We are all too familiar with reality television and shows about the day-to-day lives of rich, famous families. From “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” to “Chrisley Knows Best,” there is never a lack of drama on the screen and confusion among the audience as to why these people are considered celebrities. Now, Disney+ is adding another to the list with its new Latin American docu-series “The Montaners.” Except this time, the family is famous for more than dramatic antics, though I’m not entirely sure that makes the show any better.
The Montaners are a family of successful artists, headed by father Ricardo Montaner, one of the most iconic singers and songwriters in Latin music’s history. The famous musician is married to Marlene Montaner, and they have three children who are also in the entertainment business: Evaluna, Mau and Ricky. The series follows each member of the family, as well as their significant others, giving the audience a glimpse into their daily lives as they work to balance personal and professional obligations.
The viewer is first introduced to each Montaner member. Parents Ricardo and Marlene have been married for 31 years and now enjoy quieter lives as empty-nesters. Their eldest son Ricky is newly engaged to fiancé Stefi Roitman. Mau, the middle child, and his wife Sara Escobar are trying for a baby, and the youngest, Evaluna, is expecting her first child with her husband Camilo Echeverry. As their mother’s birthday approaches, the three siblings drop everything to come together and celebrate as a family.
While “The Montaners” focuses on the lives of an extremely well-known family in Latin America, there isn’t enough background supplied to those unfamiliar with Ricardo and his children. We meet each Montaner as well as their significant others, but how important they may be in the entertainment industry remains a mystery to those outside of the Latin American community. The docu-series could benefit by talking at greater length about the history of Ricardo’s career and touching upon what Eva, Mau and Ricky do as artists in more detail. Instead, only bits of information included in the pilot allude to each Montaner’s professional life, making it difficult to understand the influence this family has in their industry.
Fans of Ricardo and his children may enjoy getting a peek into the celebrities’ private lives, but while the show attempts to highlight the Montaners as a normal and close-knit unit, it remains obvious to all viewers that they’re not your average family. Between their luxurious houses, expensive cars and extravagant parties, it is difficult to relate to the characters. Yet even with all this wealth and fame, the series is relatively boring. Within the pilot, we witness Ricardo struggle to think of a gift for his wife’s birthday, Sara making waffles for Mau and Camilo styling his ridiculous mustache. Other than this, not much else happens in the 40-minute episode.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the Kardashians or their reality TV series, but the family’s excessive drama at least makes them undeniably entertaining. The same can’t be said for the Montaners. Their lives seem to lack this drama: Each person has a successful career, a loving partner and a great relationship with their family. As sad as it is to admit, the petty arguments and overexaggerated problems are what make reality television worth watching, not Ricardo buying shoes as a birthday gift for his wife.
Unfortunately for viewers, “The Montaners” seems to be yet another unnecessary reality television show. Even though the series covers a very famous family of talented and admired artists, it lacks the drama and entertainment needed to engage audiences the way that other reality shows do. In other words, the Montaners don’t have what it takes to keep up with the Kardashians.
Daily Arts Writer Molly Hirsch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.