Another “Cane” Review

This one from Ray S:

I just saw “CANE” and the coming attractions for future programs. Its everything that I feared.

I’ll start with the good part:

With the exception of Nestor Carbonell who as a real Cuban American quite NATURALLY has the right look and the right accent, and with the exception of the woman who plays Jimmy Smits’s wife who looks Cuban [even though she is Colombian], everyone else is unbelievable as a Cuban. Particularly annoying is Jimmy Smits, Rita Moreno and Hector Elizondo. Where on earth does Elizondo– who in reality is a Puerto Rican– get his Mexican accent? And Smits just doesn’t cut the cake as a Cuban. Not only does he not look Cuban [he looks like a Somoan or something], his Cuban accent is horrendous. Can’t an accomplished actor like Smits get a voice coach to at least teach him to speak with a Cuban accent? And Rita Moreno’s “Ave Maria” exclamation… Uh, ah.. I don’t think so.

The program is full of clichés and stereotypes. The family lives in an old fashion hacienda type home full of crucifixes, etc… that looks like something that you would see in one of those old Maria Felix movies and every other moment you hear some salsa or reggaeton music in the background to give the right ambiance of Hollywood’s perception of a LATEENO FAMILY. Remember we are always suppose to be dancing and partying. We’re such hot passionate people! When the family sons aren’t dancing to Reggaeton, they’re having sex with some pretty blond American girl, cause that’s what Cubans do. The writer–who is Cuban–wants to let you know that she knows how Cubans live, so there is a scene where they roast a pig, cause when we aren’t smoking cigars, having hot passionate sex, or dancing to salsa or reggaeton, we’re eating lechon.

The program which is slow and boring, quickly deteriorated into a mafia series full of assassins-for-pay, recently arrived Cuban balseros who are murderers that used to belong to some type of crime syndicate in Cuba where they tattoo their hands as gang identification [sort of like the Salvadorean gangs do]. What’s more, in the coming attractions, “the family” gets even more violent as they get involved with the Israeli mob in the ECSTASY trade.

Gee, why is it that I didn’t trust CBS to get it right? Could it be because CBS executives a few years ago visited Cuba—on an all expense paid trip where they were wined and dined and had meetings with Castro? Could it be because the Fanjuls who are hated by the left and by Castro [since they monopolize the sugar market and are influential in American politics] are often the brunt of scathing critiques in American magazines? Could it be because I read a few years ago [at around the time that the CBS executives visited Cuba] that there was a program/movie in the plans on the Fanjul family?

7 thoughts on “Another “Cane” Review”

  1. Cubans, crime-syndicate, murderers, drugs and sex. Geez, sounds more like the show should be titled “PUNTO ZERO”!

  2. …and you know what, it would be ALL TRUTH and no fiction! After all, the family residing in Punto Cero currently own ALL the cane fields, ALL the rum-making, ALL the cigar-making on his Caribbean island. The sons are all living the high-life, and throw in the fact that the mother is regarded as ‘witch’ by all, and you have the makings of great show!

  3. Yup, you’re right on the money. I felt as if they could have really done something interesting with the premise if they had found the right production team but this really just strikes me as nothing more than an a cheesy version of Dallas – and Dallas was itself, plenty cheesy!

    A big, fat, ol’ stinker if ya ask me.

  4. I think you are right Val. Being a Cuban-rican myself, I heard words like “Ave maria”, “Dios Mioooo”. Expressions mostly used in Borinquen than in Cuba. I was expecting an “Ayyyy Bendito” any second. Naaaaaaaaa, I just don`t feel the show will make it. With so many good Cuban-American actors handy—what made the CBS people go for the second best? I mean, sure Jimmy and Rita are great…..but when they speak spanish ….we are hearing Puerto Rico. I think I heard only ONE pure Cuban accent in the show, which was one of the brothers.” Good luck to “Cane” . Dont think its going anywheres.
    Henry Agueros

  5. It is still fun to watch! Jimmy Smits is not hard to look at. The music is good. They did use the word “asere,” which is Cuban, right? It’s true that it misses the boat on several counts. It’s close, but no (Cuban) cigar.

  6. I don’t know a Cuban accent worth anything, unless Desi Arnez is fairly representative. But I live in LA and if I met a Cuban, even if I couldn’t tell where he was from, I at least could tell his accent wasn’t Mexican.

    I’m not Cuban or even Hispanic/Latino. I’m Scotch-Irish-French-God-knows-what-else from Tobacco Road (Eastern NC), and if you were to meet me, you’d see my face is the proverbial Map O’ Ireland.

    To top all that off, I didn’t even bother to watch ‘Cane’ because it just didn’t grab me.

    So why this post? Basically to say welcome to my world.

    As I said, I’m a Scotch-Irish cracker from Eastern NC —– and I’ve been going through this very same experience with Hollywood for decades. From the “Dukes of Hazard” to “American Beauty” to “My Name is Earl”, Southerners are portrayed with phony, over-the-top, what I call “mint julip” accents, and almost always as stupid, inbred, toothless trailer trash with cars up on concrete blocks, or as deranged ex-military Klansmen, etc., etc., etc.

    The ONLY show I ever saw that caught the flavor what the modern rural South is really like was “In the Heat of the Night”. The show had an intangible slower-pace charm about it, and the black and white characters even got along pretty well for the most part, which is how I remember my hometown of Goldsboro. O’Connor’s accent wasn’t that great but he made the character charming and believable, and most of the other characters on the show had convincing accents, in no small part because many of the actors were real Southerners.

    But it was an obvious exception, and came along too late to prevent me from avoiding having a Southern accent because Hollywood taught me it was “uncool”. (If you heard me speak, you would think I was from the Upper Midwest.)

    Anyway, again I sympathize. Cuban Americans tend to be conservative just like Southerners, so I guess Hollywood had to get around to you sooner or later. Also, it is all but a mathematical certainty that there will be an episode where Castro gets portrayed as “misunderstood”, another reason not to watch it.

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