1 9 8 6 (USA)
13 x 30 minute episodes
Ricardo Sanchez (Reni Santoni) is a self-made, successful clothing manufacturer who moves his family from the East LA Barrio to the affluent Bel-Air section of Los Angeles.
His wife, Rita (Marcia del Mar) is unhappy, though, because she is no longer working and she finds relaxing by the pool and eating endless lunches unfulfilling. Teenage son, Mike (Richard Coca) – who insists on being called Miguel – hates living in a gringo area and attending a gringo school and wants to return to the barrio.
“Look at who your neighbours are,” Ricardo explains, “Ricardo Montalban . . . Erik Estrada . . . Cesar Romero . . . Miguel, this is the barrio”.
Daughter Gina (Alitzah Weiner) is just unhappy that she has a persistent zit and so can never leave the house ever again.
Their new neighbour is Frankie Rondell (Bobby Sherman), a has-been singer and jingle writer.
Much of the dialogue in Sanchez of Bel Air was inane and filled with the kind of ethnic-baiting humour that may have been daring in the early 70s but seemed hopelessly dated in 1986.
After Ricardo brings home Chinese food, Miguel whines that he’s tired of eating gringo food. “In this case, it’s really glingo food,” responds his father.
Then there’s the time when Ricardo’s decision to leave work early perplexes his avuncular Jewish co-worker (S Marc Jordan): “When are you Jewish guys gonna start to relax?” Sanchez asks. “When you Mexican guys do a full day’s work”.
Marcia del Mar
Mike (Miguel) Sanchez