I have a couple of thoughts about the new CBS drama Cane. First of all I am excited to see a show with an all-Latino cast on network television (George Lopez couldn't hold down the fort forever). Secondly, I would watch anything with Hector Elizondo and Rita Moreno. From what I read about the show, looks like it's greatly inspired by nighttime soaps like Dallas but instead of Texas oil, it's Cuban rum.
I watched the pilot and it does remind me a little bit of Dallas with a hint of The Godfather. The show features the internal and external struggles that play out when running a family and a family business. There is infighting within the Duque family when patriarch Pancho (Hector Elizondo) learns that he has six months to live and divides the family business amongst his children Frank Duque (Nestor Carbonell), Henry Duque (Eddie Matos), Isabel Vega (Paola Turbay ), and Alex Vega (Jimmy Smits). Pancho gave thirty percent of the business to each of his natural born children and ten percent to his adopted son Alex.
Since Alex is married to Isabel he now holds control of the company. Frank resents what his father did but Pancho felt that Frank has been distracted lately by girls and boats. The Duque family's sugar business has had a long business rivalry with the Samuels family's sugar business. The Samuels want the Duque's sugar cane fields. Frank's wanting the family to sell off the sugar end of the business and concentrate solely on rum is greatly influenced by an affair he is having with Ellis Samuels (Polly Walker).
The show should have a broad appeal. It has many of the classic elements of good story telling — man vs. man, brother vs. brother, father vs. son — all set in front of a Latin background. I am optimistic that the show won't resort to some of the stereotypical soap opera conventions like evil twins, people returning from the dead, and whole seasons being dismissed as a dream.
The next episode continues with more murder, betrayal, and sex. In other words, business as usual. Unlike J.R. Ewing, Alex Vega does not mind getting his hands dirty. When a disgruntled blackmailing employee sent Alex a scorpion that bit his wife, Alex beat him up himself. I hope that the audience gives the show a chance and does not just dismiss it as just another nighttime soap. The show could be enjoyed more if while watching you have a good cigar in one hand and a glass of fine (Puerto Rican) rum in the other.
To quote Alex Vega, "Sugar is the new oil".
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