‘The Garcias’ on HBO Max Features the Return of the Atomic Salsa With Feel-Good Kick [Exclusive]

Nickelodeon‘s beloved family series The Brothers Garcia returns close to 20 years later with the original cast, who are now adults and parents themselves. The updated series, The Garcias revisits the Garcia family in 2022 and also the new generation.

Showrunner Jeff Valdez told Showbiz Cheat Sheet that he yearned to return to the characters for years. Once he regained the rights to the Garcia family, he went full steam ahead, releasing The Garcias, an updated version of the series on HBO Max. Valdez said the timing for the sweet series couldn’t have been better, as more programming has leaned toward dark cynicism.

The world needs a little more time with ‘The Garcias’

Valdez said The Garcias are exactly what the country needs right now. “I believe the universe has kind of a game plan,” he reflected. “And it’s a good feel, good show. We’re very proud of the fact that it’s a feel-good show.” He joked, “And you know, there’s no zombies trying to eat your face off in any of our episodes.”

'The Garcias' cast smile on the step and repeat during the premiere event of 'The Garcias'
Bobby Gonzalez, Nitzia Chama, Maeve Garay, Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Ayva Severy, Jeff Valdez, Ada Maris, Vaneza Pitynski, Oliver Alexander, Elsha Kim, and Jeffrey Licon |Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for ‘The Garcias’

Even though the series will stream on HBO Max, viewers should expect the same wholesome comedy they sought from Nickelodeon. “By the way, there is literally only one curse word out of 10 episodes,” he recalled. “And that’s the word ‘damn.'” In another scene, the parents drink wine with dinner, but that’s about as racy as The Garcias is going to get Valdez said.

‘The Brothers Garcia’ cast were excited to get back together

Valdez also said getting the old cast to return to the series was easy. Every original cast member returned. “Literally, it was a phone call to tell them that I’ve got the rights and are you interested? They all said, ‘Yes! That would be awesome!’ Because you know what? There was such a family that we’ve created with that original show,” he remarked.

“Some kept in touch,” he continued. “Some lost touch over the years, but when we all got together at my house and everybody said, ‘Oh my God, this would be so fun.’ And literally, they all got in the same room after it was 18 years or 17 years. It was just like when you have an old friend who you love and you just pick up like it was yesterday.”

The atomic salsa makes a return on HBO Max ‘The Garcias’

He also knitted together the three generations on The Garcias. Instead of the series being set in Texas, the family vacations together at a luxuriously expansive property in Mexico. The setting was perfect to bring all three generations to one place.

Valdez also ended the first episode of The Garcias the same way the show began – with the return of the atomic salsa. But this time one of the children is determined to consume the scorching hot, life-altering dish. Valdez laughed because the atomic salsa was something his family – and many Latino families – often have at home.

“You cannot have a jar of salsa without the aluminum foil on top,” he laughed. “Every Latino family has the salsa with the aluminum foil on it. And they’re like, ‘That’s dad’s salsa!'”

Valdez said his father had his own version of the atomic salsa, but he took the recipe with him to the grave. All Valdez knows is it was sizzling. “But I think he was using habanero and jalapeños. And blending them in with the tomato and onions. And it was brutally hot.”

On The Brothers Garcia, no one actually tried dad’s salsa. But this time … will the kids be successful?

Episodes of The Garcias are currently streaming on HBO Max.

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