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George Lopez and his daughter team up in a new NBC comedy about conflict with loved ones

“Lopez vs. Lopez,” which premieres Friday, uses humor to tackle issues that can be difficult to talk about, like trying to repair estranged family relationships.
Season: Pilot - Pictured (l-r) Matt Shively as Quinten, Mayan Lopez as Maya, George Lopez as George, Selenis Leyca as Rosie - (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
From left, Matt Shively as Quinten, Mayan Lopez as Maya, George Lopez as George, Selenis Leyva as Rosie.Chris Haston / NBC

Latino families are often characterized by a strong sense of unity. But Mexican American actor George Lopez is teaming up with his daughter in a new TV comedy that tells the story of an estranged, working-class family trying to put its relationships back together again.  

“We’re a kind of culture that would have someone storm off and maybe not come back,” he said in an interview with NBC News. “I think listening is maybe the most difficult thing to do when someone has a legitimate issue with somebody.”

“Lopez vs. Lopez,” which premieres Friday on NBC, fictionalizes the real-life relationship between Lopez and his daughter, Mayan.

Lopez said that he spent some time estranged from his daughter, but that they started reconciling at the beginning of the Covid pandemic.

The show, he said, will focus on taking that first big step to listen, and will use humor to tackle issues that can be difficult to talk about, such as anxiety, mental illness and a lack of respect for other people within relationships.  

“Sometimes, our own pride and not being able to open the conversation keeps us from healing those relationships,” he said.  

Lopez’s comedy is known for taking a deeper look at important issues such as immigration, race and ethnicity. But in spite of his success, the award-winning actor and comedian said that he struggled to get another sitcom on the air after his self-produced TV show — “George Lopez” — ended on ABC in 2007.

He credited writer and producer Debby Wolfe with the idea for creating “Lopez vs. Lopez” after seeing Mayan’s TikToks about their father-daughter relationship. 

When asked about the cultural differences between his own parents and himself growing up, Lopez described that generational gap as feeling much bigger than the one between himself and his daughter.

Born in 1961, Lopez recalled that when he was growing up, some mothers were homemakers who didn't even drive and fathers worked the same jobs for three decades — in fact, some of Lopez's contemporaries, he said, followed in their fathers' footsteps.

While younger generations of Americans today may share more things in common with their parents than previous generations, Lopez said, Latinos still face big gaps when it comes to being recognized culturally as equals.

“We’re still fighting for an identity and a country that we not only helped build, but continue to still help fund every day,” he said.

Reflecting on the legacy Latinos and others can leave, Lopez said unity is crucial.

“You keep your family close. You keep your friends close. And you keep helping each other,” he said. “Sometimes pride gets in the way. And I would just tell those people to keep an open mind. Be prideful, but not prideful in a sense that it destroys the foundation that generations have taken to stand.”

In a preview of the show, Mayan said, “How do you go forward but still repair the past? That’s what this show talks about."

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