“Bordertown,” a new animated series from the comedic mind of Seth MacFarlane, debuts on the Fox network in 2016. But you can get a special sneak peek at the show — a look at immigration through the eyes of two families who live in a small town on the U.S.-Mexico border — when consulting producer and Chapman alumnus Gustavo Arellano brings a screening to Chapman University on Thursday, September 24 at 6:45 p.m. in Kennedy Hall 237B, hosted by the Minority Student Law Association (MSLA) and Chapman’s chapter of MeChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicana/o de Aztlan).
“Bordertown”takes a satirical look at the cultural shifts occurring in America, where the U.S. Census forecasts that by 2017, ethnic minorities will become the majority. Set against this increasingly diverse backdrop, the series explores family, politics and everything in between with a cross-cultural wink. The series centers on two clans: the Buckwalds and the Gonzalezes. Bud Buckwald (Hank Azaria) is a married father of three and a Border Patrol agent who is just a tad behind the times and feels slightly threatened by the cultural changes transforming his neighborhood. He lives next door to Ernesto Gonzalez (Nicholas Gonzalez), an ambitious immigrant and family man, who has been in the country less than 10 years, but is already doing better than Bud – which, it turns out, is a bit of an issue for the less-industrious native.
Arellano was originally asked by series co-creator Mark Hentemann (Family Guy) to be a writer on the show, but he turned it down because his writing time is devoted to OC Weekly, where he is the editor, and to his popular nationally distributed column, “Ask a Mexican!” (Arellano is also the author of several books, including Ask a Mexican!, Orange County: A Personal History, and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.)
“Not only was Mark the real deal—nice, funny, and trusting in the opinions of others—he was refreshingly honest,” Arellano blogged on Pocho.com. “He told me that, while he knew comedy from his years with David Letterman and Family Guy, he wasn’t going to pretend that a gabacho from Cleveland like himself knew much about the Mexican experience in the U.S.; he wanted the best and brightest Latino writers to give his show the right perspective, to tell stories that not only have never been told before on network TV but have them told by the right folks.”
Arellano suggested that the producers call Lalo Alcaraz, creator of the popular comic strip La Cucaracha, and ask him to join the writing team, but they were already on it. Alcaraz is one of five Latino writers on the show.
“I’m only a part-timer, as a consultant who’s mostly going to be offering notes,” Arellano blogged. “But I’ve already seen scripts—amazing, hilarious, and spot-on about what it means to be Mexican in America right now…Is the show going to offend people? Of course—that’s what comedy does. But with Lalo and I on board, we’re going to do our damndest to make sure that when Bordertown offends, it’s for a reason—just like we’ve done during our respective careers. Already, our suggestions are being appreciated and being worked into the show.”
So — if you can’t wait for 2016, come on out and enjoy this preview screening opportunity, with consulting producer Gustavo Arellano on hand to introduce the show and chat with the audience.