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A look at 'Latino in America' and 'Lock 'N Load'

Bill and Betty Garcia moved from New York City to Charlotte, N.C., so their sons could grow up away from Latino the grind and grime of urban life. Now they think they made a mistake: ``The boys might have lost a vital connection to their Latino roots.'' So the Garcias take the kids back to New York once a year to reestablish their ethnicity, which, according to their parents, they do by playing basketball (which was invented in Kansas) and listening to hip-hop music (which was invented by Jamaican immigrants in New York City).

The Garcias' puzzling definition of "Latin roots'' is just one small part of CNN's massive Latino in America, a sprawling four-hour documentary that debuts Wednesday. (The second two-hour episode airs Thursday.) But it encapsulates the confusion and indirection of a program that is often interesting, sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally charming and frequently irritating. Read my full review of Latino in America as well as another new program examining a large U.S. subculture, Showtime's life-inside-a-gun-shop reality program Lock 'N Load, in Wednesday's Miami Herald.


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