If reading the name ‘Taina’ doesn’t make you sing the theme song then I urge you to go and listen to it asap! (you’re welcome for the link).
The show was about a young Latina, played by Christina Vidal who was growing up in Queens with a dream of becoming a star. We saw her go through different life rollercoasters and milestones like school, boys, money, and a lot more. ‘You know I can’t wait to see my name in lights’ these lyrics from the theme song reflect the dreams many of us had when we were younger or may still have. Taina knew she was enough and wasn’t going to stop until she reached her goals.
The storylines portray what growing up bicultural is like and what we have to confront. For example, the episode where Taina failed her Spanish test and her Abuelo thinks she’s forgetting what it means to be Puerto Rican (I can definitely relate to this because a lot of us don’t have to write in Spanish often so it does get very rusty). It allowed viewers to learn more about our culture as some episodes also highlighted some of our traditions, like quinceañeras.
Taina was the first show with a Latina as the main character I watched growing up and having someone you can somewhat relate to on TV makes such a huge impact. For many reasons, Taina pioneered and paved the way for Latino representation on Nickelodeon. Even though it initially came out in 2001, I watched the show for the first time around 2006/7, but it is a timeless classic and can still resonate with young Latinas growing up in today's society.
In other words, Taina walked so other shows with a leading Latina could run. It was truly ahead of its time and the cast was also so diverse! I am so thankful for everyone behind creating it and who were part of it, and of course, Christina Vidal for playing the role so effortlessly. If you need something to binge-watch then I recommend Taina!
Thanks for reading!