As season three of this pioneering Hispanic celebrity reality series begins, several dramas are going on, all against the backdrop of the biggest drama of all — the audience’s knowledge that Jenni Rivera, the Latin music star for whom the show is named, died in a private-jet crash in Mexico on Dec. 9, 2012, after scenes in the episode were filmed.
One drama involves Jenni, known as La Diva de la Banda, getting ready for and then appearing in the Los Premios de la Radio awards show in Los Angeles last November.
Another is Jenni’s separation from her husband, baseball pitcher Esteban Loiaza, after season two ended, and an “argument” Jenni is having with oldest daughter, Chiquis Marin, who does not appear in the episode.
The central drama concerns Jenni’s second-oldest daughter, Jacqui, who has moved out of Jenni’s house and into an apartment with her husband, Mike, and their daughter, Jaylah Hope.
Jacqui is a novice at domestic activities such as cooking. “You can’t just cook one thing because it looks so alone, so you have to cook like three different things to go with eggs. And you have to cook them at the same time because then one’s going to get cold,” she says in a deadpan interview, describing a scene showing her struggling to make breakfast, setting off a smoke alarm.
Jacqui has invited her mom and other family members to dinner. The first pass doesn’t turn out well, though, so she calls Aunt Rosie (Jenni’s sister) to rush over and help make lasagna that Jacqui can pass off as her own. Then, La Diva, for once, shows up early, so Rosie has to hide in Jaylah’s bedroom. From there, as you can guess, dinner goes not completely smoothly.
Love and forgiveness and sadness and pride and joy all get served up, though, at dinner and in the interviews with Jacqui; her brother, Mikey; Rosie; and others who miss Jenni.
The show must go on, though, and Jenni will always be a presence in their lives, as well as in this season’s episodes, though not in those familiar interviews.
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