Co-created by Ana Fabrega, Fred Armisen and Julio Torres, Los Espookys is the hilariously off-kilter, campy HBO comedy about a group of friends who turn their passion for horror into a business that helps clients through various problems. Now halfway through its second season, the series continues to be as random as it is funny.
For Torres, the new episodes “really double down on what we enjoyed about the first,” he says. While speaking to ET about evil stepparent fantasies and landing singer Kim Petras in season 2, the former Saturday Night Live writer adds that the series now “sort of understands itself better. And I just think, overall, it’s a better, more fully realized season.”
And Fabrega agrees, especially after the pandemic extended the break between seasons 1 and 2. “I’m really happy that it’s done and that people seem excited about it,” she shares.
In addition to co-creating and co-writing the series, Torres also co-stars as Andrés Valdez, one of the members of the horror team who finds himself in and out of relationships while also avoiding the adulting phase of his life. “What I really like about playing him is that he can be a catch-all for a bunch of tropes that I really like to play,” he says, explaining that “being able to play someone unable to escape themselves and being someone who is so incapable of change is fun to play.”
Not only that, but after Andrés starts dating an older man who has children, the character suddenly finds himself in competition with the kids. “I love fantasy fairy-tale, wicked stepparent things,” Torres says, revealing that one of his favorite examples of that is Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Huntsman and the follow-up The Huntsman: Winter's War.
“I just think it’s such a funny role. Like, the way she barely moves her head,” he continues. “And then there’s a sequel, where there’s an Ice Queen that’s her sister [played by Emily Blunt]. And their beef is that she killed her baby. So yeah, I love parts like that.”
Of course, Andrés’ turn as an evil stepparent is not the only wild thing to happen in season 2, with Renaldo (Bernardo Velasco) being haunted by the ghost of a dead beauty pageant queen, Úrsula (Cassandra Ciangherotti) unexpectedly caught up in politics, Tati (Fabrega) finding success as a transcriber of audiobooks after divorcing Juan Carlos (José Pablo Minor) while Tico (Armisen) joins the Los Espookys team much to the group’s chagrin.
While seemingly random and unexpected, the reason it all works is that everything in season 2 “really plays with the absurd more,” Torres says, with Fabrega adding that “the whole world is this way… So, that allows it to feel sort of grounded and that the emotional stakes are very real for the characters.”
There’s a balance between “stuff that is a little more over the top with the emotional lives of the characters” that pays off by the end of the season, Fabrega teases.
Not to be forgotten, Greta Titelman returns as U.S. Ambassador Melanie Gibbons, who not only ends up hiring Andrés’ recently freed water spirit (Spike Einbinder), but later finds herself on the receiving end of a visit by Secretary of State Kimberly Reynolds, who is played by Petras.
“We wanted a character that our ambassador would be intimidated by or see as a superior. And Kim Petras definitely embodies the heightened version of that,” Torres says, adding that “we are really huge fans of her. And so, we asked if she wanted to do it, and she did. And we’re so lucky.”
While the series marks her acting debut, the Los Espookys team thought “she was great,” with Fabrega adding that the singer “understood why we were drawn to her for this project.”
And Petras’ appearance just adds to the overall queer esthetic that is very much embedded into the series’ DNA, in large part due to the fact that so many queer people are involved with the show. While not necessarily something that’s intentional on Torres or Fabrega’s part, he says it’s “what happens when you let people from different backgrounds do what they want to do.”
“You’ll organically get all of that without having to have a mandate,” he concludes.
Los Epsookys airs Fridays at 11 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and HBO Max.