- Starring: Julio Oscar Mechoso, Aimee Garcia, Sara Paxton
In this autobiographical family comedy, based on the life of series creator Peter Murrieta, life is seen through the eyes of 15-year-old David Tiant (Pablo Santos) as he faces the challenges of growing up in an ethnically mixed, upwardly mobile family.
David's dad Joaquin (Julio Oscar Mechoso, "High Incident", "Damon") is a proud yet infuriatingly pragmatic Mexican-American. Joaquin's world is built on old-fashioned values of working hard to get ahead, taking care of your family and - the one that causes the most trouble - father knows best. His wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Creskoff, "Quintuplets") is an Irish-American who is fiercely proud of her husband and family. David's cheerleading diva of an older sister, Maria (Aimee Garcia, "All About the Andersons"), is having a little identity crisis of her own, rejecting her Mexican roots and telling people that the family is Spanish. Also living with the family is David's irreverent Uncle Ernesto (Jacob Vargas) who is gainfully employed as an animal control officer, yet tends to drift good-naturedly through life, having acquired three ex-wives and a young son named Daniel (Bobby Chavez) along the way. Little Daniel looks up to his cousin David and is in constant awe of his relatives' new status as members of the middle class.
The matriarch of the family is David's free-spirited grandmother, Magdalena (Lupe Ontiveros), who is determined to escape the old folks' home, where her only entertainment is breaking every rule, and move in with her beloved grandchildren. Knowing that his mother will cause as much trouble as his teenage children do, Joaquin has been fighting this move every step of the way.
Joaquin's recent promotion has enabled the family to move to a bigger house in a nice Tucson neighborhood, and David is pleasantly surprised when his new next-door-neighbor, Sarah (Sara Paxton), turns out to be not only a very pretty girl, but a potential best friend.
At the center of this chaotic family circle is the relationship between Joaquin and David, whose mixed heritage only adds to the eternal adolescent dilemma of exactly how - and if - he fits in. Though he is secretly proud of his son, Joaquin rarely shows it, and his first impulse is always to criticize rather than praise. Not really appreciating how bright David is, Joaquin is convinced that without his constant advice, his son is headed for disaster. As with most father-son relationships, the truth is that they have a lot to learn from each other.
An unconventional family comedy, Greetings From Tucson is from executive producers Rob LaZebnik (The Simpsons), Peter Murrieta (Second City), Howard Klein (King of the Hill) and David Miner for Turner Television. Before Greetings from Tucson, some of the show's titles were This Time and Just Like You.… Expand
- Genre(s): Comedy
- Creator: Peter Murrieta
- Show Type: Ended
- Season 1 premiere date: Sep 20, 2002
- Episode Length: 30
- Air Time: 09:30 PM
- More Details and Credits »
Although Maria self-consciously identifies her family as "Spanish," the series displays its Mexicana proudly, and is just witty and offbeat enough to stand out from the crowd. [20 Sept 2002, p.C1]
Much edgier in confronting issues of class and ethnicity. But it never loses its sense of humor. [19 Sept 2002]
The composition of the cast and presence of a grandma (Lupe Ontiveros) makes the show structurally and thematically similar to ABC's "George Lopez Show," but Tucson is more entertaining and better written. [20 Sept 2002, p.40]
Despite some funny moments and undercurrents of real potential, Greetings From Tucson has nothing special going for it other than being part of an emerging trend. For it to survive, the writing will have to be snappier and the situations more original.
Tucson is sweet and inoffensive -- and almost totally unamusing. The best that can be said for the show is that it's better than the only other Latino show on network TV, ABC's George Lopez...Of course, if that were the standard, WB's sitcoms would all be classics. [19 Sept 2002]
The jokes and the moral lessons are equally telegraphed, and instantly forgotten. [20 Sept 2002]