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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Taina (2001-2002) – TV Review

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Jelisa M.
Jelisa is a lover of all music, but 90's R&B has a special place in her heart. She considers the 90's a groundbreaking era for black entertainment that should be celebrated more. "Music is my love language and movies are my mistress."

TV Review • 22 years later & Nickelodeon can still catch these hands for cancelling Taina despite big ratings. Taina could have been one of the biggest shows from Nickelodeon with it being Nickelodeon’s first latinx lead. According to Nickelodeon the series became more expensive to produce, but I don’t know if I’m fully convinced on that. Regardless, we are giving Taina all the flowers today.

Taina brought that Latin culture that we needed on tv & the legendary theme song speaks for itself. Between Taina & her bestfriend Renée, the fans were given all the flavor. I love how they didn’t water down Renée’s character & made her so relatable to the black audience. From her name being Renée Aretha Jones to her punchlines, she was the perfect black girl to have on screen. Their friendship is exactly how I imagine two girls of their background to be. Every time Renée was over Taina’s house you can tell there was a family vibe from them that made her feel like family.

Maritza was one of my favs from the show. She was the comeback Queen & knew she was that girl. My favorite scenes were always when her & Renée would have their little spat & their comebacks would be hilarious. Maritza & Taina were always in competition for singing or acting opportunities, but they were a force together because they both had vocals. You knew Maritza was coming from a mile away because she’s either yelling “TAIIIIIINA” or exiting the scene with that high pitch laugh. The writers mastered her character because you loved to hate her.

So no one was going to tell me that Taina’s mom was Lisa Velez from Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam? My mind was blown once I recognized her & she was such a great actress. Taina’s Abuelo was so adorable, he was everybody’s grandpa always supporting his grandkids in whatever it is they wanted to do. My girl Titi Rosa (Selenis Leyva) was that aunt that every niece loved. She was the one you’d go to when you couldn’t talk to your mom. I could definitely see her taking Taina out for her first drink once she turned 21.

Taina was needed for the Latin culture & the culture in general. I feel like the black community rides harder for Taina more than anyone else. She was our series Selena that we ride hard for. Christina Vidal will always be special to the culture for her role as Taina. She had the full package & Nickelodeon dropped the ball hard & I don’t think I’ll ever forgive them for it. 

 

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