Hialeah Series is a binge-worthy, six-episode series about a Cuban American who convinces her Jewish husband to move in with her family in Hialeah.
hialeah series
Photo: Hialeah, A Comedy Series

The Hialeah Series, a web series on Facebook, just won Best Web Series at the Omni Cultural TV Fest. And, I couldn’t be happier for the producers; David Vargas, Javier Mayol and Melissa Carcache.

I first met the crew from Hialeah, A Comedy Series in November 2018, over Cuban sandwiches in the heart of it all, Hialeah. My meeting with them was a delicate dance of savoring each bite while trying not to drool from laughing too much. Seriously. The trio of masterminds behind the series —David Vargas (the bearded), Javier Mayol (the witty) and Melissa Carcache (the talented)— are seriously funny. We met up at Trigo Café on 49th Street. Judging by the fact that there was a funeral parlor next door —that I was not going into— I knew it was going to be a good day. Funeral home or not, if you want to feel like family and feast on modern-day Cuban food mixed with cafecito and their Spanish Bon Bon (cafecito + crack), visit these people. That’s for another story, though.

“I’m nervous just writing this piece because I know my humor doesn’t stand up to these guys.

Anyway, this comedy producer trio put me in my place.

Startup Cuba’s Ken Deckinger spent the day with the Hialeah Series gang.

In between cafés con leche and my croqueta preparada I was covertly wiping up food from the table as I tried to control my laughter. I mean, I’m nervous just writing this piece because I know my humor doesn’t stand up to these guys. I think I’m a little funny. But I’m not the envious kind of funny, more like a “people laugh AT me” funny, not “people laugh WITH me” funny. Watch the video below. This equipo is funny-funny.

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The team here has taken their childhood experiences and Cuban family idiosyncrasies growing up in Hialeah and turned them into exactly what you’d expect in a comedy sketch. With a slight Qué Pasa USA sabor, the Hialeah Series turns the mundane events of everyday life into bite-size LOL-worthy quarantine content that you should consume multiple times. 

“…the series represents any ethnic, immigrant family — Cuban, Italian, Greek, Yiddish/Jewish, whatever.” 

If you’re Cuban American, it’s a must-see. You’ll get it immediately. If you’re not, you’ll still get it, because the series represents any ethnic, immigrant family — Cuban, Italian, Greek, Yiddish/Jewish, whatever. It’s the kind of loud, in-your-face, relatable laughs that deserve to be on Netflix.

melissa carcache
Melissa Carcache and Noel MIrabal of the Hialeah Series. Photo: Karen Vierbuchen

If you ever meet the Hialeah Series gang; David, Javier, Melissa or Noel (Melissa’s brother on the show, who I also had the pleasure of hanging with at another time), tell them I really am funny. Thanks.

In the meantime, binge the Hialeah Series while you’re stuck at home on Facebook.

hialeah series
Photo: Hialeah Series

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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