The Creators of Los Espookys Explain Why Beauty Pageants Are Integral to Season 2

·2 min read

On Los Espookys, beauty pageants are a matter of life and death.

Season two of the esoteric, sharply funny HBO Max comedy, premiering Sept. 16, finds Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) haunted by the ghost of a former Miss Nuestra Belleza Latina beauty queen, which serves as a catalyst for exploring the campy, glitzy world of pageant culture.

For creators Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega and Fred Armisen, the examination of the pageant world was approached with great reverence, as Torres explained in an exclusive conversation with E! News, "I don't know if it's a Central America thing or not, but beauty pageants were always a thing very akin to sports."

Torres, who also stars on Los Espookys as the hilariously eccentric Andrés, revealed that, in addition to being an intrigued spectator, he has a familial connection to the world of pageants.

"One year, I remember my cousin was in a beauty pageant representing one of the states of El Salvador and it was so weird," Torres said. "It was all so strange. It's such a visually rich thing to consume."

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Armisen said the pageant world was the perfect playground for Los Espookys to thrive in, saying "It's so presentational. There's nothing subtle about it."

In recent years, questions have arisen about the dated, superficial nature of pageants—but Torres argued not much has changed.

"Lately there's been this shift of, like, ‘It's also about their minds and stuff,'" he said. "And it's like, ‘Sure, but the prerequisite is that they have to be conventionally beautiful.'"

But it's precisely that aspect that appealed to Torres.

"It's so in your face that it's actually more honest than so many other things," he argued. "If you really think about it, a beauty pageant is no different than TikTok or Instagram. That's like most people's calling card. And then they'll listen to you."

Los Espookys, Season 2, HBO
HBO

As for how they decided to place Renaldo inside the pageant world, Fabrega said it all related back to his own sense of self.

"Once we found it, we were like, ‘Why would Renaldo love beauty pageants?,'" she said. "There's that scene with him and Andrés where he explains, ‘People view [the contestants] and think they know them based on how they look, and they do that to me, too.'"

All six episodes of Los Espookys season two are available to stream Sept. 16 on HBO Max.

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