Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Mexicans at the Portal of Fantasy: Ricardo Montalbán
Me and Gustavo Arellano were on the radio yesterday talking about Latinos/as and Cop Shows on TV; one of his questions threw me--regarding Latinos/as on cop shows that were good! I riffed some rant about not looking to TV for good Ethnic Studies archetypes. What I should have said is what we need more of is "Mexicans" in non-Ethnic roles. Ricardo Montalbán's role on TV's Fantasy Island was as a gatekeeper of dreams, a warden of potential pleasure... that's it! No sombrero, no bandito glint, no steenken badges. Who would have thought schlock TV from Aaron Spelling would have given us cutting edge, post-Textmextian semiotic ruminations on "Mexican" subjectivity! More visual candy here!
Of course, a smart-ass and write in something about Mexicans and the fetish for midgets re-valorized by Herve Villechaize--but he was French!