Culture and Identity

“The Pineapple Diaries”—Breaking The Mold of TV Shows

Behind the scenes of "The Pineapple Diaries"

Learn about The Pineapple Diaries, an upcoming Latina-based web series that tells the stories of Latinas living in the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Jamaica Plain, Boston.

 What gave me the idea of “The Pineapple Diaries”?
Written by: Paloma Valenzuela (Writer and Creator of The Pineapple Diaries)

The Pineapple Diaries - Eyes with Glasses

If you’re a creative writer, you already know about the obsession with little notebooks. Little notebooks are our way of gathering our crazy ideas in hopes that someday those ideas will all make sense and we can make something come to life from them. Personally, it doesn’t even matter if I have empty ones in a pile on my desk, if I walk into a Walgreens and see a little cute notebook – I just have to have it. Eventually these little cute notebooks get filled with little ideas, mostly random ideas that make zero sense and would confuse anyone reading them out of context, “girls wear pineapples” and “imaginary friend-type therapist in fur coats waiting at bus stop” or “joke about Dominican cedula at ice cream shop” and “I’m not sure I even think La Materialista can dance.” You see? In these little cute “I-can’t-resist-you” notebooks, in my iPhone notepad, laptop notepad and little napkins and scraps of paper, I somehow managed to come up with what is now, an upcoming mini-web series entitled, “The Pineapple Diaries.” “The Pineapple Diaries” is a comedic web series to be produced through my production operation, La Gringa Loca Productions. It tells the story of three Latinas y mejores amigas, (Maite, Catalina and Feliz) and their fire-cracker of a neighbor (Montserrat) living in the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Jamaica Plain in Boston. In this show we follow these dynamic Latinas as they explore love, curly hair, life in their late twenties, self-discovery and the absurdities of everyday life.

One of my cast members is already calling it the “Dominican Sex and the City.” In many ways what prompted me to create this show was that we could really use a Dominican Sex and the City. Why not? I wanted to create this show to put Latinas, Dominicanas, Women of Color, Afro-Latinas in the foreground in a show that could be just as relatable as Sex and the City or Girls. The women in my show are just that: women. They are going through the stresses of being in their late-twenties hoping to find themselves, they have an array of hopes and dreams, get into relationship messes just like everybody does, are college graduates, watch the same shows that everybody does, read Buzzfeed and Jezebel and the Jamaica Plain Gazette just like everybody else does, date men who love video games and Samurai movies, listen to NPR and watch Empire and Mad Men, are a part of the LGBT community — and yeah, sometimes –like to darse su jartura de chicharrones or make Mangú con queso frito for dinner and listen to Romeo Santos in the car. They are Latinas who live in many intersections. As Latinas, we are so multi-faceted and complicated and we can be all of those things on TV too. I wanted to create a show that was “real” to me. Something that felt like my reality, and that’s what I’m hoping to accomplish in this show.

Also, to be honest, what gave me the idea of the show was truly, “pineapples.” The pineapple hair-style is a very popular one for women with curly hair. I wear my pineapple every night! In the Dominican culture, going to the salon and straightening your hair is very important. But there are a growing number of Dominican women and women of color in general who are embracing their curls–their natural textured hair—and celebrating the fact that they are proudly a part of the African-diaspora. I wanted to celebrate this as well in the show. Latinas don’t all look the same. Some of us have pale skin, olive skin, some of us have tan skin, some of us have dark skin. Some of us have straight hair, some have curly hair, some have afros- and so on. The protagonist of the show, Maité is Dominican and she is a proud Afro-Quisqueyana, and I think it’s important to show this. It is important to be represented. Period. And if we’re not seeing it yet—at least not from Hollywood—well then, we better show them that it can be done!

Feliz Encarnacion
Paloma Valenzuela is the writer and director of The Pineapple Diaries


Behind the scenes of “The Pineapple Diaries”

Bio: Paloma Valenzuela is a playwright, screenwriter and script editor originally from the city of Boston. She studied Writing for Film and Television at Emerson College and graduated in 2009. She has lived in the Dominican Republic for the past five years working as a freelance writer and also High School Drama Teacher. She has written various short films for directors both in Boston and the Dominican Republic, and collaborated as script doctor for several Dominican feature films and projects.
She has written and directed three plays that have been produced both in Boston and the Dominican Republic: “RANT!” (2008), “Show Up” (2012) and “Queseyocuanto” (2012), a Short Film, “La Oficina” (2008), a 60 Min. Film “Saturday” (2010), a Promotional video for Miss Rizos (2011), a Mini-Docu Series, “Onomatopeyas Dominicanas” (2013-2014) and an official commercial for Miss Rizos (coming soon in 2015!).



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