When I first saw the commercials for Washington Heights, I immediately got excited and I couldn’t wait for the premiere. It made me think of one of my favorite musicals In the Heights and I knew that just the vibe of the show alone would keep me interested for at least one episode. The New York setting mixed with the Dominican and Boricua cast made the series something I could relate to, so obviously I was attracted to it, but I honestly had no idea I would love MTV’s Washington Heights as much as I do. Then again, that’s probably because I didn’t know much about the show before I actually watched it. Yeah it follows a group of Latinos living in Uptown like I expected, but it doesn’t solely focus on the fights or the partying. Of course those things pop up throughout the series because that’s just life, but the show is much more about family, friends, and following your dreams than anything else. Besides entertaining, I would say Washington Heights is definitely inspirational and relatable.
You have a group of friends, who practically grew up together. They know each other so well, they mostly get along, and they are honest with each other no matter the situation, but then within that tight-knit group you have individuals embracing their passions, creating more depth to the show and the friendships in general. Music, art, poetry, and fashion are just a few of these passions, but, despite these different interests, the friends all have a common goal of following their dreams and making it. They support each other by going to each other’s performances or even just saying a few encouraging words, while you see these individuals putting everything out there to reach their goal. From the audience’s perspective, you see the journey of simply having a dream and actually working to make it a reality. After seeing how motivated the cast of Washington Heights is, you feel even more empowered to follow your own dreams. You get to see yourself in these figures and doing what you want becomes that much more real. At the same time, you also see the personal struggles that come into play and, unfortunately, can affect your progress. You realize that life around you doesn’t stop, but that you have to learn how to deal with it all and keep moving forward no matter what. Things are never perfect, yet you have to continue to work toward your goal. You’re reminded that you’re not the only one going through ish and that it should never be a limiting factor no matter how often it happens.
The series is only about four episodes in, but it has quickly become one of my favorite shows. It is among the best representations of real life that I’ve seen in a while, which is extremely refreshing. The relatability of the cast mixed with my weakness for positive, driven people trying to live out their dreams and help each other out along the way is probably why I’m so hooked, but either way I have no regrets. I can tell you right now that I see a weirdly large amount of myself in one of the cast members and it certainly helps me make sense of a lot of things. I have to recognize that I have already learned so much from the Washington Heights crew and I can’t wait to see what new realizations I experience along the way.