Promised Land

Promised Land tv





Kristin Smith

TV Series Review

When Carlos Rincón crossed the border from Mexico into California, he didn’t really have any grand dreams. His only goal was to get himself and his two new friends, Juana and Rosa, to a winery in Sonoma, California, called Heritage House. Once there, he was to meet up with his brother Billy, and obtain illegal papers for himself, Rosa and Juana so that they could work the vineyard and make a fresh start.

That was the simple version. But, like most things, it didn’t quite go as planned. Rosa never made it to their destination. But Carlos and Juana did. 

Now, years later, Carlos Rincón goes by the name of Joe Sandoval. And his wife, Juana, prefers the name Lettie. They’ve become the owners of Heritage House, which is now one of the largest, most renowned wineries in the country.

But their success didn’t come overnight. 

Before Joe began a life with Lettie, he married the former heiress of Heritage House, Margaret. He had had three children with her: Veronica, Antonio and Carmen. And before Lettie began her life with Joe, she married Joe’s older brother, Billy. And they had a son named Mateo. After both of their respective divorces, Joe and Lettie had a son together named Junior. Got all that? 

This is the Sandoval family. And if you think their lives are complicated by that brief introduction, just wait and see. In this familia, lies and deception are so thickly woven that not even the Sandovals can untangle the mess they’ve made. 

Where There’s Deception, There’s A Way

See, Heritage House is on the brink of being bought out by Joe’s bitter ex-wife, Margaret, who believes Joe used her to take over her fathers business. To stop this from happening, Joe desperately recruits his family members. Some are willing and ready to help, while others aren’t sure.

Veronica, Joe’s eldest, is crowned as CEO, taking over the position she’s worked for her entire life. She knows she deserves it, but others aren’t certain she’s the best fit. And her husband and young daughter are less-than-thrilled at her work-life balance. Mateo, Joe’s step-son and nephew, believes the position of CEO should be his. But Joe has clearly said no. So after a little dispute, Mateo leaves his job as general manager of the vineyard and embarks on a journey to start his own winery. 

Antonio is the black sheep of the family. He left years ago, moved to New York City, and has just recently returned after a breakup with his boyfriend. His dad gave him the boot once he found out Antonio was gay, but he’s ready to make amends now that Antonio has produced his own extremely successful line of hard liquor. And while Antonio agrees to help his father, he’s working on his own backstabbing ploy with his mom, Margaret.

 Carmen is the family’s free spirit, and she’s ready to make a name for herself designing labels, be it for the family business or not. And then there’s Junior, the high school-going, drug-taking, baby of the family. He supposedly looks up to his father, but their work ethic couldn’t be more different. 

It’s All In The Family

Welcome to ABC’s Promised Land, featuring a prominent Latino family who have made a name for themselves with hard work, sweat and a lot of lies.

This TV-14 series, which vacillates between Joe and Leticia’s present and the past, starts viewers right in the thick of things–not only with a complicated plot that would make a telenovela proud, but also with piles of content that parents will want to know about. 

Language, so far, isn’t too harsh. And we don’t see a lot of sensual content splashed on screen at this early juncture, either. But the first episode, and the YouTube trailer, suggest that sexual trysts, inside and outside of the family, will be common. Drinking and drugs are also prevalent. 

But violence, so far, is one of the show’s biggest issues. The very first scene shows two men attempting to traffick young women, a man getting hit by a car and killed and one other being stabbed to death. 

If that’s not enough to make you want to throw up some red flags, then the layers of deception found in this supposed promised land might do the trick. The show itself is founded on falsehoods and like any “good” drama, those lies set the stage for all the chaos that will unravel, episode by episode.

Episode Reviews

Jan. 24, 2022: “A Place Called Heritage”

In the past, Carlos, Juana and Rosa attempt to cross the border and make it to Sonoma, California. In the present, Joe and Lettie celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, but drama soon brings a stop to their swanky celebration. 

Carlos, Juana and Rosa ask for help from a supposed friend and his sidekick, only to find that the men are trafficking women. Carlos stabs a man to death after the man nearly strangles him. Rosa hits a man upside the head with a beer bottle and is later shot in the stomach. Blood is seen in each instance. Rosa and Juana release the group of women who are locked inside a shed. A woman hits a man with her car and then flees the scene as he slowly dies. 

A woman is fired from her job once Joe finds she is an illegal immigrant. A group of illegal immigrants is caught at the border and arrested. Juana says a few prayers, mentioning the Holy Spirit each time. 

Carmen flirts with her brother-in-law and later lounges in a bikini. A high school boy gets caught “messing around” with a girl inside a confessional booth. 

The words “h,” “dn” and “whore” are each used once. Men and women alike consume wine, beer and hard liquor. a high school teacher confiscates a bottle of unlabeled pills from a student. 

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Kristin Smith

Kristin Smith joined the Plugged In team in 2017. Formerly a Spanish and English teacher, Kristin loves reading literature and eating authentic Mexican tacos. She and her husband, Eddy, love raising their children Judah and Selah. Kristin also has a deep affection for coffee, music, her dog (Cali) and cat (Aslan).

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