Vida Season 2: Everything we know so far, including premiere date, latest casting news and plot

Starz treated fans to the good news that Vida has been renewed for Season 2 back in June. The renewal of Vida for Season 2 was widely expected. The series is one of Starz’s most beloved TV shows this year and has generated a lot buzz in the Latinx community, especially after the first season ended with a lot of questions unanswered.

Fans are looking forward to the return of the Latinx drama series for another season.

“Vida has delivered on its promise of attracting a young, new Latinx audience to the Starz platform, as we had hoped it would, and we are pleased to be able to announce a second season of the series,”  Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said.

Vida focuses on social issues affecting Latinx communities, such as LGBTQ issues, gentrification, racial prejudice, and discrimination.

It follows two estranged Mexican-American sisters who return to their hometown and old neighborhood on the Eastside of Los Angeles after the death of their mother. On their return, they are confronted by shocking truths about their mother’s life and sexual identity.

With Starz having confirmed Vida for Season 2, we answer every question about the upcoming season that you have, such as when will Season 2 premiere? What can fans expect of Vida in Season 2? When will the trailer come out? Who are the returning and new cast for Vida Season 2?

Vida Season 2 premiere date

Starz has confirmed Vida for Season 2 but the premium cable network has not announced an official premiere date for the upcoming season.  As expected though, fans have been looking at the past premiere date schedule of the show and other shows on Starz to guess when Vida is likely to premiere for Season 2.

The first season of Vida premiered on May 6, so if Starz decides to stick with the previous season’s schedule, Vida Season 2 will premiere in May. However, some fans have been speculating that Starz could delay the premiere of Vida Season 2 until July due to the clash of its Sunday 8/7c timeslot with the time for other Starz hits, including Outlander, which returned for Season 4 on November 4, and Counterpart Season 2.

Some fans conjectured that when Outlander Season 4 ends late in January 2019, Counterpart Season 2, which premieres on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 9/8c, will take back the Sunday 8/7c slot it occupied last season, forcing Starz to delay the premiere date for Vida Season 2.

However, this is only conjecture. Starz has not indicated that it plans to delay the premiere date for Vida Season 2 due to a timeslot clash with other Starz shows. And even if there is a timeslot clash with Counterpart, Starz could just push the time for Vida back by an hour.

Vida is expected to return for Season 2 with 10 half-hour episodes instead of six that Starz ordered for Season 1. A six-episode Season 1 was a good way to introduce Vida to viewers.

By extending the episode count from six to 10 for Season 2, Starz is acknowledging fans who enjoyed the first season and want to see more of the series. There is no doubt that the Latinx drama still has a lot more family and neighborhood drama stories to tell, and fans just can’t wait for the start of another season of the series on Starz.

Vida Season 2 overview

Vida Season 2 went into production in Los Angeles earlier in August.

Vida is created by showrunner Tanya Saracho, who will make her directorial debut in the upcoming season of the series. A short story titled Pour Vida by Richard Villegas Jr. reportedly inspired Saracho to create the TV series.

Vida is also executive-produced by Saracho, alongside Peter Saraf, Robin Schwartz for Big Beach TV, Stephanie Langhoff and Marc Turtletaub.

Saracho signed a three-year overall deal with Starz back in February before Vida Season 1 debuted on the cable network in May. Saracho will help Starz develop new projects under the deal. The means that Starz has committed itself to a long-term relationship with Saracho that is independent of Vida’s future. The renewal of Vida for Season 2 will only help to further strengthen Saracho’s relationship with the cable network.

Starz’s president of programming Carmi Zlotnik was full of praises for Saracho and her work.

“Tanya Saracho’s unique voice brings a fresh and real perspective to Latinx programming,” he told Variety. “We’re thrilled to have an overall deal with this tenacious playwright-turned-TV writer/executive producer who doesn’t pull any punches when bringing these characters — who are not usually seen in mainstream media — to life.”

Saracho’s previous writing credits include HBO’s Looking (TV series 2014-2015), Girls (TV series 2012-2017), and Lifetime’s Devious Maids (TV series 2013-2016). She also served as producer and writer on ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder (TV series 2014- ).

Stephanie Langhoff is known for having co-executive produced Togetherness (TV series 2015-2016). Langhoff also produced The Bronze (2015) and The Skeleton Twins (2014) with Jared Ian Goldman and Jacob Pechenik.

Lionsgate holds all domestic and international multiplatform rights to Vida.

Vida premiered on Starz on May 6, 2018, joining the cable network’s growing roster of scripted originals that includes Power, American Gods, Outlander, Counterpart, The Girlfriend Experience, Sweetbitter, Howards End, and The Rook.

The six-episode first season finale aired on June 10, 2018, and on June 12, Starz announced it had renewed the series for Season 2.

Vida made history as the first-ever all-Latinx writers’ room. After Saracho wrote the pilot for Vida and Starz approved it for Season 1, she went ahead to hire an exclusively Latinx team of writers to pen the remaining episodes. She wanted to create a show for the Latinx community with an authentic Latinx voice and perspective to the story of two Mexican-American women from L.A.

Vida went on to receive stellar reviews. The Hollywood Reporter’s Daniel Fienberg described the series as “authentic, grounded and like few other shows in TV.”

The series is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes where it earned a 100 percent approval rating based on 32 critical reviews. On Metacritic,  it earned a “generally favorable” Metascore of 75 based on 12 critical reviews. It also won an Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.

Vida posted a strong audience growth after it premiered on Starz in May. The Hispanic viewership of the series increased threefold from the season premiere in May to the finale in June. The show had a strong following in the Latinx community, and according to Nielsen, it had the largest Hispanic audience composition for a premium series in 2018.

“Starz certainly deserves a big gracias for disrupting Hollywood’s #SoWhiteMale status with this scrappy half-hour, which showrunner Tanya Saracho has said reflects her mission to introduce ‘the brown queer perspective’ to TV,” writes John Griffiths in a review published on Variety.

But despite the rave reviews and a strong showing in the Latinx community, Vida’s ratings have been relatively poor. Numbers published by TV Series Finale reveal that Vida was the lowest-rated TV show on Starz in 2018, with an average rating of 0.04 in the 18-49 demographic and 130,000 viewers, compared with Starz’s top-rated show Power, which had an average season rating of 0.56 and 1.361 million viewers.

American Gods scored an average rating of 0.28 and 714,000 viewers. Outlander scored a rating of 0.16 and drew 943,000 viewers, while Counterpart scored 0.09 and drew 371,000 viewers.

It is clear that Starz execs don’t base their decision about which show to renew or cancel solely on ratings and viewership. Some other Starz shows, such as Ash vs Evil, which performed better in terms of ratings and viewership numbers, were canceled while Vida was retained.

Vida addresses pressing social issues such as the LGBTQ community, racial prejudice and gentrification in Latinx neighborhoods while avoiding being preachy.

“The writers and directors are so attentive to telling personal stories that shine a light on broader social issues as opposed to approaching their narrative the other way around,” writes Vulture’s Jen Chaney. “They pay attention to details in a way that magnifies subtext without pumping up the font too large.”

“If you look at what’s in the landscape right now, it’s very stuck in its lane, and I love that we have no lanes,” Saracho told Collider while expressing her excitement about having the opportunity to use Vida to portray the Latinx culture. “There’s no road. There’s nothing. We start off somewhere and it just detours, regarding the characters. I love that!”

— Melissa Barrera (@MelissaBarreraM) June 4, 2018

Vida Season 2 trailer

Starz has not released an official trailer for Vida Season 2. We will update fans when the network drops the trailer. But meanwhile, enjoy the trailer for Vida Season 1.

Vida Season 2 cast

Fans can expect the entire main cast of Vida Season 1 to return for Season 2.

The main cast includes Melissa Barrera as Lyn Hernandez and Mishel Prada as Lyn’s sister Emma. The series also stars Maria Elena Laas as Cruz, Chelsea Rendon as Marisol Sanchez, Carlos Miranda as Johnny Sanchez, and the non-binary Latinx/Chicanx actor Ser Anzoategui as Eddy Martinez.

Barrera is best-known for her role as Mía González in Tanto Amor (TV series 2015- ) and as Isabel Cantu in Club de Cuervos (TV series 2015- ). Mishel Prada played Nurse Rivera in Tell Me How I Die (2016), and Gabi in Fear The Walking Dead (TV series 2015-).

Veronica Osorio, known for her role as Carlotta Valdez in Hail, Caeser! (2016), also auditioned to play Emma before Mishel was picked for the role.

The 10-episode Vida Season 2 is expected to see the introduction of new characters, including the Mexican-born, Argentinean-Honduran actress Roberta Colindrez and Raul Castillo.

Starz announced the new castings at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Summer 2018 Press Tour.

Deadline reported on July 28 that Colindrez has been cast as a new series regular for Vida Season 2. She will play Nico, a bartender at the family bar.

Colindrez is known for playing Devon in I Love Dick (TV series 2016-2017). She appears in a recurring role as Irene in HBO’s The Deuce (TV series 2017- ). She also played Joan in Fun Home, a Tony Award-winning musical.

Raul Castillo, who appeared in Looking (TV series 2014-2015) as Richie Donado, will play a recurring role as  Baco in Vida Season 2. Baco is the family bar’s new handyman with a shady past.

Adrian Gonzalez, who appeared in Superstore (TV series 2015 – ) as Devon, is set to play a recurring role as Rudy, an L.A. councilman, according to Deadline.

Vida Season 2 plot

Vida tells the story of two-American sisters, Lyn Hernandez (Melissa Barrera) and Emma (Mishel Prada), who return to their old neighborhood in L.A. after their mother died. The two sisters grew up together on the Eastside of Los Angeles but were estranged for several years during which they lived vastly different lives.

Emma returns from Chicago as a successful businesswoman, while Lyn returns from San Francisco where she had lived as a good-time girl.

The two return to L.A. to learn about family secrets they had never suspected, particularly the truth about their mother’s lesbian sexual orientation.

They learn that their mother Vida (Vidalia) had a roommate Eddy (Ser Anzoategui), who was her lesbian wife and had helped Vida to manage her bar. Emma and Lyn wanted to sell the bar and quickly return to their big city lives, but they found out that Vida had added Eddy to her will so that Eddy has equal ownership of the bar and the building with Emma and Lyn.

We also learn about Emma’s queer sexuality and that she had struggled to suppress it until she found out that her mother was also queer. Vida had sent Emma away after she found out that Emma felt sexually attracted to other girls. Emma’s discovery that her mother had also been secretly lesbian and that she had been living with a lesbian partner Eddy (Ser Anzoategui) came as a shock.

Saracho, who will make her directorial debut in Vida Season 2, has promised that the show will delve deeper into the lives of Lyn, Emma (Mishel Prada), Eddy, and the Latinx community of East Los Angles. While Emma must learn to come to terms with her queer identity, Lyn also has issues about her personal freewheeling life to resolve.

According to Saracho, the six-episode Season 1 of Vida was only the beginning of the story of the sisters. Saracho emphasized in an interview with TV Series Finale at the Summer 2018 TCA that the series is “first and foremost” about the two sisters, and secondarily about their Latinx L.A. community.

“[Vida Season 1] is sort of like a prologue in a way, like a three-hour pilot that you saw,” Saracho told TV Guide. “It feels like, now, [the season finale] is the beginning. Now we can start. We introduce the characters, and just who they are, and we introduce the world, and that took three hours… Now, we begin.”

After the shocking discoveries about their mother’s sexual identity and her relationship with Eddy, Emma and Lyn decide to stay in L.A. and work together to revitalize their mother’s struggling bar. They also resolve to protect Vida’s widow Eddy and take care of the interests of the tenants living in the apartment buildings. But they face hard challenges.

During Vida’s life she had ensured that the bar was a safe haven for members of the LGBTQ community in East Los Angeles, and although Emma is queer, she struggles with the challenge of publicly identifying the bar as a lesbian bar due to the personal and business risks she believes it entails.

Eddy was assaulted and almost beaten to death for being a lesbian.

“That’ll be a conversation between [Emma and Eddy], hopefully next season. That has to be a big thing, so it will be very important as a conversation,” Saracho said. “Obviously there’s a resistance from Emma… Lesbian bars don’t last. They don’t stay open, you know? Gay bars do. Not lesbian bars. [In] her business mind, it’s not a very smart way to brand the bar. But also, she’s queer.”

With the series exploring the challenges of queer identity in the Latinx communities of East L.A., Vida appears to be aiming to end the silence about the queer Latinx community. Overall, the series explores the themes of loss, grief, and acceptance. It tackles the social issues of gentrification, homophobia, and racism.

Gentrification in Latinx neighborhoods is due to wealthy members of the Latinx community returning to displace the poorer ones.

Saracho revealed that if Starz is willing, she might add four extra episodes to Vida Season 2. She said that she hoped non-Latinx viewers will see how the Latinx experience portrayed in Vida mirrors the experience of their communities too.

“I’m just hoping they’re compelled by this world, and realize the similarities and the humanity that is very similar, especially if you’re not a Latinx,” she said. “It would be great if you identified with just family, just loss of a parent, then see, ‘Oh, wait, we’re not so different. It’s not like this marginalized community. Oh, it looks just like my community.’”

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