, there’s no better time than this weekend to get caught up on seasons one and two.
“The Glades” on A&E
If you love quirky cop dramas, this is the show for you. Set in south Florida, “The Glades” – currently in its fourth season – centers on Chicago detective Jim Longworth (Matt Passmore) who finds that things in the Glades area of the Orange State aren’t as sunny-bright as they seem. At his side is forensic pathologist Dr. Carlos Sanchez, played by Carlos Gómez, whose analysis of autopsies and crime scenes helps lead the show forward in a riveting way. Need another reason to watch the show? Gómez’s character is one of the brightest, most intellectual Latino characters on prime time television, a reflection of the Cuban American actor’s decision to leave behind the stereotypes of Latino bad guys. Click here to read our interview with Carlos Gómez.
“Suits” on USA
Actress Gina Torres portrays know-it-all attorney and law firm partner Jessica Pearson on “Suits,” a show about two attorneys at a fictional law firm who ride the ups-and-downs of sealing the all-important deal. With cool poise, style (Torres has one of the hottest corporate wardrobes on TV!) and plenty of clever comebacks, the black Cubana sets the standard when it comes to smart characters of color on primetime television. Sure, we know there aren’t enough Latinas in these types of roles on the small screen but if there’s one thing to know, it’s that Torres is the model actress for how a Latina actress can play a character that’s not Latina, entirely professional (she makes the male attorneys on the show shake in their expensive shoes) and sexy in that “you know she’s way smarter than you” kind of way.
“Law & Order: SVU” on NBC
Raise your hand if you’re addicted to late night-reruns of “Law & Order: SVU!” On air since 1999, the show – about a New York City detective unit committed to solving sex-related crimes – received a breath of fresh air in 2011 in the form of Cuban actor Danny Pino who plays Detective Nick Amaro. So go ahead, we won’t judge if you choose to catch up this series – which shocks at times with its depiction of frank and nearly unthinkable crimes– and obsess a bit about Detective Amaro, who is not only smart but awfully cute too. Click here to watch Pino talk about his Cuban roots.
“Dallas” on TNT
Little satisfies like a juicy prime-time soap – and “Dallas fits that description to the letter. This remake of the classic long-running 80s soap features not one, but a host of sexy and smart Latinas, making it one one of the few shows on television with multiple Hispanic stars. With “Fast & Furious” franchise star Jordana Brewster, Argentinian beauty Julie Gonzalo and Cuban-American actress Marlene Forte rounding out the show’s cast, there’s sex, intrigue and plenty of back-stabbing on the show, all which makes for a guilty pleasure that feels oh-so-good.