Edward James Olmos has high praise for ‘Mayans M.C.’

Edward James Olmos impressed by the new season of “Mayans M.C.” (Photo courtesy of FX)

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Edward James Olmos has been a professional actor for almost a half century. That’s given him decades to look at the good and bad that Hollywood has presented. So, when he says the scripts for the fourth season of the FX series “Mayans M.C.” are “arguably the best season” so far, that carries a lot of weight.

The 10-episode season that has impressed Olmos can be seen starting 10 p.m. April 19 on the FX cable channel. Episodes will be available the following day on the streaming service of Hulu.

“Mayans M.C.” – co-created by Kurt Sutter and Elgin James – follows the life of Ezekiel “EZ” Reyes (JD Pardo), a member of the Mayans M.C. charter on the Cali/Mexi border. EZ, his brother Angel (Clayton Cardenas) and the rest of the Santo Padre M.C. face retaliation from other chapters after a failed attempt to align under one King. Meanwhile, EZ and Angel have grown distant from their father Felipe (Olmos) after a betrayal.

“This is a very dark show. And the first three seasons don’t quite prepare you for the fourth. You’re in for one hell of a ride, man,” Olmos says. “It has been so amazing that Elgin has been able to maintain such a difficult thread. Because again, you know, we are talking about people that we all can relate to. We are talking about situations that are happening even in today’s world, and we’re exploring them and moving them forward in a story that has a lot of understanding of what’s going on right now.

“When you get to the end of the season, you’ll start to understand what’s about to happen to the rest of us in this world that we live in today in regards to how we treat each other, what family is.”

Sarah Bolger – who plays Emily Thomas – points out that the writing is just one part of the series that makes it so special. One of the most important aspects is that 95% of the cast is Latinx. Bolger, who was born in Ireland, is part of that other 5%.

She sees the diverse cast as a representation of people who don’t always get the screen time that they deserve. It is an element she stresses when asked why she would do a television show rather than a movie.

“This is why actors get to choose TV, because of this show. We get to change so drastically. We get to explore territories. We get to show people that exist today and that are around us all the time, and they get the light shown on them for the show,” Bolger says. “I feel like ‘Mayans M.C. is the reason why actors get to do TV.”

The cast of “Mayans M.C.” also includes Danny Pino, Carla Baratta, Michael Irby, Raoul Max Trujillo, Richard Cabral, Emilio Rivera, Frankie Loyal, Joseph Lucero and Vincent Vargas.

“Cypress Hill: Insane in the Brain,” 8 p.m. April 20, Showtime

The new Showtime documentary “Cypress Hill: Insane in the Brain” – from director Estevan Oriol – chronicles the legendary L.A. rap group Cypress Hill who not only was a major force in the launch of hip-hop but made headlines for their support of marijuana long before it was legal to earning a lifetime ban from being on “Saturday Night Live.”

Because of his long history with Cypress Hill, Oriol pitched the idea of making a documentary for years. He thinks his efforts weren’t taken seriously at the start because of his background as a video director. Many were concerned that he could be a good film director.

He kept pitching the idea and finally got the executives at Showtime to give him the chance to produce the story he has wanted to tell for so many years.

“I just wanted to show all the doors that these guys have kicked down and the game‑changing that they did. I don’t feel like they ever got their flowers for what they’ve done because of the content in the songs,” Oriol says. “Their first song was ‘Kill a Man’ and then there was ‘Pigs’ and the weed songs.

“None of that was popular on the radio or MTV. So, there wasn’t a lot of radio play and a lot of video play. But nobody got to see everything that we were doing behind the scenes.”

The main avenue for Cypress Hill was touring and they traveled to 44 countries and every state in the union to share their music. Oriol got to see how the band connected on a very personal level with their fans because of being on the road so much.

Sen Dog wants the documentary to show that Cypress Hill was not just about controversy but they were a very serious and hardworking band.

“We actually worked hard to get everything that Cypress Hill has earned. And in the midst of people seeing us smoking on stage and making a party out of it, everything, there’s a lot of work that goes into it and I want fans to recognize that,” Sen Dog says. “I think that the documentary captures the hard work and all the traveling and everything that has gone on.”

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