Cane on CBS
I guess because I am an American of Cuban ancestry someone sent me an advance (I guess) preview copy of the new CBS show Cane. This new TV series is about a Cuban-American family running a sugar empire from Florida.
Think "Sopranos" without all the cussing and better haircuts.
Thank you... I am honored.
And now some very pedantic and jingoist hits... The lead character is played by Jimmy Smits... great actor, but not what your typical Cuban sugar magnate would have looked liked in the racist Cuban society of the late 1950s and the Cuban-American refugee wave of the early 1960s.
CBS picked Smits, a brilliant actor, I guess based on their perception of what a Cuban looks like (Smits is not of Cuban ancestry... his father, Cornelis Smits, was a Surinamese immigrant from Dutch Guiana, and his mother, Emilina, is Puerto Rican).
This is what the person that Smits' character is loosely based upon really looks like...
That is him and his also Cuban wife to the left...but because, like a lot of Cubans, he looks too "Caucasian" and not enough of what Hollywood (and CBS) thinks that Latinos should look like, they hired a terrific Emmy-winning Surinamese actor who fits the sterotypical image of what Hollywood thinks Cubans should look like, to play the lead part.
HBO hired (for the most part), excellent Italian-American actors to play Italian-Americans for the Sopranos; it worked (awright, awright, so Jamie-Lynn DiScala, who played Meadow Soprano was actually a Cuban-American actress... ironic, uh?).
CBS has not only hired Smits to play the lead role, but also Puerto Rican actors Hector Elizondo, Eddie Matos, and Rita Moreno, Miss Colombia 1991 Paola Turbay, etc. to play other assorted Cubans.
And now for CBS: My list of actor candidates who are actually of Cuban ancestry and thus a shoe-in for the part and who actually fucking speak Spanish with a Cuban accent:
Andy Garcia (duh!!!! perfect for the part!... but probably too classy and too expensive to do TV).
Nestor Carbonell. OK, OK, he plays the nasty brother.
Mel Ferrer... ah!... I think he's dead.
Desi Arnaz... fine, fine... he's definately dead; but how about Desi Jr.?????
Cesar Romero ... fine! I know that The Joker is definately dead.
OK, I'm off my pedantic box; it looks like a decent show - it's no "Sopranos" but let's give it a chance.