‘Promised Land’ tells the timeless story of chasing the American dream

ABC/Nino Muñoz

The family drama Promised Land on ABC is very near and dear to creator Matt Lopez’s heart. It’s a story of first and second generation Latino immigrants fighting for their piece of the American dream, with many parallels to Lopez’s family. And he tells ABC Audio that’s why he’s surprised that in the few weeks it’s been on the air, people from all walks of life have told them how much they like it.

“Obviously it’s a show with a predominantly Latino cast. The characters come from that background…So you would sort of expect or at least not be surprised if it resonated with that audience,” he explains. “But the extent to which it’s resonated with a broader audience is really kind of cool and gratifying.”

An example of others who have resonated with the show is the stunt coordinator, who is Vietnamese-American, “walked up to [Lopez] and said, I just want to say thank you because this is my parent’s story. And I haven’t seen it like on a network drama before.”

Even though the show resonates with many, Lopez admits that there’s pressure to doing a show like this, because there aren’t a lot of them.

Remembering what one of his directors, Felix Alcala, told him he says, “Each one of these scripts has to be a gem…because if you fall on your face, it’s going to make it that much harder for the next one.”

Promised Land draws “huge inspiration” from East of Eden and themes of the American dream.

“The beauty of the American dream. The cost of the American dream. And what it costs you sometimes to chase it and get it. That’s that kind of universal thing I think all audiences respond to,” Lopez shares. 

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