The Imagen Awards set a heroic goal every year, in trying to find positive role models and fine performances hiding in plain sight--in feature films, on TV, in web series. It's no small task, and we could complain endlessly about the structure, selection process, and omissions that occur every year. But the fact is, at least the Imagen Foundation is trying to sort through the endless tsunami of bad television, direct-to-DVD gore-porn and what passes for "performance" on the interwebs to make some kind of statement through a limited and sometimes painfully narrow selection of nominees and winners.
That being said‘«™it was good to see Esai Morales and "Gun Hill Road" honored with two awards last week. And it was a little sad and ironic to see two of the five widely varied television awards go to performances or programming that had long been cancelled by the time the awards rolled around (In this case, Freddy Rodriguez on CBS' doomed-from-the-start spy dramady "CHAOS," and NBC's admirable but under-supported "Law & Order: Los Angeles." Though not separating TV movies from ongoing series led to some glaring gaps in attention‘«™and we still don't understand what a "Best On-Air Advertising" is.
In any event, there was an event last week, when much of the L.A. Latino entertainment community attended the awards ceremony. Esai Morales ("Gun Hill Road," "Los Americans") Lupe Ontiveros ("Los Americans"), Hilda L. Solis, the U.S. Secretary of Labor and former congresswoman, Carlos G??mez ("The Glades"), Laz Alonso ("Breakout Kings"), Lisa Vidal ("The Event") and Constance Marie ("Switched at Birth") were among the attendees, and all of them looked stunning, as usual‘«Űhow can they help it? And incomplete as it all may have been, it was nice to get together to celebrate some of what's good in Latino Hollywood this year.