On Los Jets tonight, the half-hour episode on NUVOtv was called Hail to the King because it was about one of the team members of Los Jets becoming the Homecoming King. The team members griped at the start of the episode about how the Jordan-Matthew’s High School football team gets all the glory and has their own locker room and cheerleaders, while the soccer team does not have any of that sort of support. They have to, instead, change their shirts outside before games. The soccer team has a far better winning record, but does not get the same degree of attention and appreciation as the football team gets.
This episode focused on Darwin Ramirez and Cirilo Rangel again. Darwin has a chance to be the first Latino Homecoming King in his high school’s history. He is the kicker for his high school’s football game, but he really feels his heart is more into the game he truly loves, soccer.
As with Cirilo last week, we got to see a glimpse into Darwin’s home life. His lives with his mother and a sister. Though Darwin is undocumented, his sister is a citizen of the United States. It has been so long since Darwin has seen his father, who was left behind in Mexico, that he says he “does not honestly remember what my father looks like.”
His mother talks in Spanish about when she first crossed the Rio Grande River and came into the United States. Though the water was, in truth, dirty, she said it made her feel somehow clean.
Darwin says he has the grades and the GPA he needs to succeed after high school, but he adds “I don’t have the documents.” He has the drive and determination to succeed, but not the papers that often make a huge difference.
Back on Los Jets, after a commercial break, the team faces fierce competition against Carrboro. Coach Paul Cuadros is worried about Cirilo, who is failing four classes and was late to Biology one day.
Coach Cuadros tells him the bad news that he will be suspended for the game and will not get to play. He says “Everything has consequences.” Cirilo walks away and ignores the coach, mad at everything that has happened, including himself.
Coach Cuadros tries to get the team pumped up by telling them “This is not a team of individuals. It is a team.” He says that he is confident that they can beat Carrboro despite the hindrance of not having Cirilo.
Back from a commercial break, Coach Cuadros shouts words of encouragement to his team. He says “Let’s go Jets!” The other team members, like Darwin, must step up if Los Jets have a chance to win.
Darwin does his bit to help, scoring the first goal of the game for Los Jets. However, the game soon gets tied up when Carrboro quickly scores. Coach Cuadros tells Los Jets “Let’s play our hearts out! Get fired up!”
As the teams scramble down the field, a player for Carrboro scores a goal against them. Los Jets answer, making it a 3-2 game, but that is not enough. Darwin feels if Cirilo had played they would have won.
Cirilo feels upset, saying “I really don’t want to disappoint the coach or my team,” as he walks with his girlfriend, Kim, who was introduced in the premiere episode of this docu-series last week.
Back on Los Jets, Darwin Ramirez talks again about how unfair it is that the football team gets to have pep rallies and cheerleaders. Darwin gets chosen as the Homecoming King at the pep rally and he says “It was awesome knowing that, my senior year, a Latino was made Homecoming King! I feel proud for the Latino community.”
“Sometimes, Cirilo thinks too much about his friends,” Kim says. She is mad that Cirilo spends more time with them, when she has given a lot of her time to him.
Cirillo tells Kim “You came because you wanted to come. I didn’t tell you to come.”
Kim tells him “Really, Cirillo? Really?” Kim is one of the only people who have stood behind Cirilo and believed in him and she does not like to feel like she is taking a back seat to Cirilo’s other friends.
Darwin gets to ride down the street in a Homecoming float. Coach Cuadros says that “Darwin is All-American in many ways. But, his dream about going onto a higher education is very precarious. To a large extent, it’s out of his hands.”
Though Latinos are not only just the future of the United States but its present, their contributions are often overlooked. The issue of immigration does not look like it will be away anytime soon, but the issue of integration is also a crucial one that will determine which direction the United states will be going in the years and decades ahead.
Los Jets, which is executive produced by NUVOtv’s Jennifer Lopez and her sister, Lynda, follows Jordan-Matthew High School’s soccer team, Los Jets, as they attempt to win the North Carolina State Championship. But, it is more than that. It also gives viewers an intimate peek into the lives and homes of the Latino members of Los Jets, as well as raising questions related to the contribution of Latinos in American society and how the Latino population is growing. NUVOtv has a smash hit on their hands with Los Jets. Los Jets offers something for all viewers. It is a great TV program to watch as a family, the type of show that is sorely missing in much of today’s television programming.
Written By Douglas Cobb
(Photos courtesy of NUVOtv. Members of Los Jets, left to right, are: Daniel Estrada, Darwin Ramirez, Martin Carrillo, Jonathan Lopez, Cirilo Rangel)