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The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Creators: Seth Kurland, Mario Lopez
Stars: Paulina Chávez, Conor Husting, Bella Podaras
The reasons why Ashley wants to move to Pasadena, and move in with her Tio Victor (Jencarlos Canela), have less to do with her first job than the fact that she needs to get out from under her mother’s control and live like a teenager. The two of them used to live in Pasadena until she went to college — at 9! — and her mother is staying in Massachusetts to get her tenure at Wellesley College. She’s been particularly strict with Ashley, keeping her focus on her studies, but her mom is also a bit of a stickler in other areas, like banning them from ordering from a particular pizzeria because they have a typo on the menu.
When she arrives at Victor’s palatial house — he used to be an NFL kicker but now coaches high school football — he’s romancing a random woman whose name he doesn’t remember. He is completely unprepared to have her there, and when she wakes up on his couch the next morning, she’s surrounded by members of the football team, who use his house to work out. Goofy team manager Stick (Reed Horstmann) tries to charm her, but she’s into the quarterback, Tad (Conor Husting). Since she’s never kissed a boy before, kissing Tad jumps to the top of her bucket list, which she keeps on her phone.
She goes to the cafe run by her dad’s football buddy Nico (Mario Lopez, one of the show’s executive producers), and runs into her old Pasadena BFF Brooke (Bella Podaras); she wants some help in figuring out how to get Tad to kiss her; she wants Brooke to be her romance Yoda. Brooke thinks she’s shooting too high: “Yoda didn’t let Luke fight Darth Vader after one lesson!” But when Victor asks Ashley can tutor Tad in algebra, she’s excited for the opportunity.
After wiping off the clown-ish makeup job she gave herself from Brooke’s “travel-size” make-out kit, she tutors Tad, and after having a conversation where they both make goo-goo eyes with each other, she goes for it. He backs off, claiming that he needs to focus on football, but she later finds out that Victor threatened his quarterback if he even thinks of dating his niece. On top of all this, Ashley’s mother is FaceTiming her, suspicious that the environment Victor is providing is too “open” for her tastes, and threatening to bring Ashley back east.
Our Take: The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia is firmly in the “teen sitcom” category, but like many of the ones that have come to Netflix over the past few years, it tries to rely less on goofy, broad gags and more on the idea that Ashley might be a genius, but she’s a genius that wants to experience what it’s like to be a 15-year-old.
Don’t get us wrong; there are plenty of silly gags. And there’s a lot about Ashley that doesn’t scream “antisocial nerd.” She’s pretty, seems to have a quirky but stylish fashion sense, and isn’t at all awkward, even when she’s spewing words and jargon even adults like Victor don’t understand. So her “makeover” isn’t likely to be as drastic as the show’s creators, Lopez and veteran sitcom writer/producer Seth Kurland, think its going to be.
Are we going to see Ashley actually “working” at the lab where she’ll do her robotics work? Or will that just be in the background? We just wonder if Ashley is actually going to be seen doing smart things, rather than just having everyone calling her a “genius. One thing that we see that’s refreshing is that Ashley isn’t letting her intelligence get in her own way… at least not yet.
But Chávez is a charmer, and does a good job of playing both sides of Ashley, who is really eager to have more of a realistic teenage experience. But she does a good job of getting us to buy into Ashley’s braniac side, as well.
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