'Cristela' Review: Cristela Alonzo Is Wonderful (The Show, Not So Much)
By Leanne Aguilera
Every TV fan knows that Fall is the most overwhelming season of the year. Why? One very simple reason: Too many shows and too little time. So we at ETonline are reviewing each and every one of the new fall TV shows to bring you our reviews on the good, the bad, the adorable and the just plain horrible.
When It Airs: Fridays at 8:30 on ABC.
The Biggest Stars: The cast features Comedian Gabriel Iglesias, veteran actress Terri Hoyos and Maria Canals-Barrera. (You know Maria best as the mom from Disney Channels' Wizards of Waverly Place.) Taking the lead of this ABC comedy is writer-turned-newbie-actress Cristela Alonzo.
Here's What You Need to Know: Cristela follows the life of (you guessed it!) Cristela, a 35-year-old woman as she struggles to get through law school (she's been trying for six years so far) so she can get a good job and finally move out of her sister and brother-in-law's home. This series has all of the go-to sitcom characters: A wacky and obnoxious neighbor/friend who never seems to leave the protagonist alone. A dumb-blonde the audience is supposed to insta-hate because she gets whatever she wants from her rich daddy. And a misogynistic man-of-the-house, who would rather fantasize about his hot wife in a cheerleader outfit than empathize with her dream-chasing sister.
But the only thing that really works in Cristela is… Cristela. Much like the actress herself, the character oozes charm and radiates charisma -- but is not enough to make up for the bottled laughter and regurgitated sitcom clichés. Cristela aims to break Latino stereotypes; however, the series only seems to perpetuate them further with their inside-jokes and poke-fun-at-ourselves tactics.
If You Like… The traditional laugh-filled, multi-cam sitcom style, enjoy George Lopez-eqsue humor, and you're already going to be home on a Friday night, then go ahead and give Cristela a chance.
Our Review in .GIF Form:
Bottom Line: Cristela has the potential to improve with time, but the first episode leaves much to be desired. As a single-camera comedy, this show could have a serious shot at actually being funny, but the tired multi-cam formula and over-the-top supporting characters stifle Cristela's shining star.
Are you going to tune in to Cristela? Sound off with your favorite fall picks in the comments below!