Creator Mark Landsman Gives an Exclusive Preview of Wednesday's 'Los Jets' Episode on NUVOtv: The All-Latino High School Soccer Team Juggles Immigration Issues and the Playoffs [Video]
The next chapter in NUVOtv's "Los Jets" six-part docu-series airs Wednesday. How will coach Paul Cuadros inspire his high school soccer team, a team made of boys already dealing with various immigration issues, to excel in the playoffs?
"Los Jets," produced by Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina's Nuyorican Productions, is a part of NUVOtv's Nu Point of View franchise and brings the immigration debate to Silver City, North Carolina, a rural town that saw its population of 5,000 grow from 2 percent Latinos to over 55 percent in just 15 years, according to a news release. The series profiles the town's Jordan-Matthews High School soccer team, a team comprised entirely of sons of Latino immigrants, as they strive to win another state championship. To them, the title represents not only victory, but also proof of worth in a community that sometimes considers them less than American.
In Wednesday's episode, "Kick It Up," the intense lives of players gets even more intense as Los Jets prepares to enter the playoffs.
"There are really two seasons in high school soccer in North Carolina, the conference and the playoffs. When the playoffs hit, the intensity goes to turbo because it's live or die -- you win you advance, you lose you're out," Mark Landsman, "Los Jets" creator and director, said in an interview with Latin Post. "For the Jets, this is what they've been working up to all season long. For the seniors on the team, each game could be the end of their high school career, so they take that very seriously."
The episode will paint a vivid and real picture of how the boys have developed both individually and as a team compared to when the "Los Jets" docu-series began.
"The team has changed significantly from when we started filming over the summer to this moment where they're on the verge of the state playoffs," Landsman explained. "For one thing, they're a much tighter unit than when the season began. A few key players are realizing that this is their last chance to step up and be leaders, which definitely changes the dynamic and stirs things up."
"Los Jets" premiered on NUVOtv on July 16. The docu-series brings a unique angle to the United States' very current and pressing immigration debate by giving intimate stories and distinct faces to the people that actions like deportation and anti-immigration legislation effects. After less than a month, the series has already begun making its mark.
"The most interesting response I've gotten was eye opening to me. Someone I know whose politics are conservative -- who tends to not be the most open-minded person -- told me he loved the show," Landsman shared. "When I asked him why, he said he loved seeing the stories of these families and how tight their bonds are. He said he admired their strength. I loved that."
Still, Landsman believes there is plenty for "Los Jets" to add to the immigration discussion.
"My greatest hope for this show is that it's seen widely, beyond a Latino audience, because Los Jets is about the real stories behind all the noise -- the human stories. And we need more compassion in this conversation right now," he explained. "There's a real crisis of compassion in this country, and real, inspiring stories can help cut through that."
The series may very well broaden its reach thanks to the diversity of media. Landsman and NUVOtv brought these stories to cable television, and it's fans have subsequently been bringing it to the web. According to Landsman, viewers have been talking about the show on Facebook and Twitter, and the series is available to watch online. This adds to Landsman's goal of influencing more Latinos and non-Latinos.
"The fact that it's going to be airing continuously for the summer and into the fall on both NUVOtv and HULU.com is great because it's giving the show a chance to keep finding its audience," Landsman said.
Check out a an exclusive sneak peek of Wednesday's episode of "Los Jets" below. The episode premieres tonight at 10/9 c. on NUVOtv.
Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar.