‘Alternatino’ Review: Comedy Central’s New Sketch Comedy Series is Like ‘Key & Peele’ For the Age of Trump

/Film | 6/18/2019 | Caroline Cao
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You might know Arturo Castro from Broad City and Narcos. Now he’s at the center of his own comedy sketch show on Comedy Central called Alternatino and it has Key & Peele vibes. Interlaced with sketches is a fictionalized Arturo dealing with his unlucky social life and acting career as a Latino man in New York City. The humor does not shy away from the complexities of identity in a shifting society. Its first episode “The Date,” which can be viewed on YouTube, opens with an enlightened boy who schools his heteronormative father on avoiding gender binary talk.

The central arcs of Alternatino peel away the everyday absurdities of how society responds to Latino identity or just how to navigate social life. For example, in episode two, titled “Pivot”, Arturo tries to “pivot” the conversations away from South American culture. He also confronts moral dilemmas like approaching a racist white stage veteran for acting advice, dating a pro-border wall conservative woman who owns Liberal Tears mugs, or playing a superhero woven from offensive Latino stereotypes.

Castro - Guatemalan - Perspective - Sketches - Climate

Crafted from Castro’s Guatemalan perspective, many of the sketches critique the political climate fraught with concentration camps for immigrants and asylum seekers and “build the wall” mantras from the Trump administration. He and his writing team poke and prod on the consumption and depiction of Latino culture, as marco as a news channel minimizing a hurricane’s decimation of the Dominican Republic and as micro as white women fetishizing Latino men.

One sketch integrates archival footage of Donald Trump tossing paper towels to Puerto Rican locals in the wake of Hurricane Maria. A “Best Day of my Life” dance sequence ensues when a local catches a towel and uses it to solve all the debris and other socioeconomic destruction. Another involves a Latino gang that intimidates a rival gang...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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