Amazon FreeVee’s Primo is exactly what it looks like, a heartwarming comedy about family, friendship finding your way in life – and what it means to balance a large family that is very present, and opinionated, with trying to live life a teenager. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not trying to reinvent the wheel, and it doesn’t really need to. Good comedy isn’t about new topics, it’s about good writing, on-point delivery, and the feeling that there’s some truth to the stories that are being told.
Primo excels at all of those things, and it does so in a different way than most other recent comedies do, especially those centered on the latine experience. Because this is a latine story, yes. And the show isn’t shying away from that – this is, in many ways, so much a latine family that, at times, when all the uncles were around at times when privacy would not only make sense but would be preferable, I laughed because …well, that is the latine way. But as much as Primo is a latine story, it’s not a story about the latine experience, in a good way.
One of the drawbacks of having very few stories about latines has been that every story about our communities has been forced to be the story about our communities, an impossible role to fill. Stories are not universal, and Latin America is a monolith. Primo doesn’t even attempt to be that. It’s a very specific story about a Mexican-American family, but it’s not about their identity, it’s about their lives. They are Mexican-American, yes, but this is just about their day-to-day lives. They are existing as Mexican-American, and there’s power in a narrative that just allows them to be that.
We need those stories too. We need Rafa and his crush on Mya, and his back-and-forth on whether college is even a good idea for him. That’s normal teenage stuff, and it’s great comedic fodder. And though the five uncles feel very latine-coded for those of us who grew up with many aunts and uncles who always had opinions about what we were doing, not doing, or thinking about doing, there’s a universality to the way the show deals with the family aspect that will be easy for anyone to relate to.
Christina Vidal’s Drea is the clear standout in a show that doesn’t feel like it has a weak link. She gets to play both the strong character moments and the vulnerable ones, and there is so much depth to her performance in every second that she feels like a real person we could run into on the street, and she could, perhaps, help us with something – in exchange for who knows what. That’s the Drea way, after all.
There are a lot of television shows out there these days, and a lot more coming out seemingly every day. Making the decision to try something new seems like an even bigger commitment these days. Primo is one of those easy-to-watch, satisfying shows that will make you feel like you wrapped yourself in a cozy blanket at the end of a long, cold day. It might not solve all your problems, but it’s a damn good feeling while you’re in the cocoon. We can’t really ask TV much more than that.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of Season 1 of Primo? Share with us in the comments below!
Primo Season 1 is streaming on Amazon FreeVee.