So, guess what? I’ve been watching Cane.
Cane is a show that is still on the air. You should watch it, maybe?
I’m an episode or two behind, but I have to say that for a show that has remarkably little buzz, it’s a pretty worthy show. Not something that’s going to inspire unending, Veronica Mars-ish devotion, but it’s something you would look forward to catching up on.
The show centers around the monied Duque family (they own a sugar empire in south Florida) and their sexy Cuban lives. Everything they do is passionate — they love passionately, they fight passionately, when they do the dishes or clip their fingernails they do it with all the zeal they can muster. So you may start watching Cane for the sweeping intergenerational drama, but you stay for all the sexy Cubans.
Here’s the run-down of the family — it’s super complicated, but I’ll give you the basics:
Pancho is the patriarch and is played by Hector Elizondo, who I always associate with his long tenure on Chicago Hope (remember that show?). He’s dying. I’m not sure how slow he’s going to die, because I figure they’ll want to keep him around for a season or two (assuming the show makes it multiple seasons). His wife is played by Rita Moreno. Yes, she’s Puerto Rican. The casting folks at Cane are kind of pulling a Memoirs of a Geisha by casting people of various Latin backgrounds rather than just sticking with Cubans. Not that I necessarily have a huge issue with that — I don’t — but some folks are grumbling.
Alex and Frank are Pancho’s sons. Alex is the CEO of the sugar kingdom (get it — Cane?) and is a bit of a, very roughly speaking, latin Tony Soprano. Switch the manicotti with tamales, waste management with rum and sugar production and you’ll have a similar feel. He’s a family man at heart, but there’s a distinct separation between the dirty work of the business and the moneyed extravagance of the home life. He’s played by Jimmy Smits (Puerto Rican, not that I’m keeping count). Alex is also married to Pancho’s daughter which is sort of sweet once you reconcile to yourself that it’s not incest.
Frank hates Alex because Alex is actually an adoptive son. It’s a whole thing — I won’t get into it. But Frank (played by hottie-in-chief Nestor Carbonell — who I also associate with a silly nineties series, this time Suddenly Susan) is secretly banging the daughter of the rival Samuels’ family, Ellis. Ellis is played by a woman named Polly. Polly often slips into an English accent. Pretend not to notice.
There’s also a Duque brother named Henry, but he’s off on his own most of the time running his dance club. Henry’s the least interesting part of the series.
The brothers are all different, but united by their flat abs and those incredible V hip bones. It’s Miami — there’s a lot of shirtlessness. There’s a whole lot more to the series: a murder cover-up, corporate warfare, token female characters, etc. It’s basically a classy soap, but it adds an interesting dimension with the Cuban angle and all of the complications that arise because of the business. It’s nice to see a drama that produces conflict based on factors other than hairpin changes of emotion (Grey’s Anatomy).