Pequeñas Victorias is an Argentinian series following three women co-parenting their young daughter, Victoria. An upbeat telenovela comedy that’s thoughtful, heartfelt and explores motherhood within a non-nuclear parenting structure, the show’s ethos can best be described by a line in the first episode spoken by a school guidance counselor: “Kids are happy when their parents are happy. The structure doesn’t matter,” she tells them. “You can have two parents, three… it doesn’t matter. Go have fun.”
The show’s leads were originally brought together in the series Pequeña Victoria, which followed their various roles in the pregnancy that brought their daughter Victoria into the world. In this spin-off set six years later, they’re exploring their own identities, desires and insecurities while balancing them alongside their relationships and responsibilities as Victoria starts going to school. One of these women is Emma Urriburu (played by Mariana Genesio Peña), who co-parents Victoria with her friends Jazmín (Julieta Díaz) and Bárbara (Natalie Pérez).
“This story broke all the molds because there were several mothers with a single daughter,” Peña told CNN Español. “I’ve never had a stronger leading role.”
Emma’s story in the show’s first season is a refreshing portrayal of trans identity in Latin American media. While Emma’s experience as a trans woman is crucial to who she is as a character, and inevitably colors her perspective throughout the show, it’s not an aspect of her lived experience that’s treated as a tragedy or central point of conflict. Her storylines throughout the season present a complex character played with warmth and depth, working to balance her own ambitions alongside the needs of a partner she recently moved in with, school appointments regarding her daughter’s education, and a new career path after an acting class leads to a television gig (where her first segment on “queering” history goes viral).
“I really liked playing Emma,” said Peña during an interview with Filo News in February. “My small victory is to keep moving us away from stereotypes and demystifying concepts that seem ideal when they are not.”
Emma is a crucial part of this ensemble series who (like the other two mothers in her trio) starts the season feeling listless and inadequate, only to find that perfection is an impossible standard by which to live your life as a parent, a partner and a person. By inviting joy and a sense of play into her life, we see Emma shed her inhibitions and find purpose by charting her own path — even if it means having to manage expectations with her partner Antonio (Facundo Arana).
Pequeñas Victorias is an upbeat, funny and heartfelt example of thoughtful and necessary LGBTQIA representation in Spanish language television. The show’s casual integration of gender-neutral pronouns into everyday conversation, the way it playfully challenges the centricity of “traditional” family structures, and its inclusion of a thoughtfully written trans lead (played by a trans actress) make Pequeñas Victorias one of our five oustanding nominees in the GMA’s Spanish-Languages Scripted TV Series category.
Pequeñas Victorias is produced by VIS and Oficina Berman & created by Erika Halvorsen and Daniel Burman. It originally aired on Telefe in Argentina and is available in the U.S. on Amazon Prime Video.