Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy review – thought-provoking stand-up from a charming comedian

By Adam Lock
Published: June 27, 2022 (Last updated: October 27, 2022)


The comedy itself can sometimes be predictable and even forgettable, but her take on topics and personal stories are both insightful and perceptive.

This review of the Netflix comedy special Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy does not contain spoilers.

Netflix has rapidly grown its original stand-up content over the last few years and although the pandemic may have slowed things down slightly, this year it has come back stronger than ever. The streaming giants are now releasing one or more comedy specials a week, saturating the market with an onslaught of specials, featuring some of the world’s best comedians. This is great news for all you comedy fans out there, but inevitably it’s going to lead to some hits and plenty of misses. Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy falls somewhere in the middle, an average if an enjoyable hour of stand-up.

The Texan comedian, who made history with her very own primetime sitcom called Cristela, was the first Latina woman to create, produce, write and star in her own American series. In her latest special, Cristela Alonzo commands the stage from the get-go, with her likable and captivating performance style. She paces the stage, expressive and engaging, even dancing at one point. Her material may not be side-splittingly funny, but she projects it well, delivering an animated and charming act.

Cristela Alonzo focuses on observational satire, discussing a wide variety of subjects, from the COVID-19 pandemic to her upbringing, health issues, and newfound wealth. Most of these topics are obvious talking points that cover well-trodden ground, adding nothing new or groundbreaking to the genre. She does however bring her own insight to these predictable topics. With some humorous takes on racism and stereotypes, as well as a story about visiting the gynecologist for the first time, which may be the highlight of the hour-long special.

Keeping things painfully personal, there is space for reflection. Cristela Alonzo talks openly about her rags to riches tale. Starting in a poor neighborhood that bordered Mexico, she discusses her humble living conditions, learning English independently, and first-hand experiences with racism when she left for College. She speaks frankly about this changing landscape and the realizations that only come with hindsight and growth. Her views on this tricky topic and her own aging body, are both perceptive and witty. She uses pathos and relatability to navigate this tough terrain but always tries to keep it light and amusing.

Overall this comedy special is timely if a little tame in its simplicity. The humor can be forgettable and lackluster from time to time, but when Cristela Alonzo gets intimate and opens up with her own personal stories, the comedian actually shines. This isn’t a laugh-out-loud riot, but a thought-provoking and enjoyable hour, exploring a slice of the comedian’s unique life.

What did you think of the Netflix comedy special Cristela Alonzo: Middle Classy? Comment below.

You can watch this special with a subscription to Netflix.

More Stories on Sheng Wang: Sweet and Juicy

Movie Reviews, Netflix, Streaming Service