Review: This Fool (2022)

Continuing highlighting Hispanic/Latine works for this month, Hulu currently has a full streaming season (roughly ten episodes) of a Hispanic led show, This Fool. This Fool is half hour comedy set in working class South Central Los Angeles focusing on a Latine family from the neighborhood. It centers on Julio Lopez, a 30 year old man who still lives at home, is in an on and off relationship with his high school girlfriend, and has a long term case of arrested development avoiding facing his actual problems at any cost. He works at Hugs Not Thugs, a non-profit rehabilitation center for former gang members. It also happens to be where he has to deal with his older cousin Luis, an ex-gang member recently released from prison and living with Julio and his family.

I will not argue that the show is some grand example of high art quality television. Truly it is not an Emmy contender. This Fool at its core is a very simple, basic, but entertaining half hour comedy. It is exactly the type of series that every major network would have in its catalog for a comedy night of programming or summer placeholder between seasons. This is not a bad thing by any means. Not every show needs to rebuild the format or create a new paradigm. Hell, some of the current most popular and talked about new series exactly follow the standard half hour model that This Fool is perfectly comfortable using. The characters are relatable and complex enough to be fully realized individuals. The conflicts are both internal and a result of outside, uncontrollable circumstances. The connections and relationships between characters feel real and understandable in their expression. Are there some stereotype jokes? Yeah, but there is attempt at subversion and the humor comes from being part of the community and understanding the situation instead of being an outside observer and pointing and taunting. All in all, it is a well executed comforting half hour comedy.

The only real difference is the level of Hispanic involvement in front of and behind the camera. For that reason, I will recommend and hope you watch it. Because as the streaming space grows and shrinks, the opportunities and number of Hispanic/Latine programming seems to be diminishing. Thus, any program, any film, any work still out there with a chance will almost certainly get my support. Hope you can join, and, in this case, it is a pretty good show that flies by in an afternoon watch.

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