SAN DIEGO — A new drama series premieres on Hulu today. Its target is Latino teens, and its goal is to reach out to them about sex, violence, and other social issues.
"East Los High" follows the lives of Latino teens living in East Los Angeles.
The main character is a girl named Jessie Martinez, and in this scene she’s being dropped off by a friend after a high school dance.
Friend: “Jessie, you really like Jacob, huh?”
Friend: “Enough to give up your membership to the virgin’s club?”
Jessie: “No way!”
The conversation could take place between teenage girls in any neighborhood in America, until Jessie says this:
Jessie: “I have to go. Some thief’s been hitting our hood.”
Friend: “Stupid thief. What’s to steal around here?”
Jessie: “Knock-offs. Duh!”
The show was produced by a team that uses television and other popular media to explore social issues.
Beatriz Solis is a director of the Healthy Communities program at the California Endowment. It helped the producers research the social issues young Latinos face.
“The reality is that young people are getting information from everywhere," she said. "Low-income kids have their telephones, they have web access. And so how do you tap into that reality but at the same time make an entertaining show, and then show people who look like them, and who have problems like them?”
All 24 episodes are airing at Hulu.com, which also features information about safe sex, depression, violence and other issues relevant to teens.
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