“With Love” brings black and brown joy to television

Fans of One day at a time rejoice as designer Gloria Calderón Kellett is back with a new series that follows a Mexican American family to Oregon. With love takes place over five episodes, each dedicated to a different holiday, with the first episode taking place on Nochebuena. The Diaz family is at the heart of the series with Jorge Jr. (Mark Indelicato) and Lily (Emeraude Toubia) as siblings and Beatriz (Constance Marie) and Jorge Sr. (Benito Martinez) as their parents. Similar to ODAAT, the show tells authentic Latinx stories with a predominantly Latinx cast and team of writers. The show airs today on Prime Video – read on for all the reasons you need to tune in

An authentic narration centered on our joy

With love Gladys Delgado
Photo: Kevin Estrada / Amazon Studios

The multi-vacation romantic comedy series is written Kellett, and at a special screening she shared that she’s set out to tell our stories but also to highlight our joy. “We’ve all been through this collective trauma and I just want to do something joyful. I just want to see the black and brunette, queer and Asian joy on the screen. We saw him in the joy and love between Jorge Jr. and Lily’s cousin, Sol (Isis King), a trans-oncologist who begins to explore a relationship with his colleague (Todd Grinnell also seen on ODAAT). We also see that in the love between Jorge Jr. and his bisexual boyfriend Henry Cruz ((Vincent Rodriguez III) which kicks off the first episode when Henry meets everyone for the first time. Just like in ODAAT. , Kellett also acts on the show, this time as the fun and unique tia, Glady Delgado. The joy is abundant and it’s a beautiful thing to see especially for queer people of color who so rarely see happy stories in the face. television.

Various love stories

With love Henry and Jorge
Photo: Kevin Estrada / Amazon Studios

Love in all of its complexities plays out in the series, from queer love to self-love, young and old love. For King, it was refreshing to tell a queer love story that was about happiness and not the usual story tropes used for trans characters thanks to the work of an Afro-Latin non-binary trans writer on the team. “It’s not just for the trans community to see that we can be more. Plus, for so many people, this might be the first time they’ve met a trans person,” she said. declared during the screening. “We learn so much in the media about portrayal, so I always say why fuel your thoughts of a trans person with a stereotype that doesn’t even reflect who we are. It’s the first time you’ve seen something and seen a beloved trans character, who has the support of her friends, family, grandparents, and has a career as well. Toubia echoed those sentiments saying that for Lily it also becomes a journey of self-love while for Gladys Kellett shared that it is about normalizing being in your forties, single and happy.

Latinidad is in the details

With love Marta Luis
With love Marta and Luis

The first episode takes place during Nochebuena and we see the Diaz familia table set with taquitos and empanadas and the women gathering around the kitchen to chat. The family is loud, fun and loving and it feels like a reflection of our family reunions. We see Abuela Marta (Renée Victor) and her husband, Luis (Pepe Serna) flirting and bickering and the importance of religion with Abuela’s devotion clearly established from the start. In one scene, Jorge Jr. jokes, “They’re okay with me being down with the ‘D’ as long as the ‘D’ isn’t the devil.” All of these moments individually make us feel seen and are all the more meaningful because there are still so few shows telling our stories and even fewer featuring small moments that clearly come from writers in our community.

Latinx content support means more Latinx content

With love Diaz Family
Photo: Kevin Estrada / Amazon Studios

Kellett shared that during filming, Serna asked everyone to take a moment to figure everything out as he had never been on a set with so many Latinxes. The veteran actor has worked in Hollywood since the 1970s with over 100 films to his name, including Scarface. This moment reminded actors how rare it is still to see Latinxes in front of and behind the camera telling our stories. Fan love for ODAAT is what brought him back for a season after its cancellation by Netflix and it’s this dedication that ensures our stories continue to be told. Proof With love shows studios and network leaders that we WANT these stories told and that we want more storytelling to showcase the diversity within Latinidad. It’s also a story featuring Latinas at different stages of their lives, navigating their careers, love, and family, which is such a forceful move when layered Latinas characters are rare on TV, often downsized. to stereotypes.

We all need something to watch that makes us happy

With love Jorge Lily
Photo: Kevin Estrada / Amazon Studios

We’ve seen this style of storytelling with intertwined stories and characters before, but seeing it with a Latinx family is powerful. It’s like It’s us meets Love in fact with Mexican America, Afro-Latinx, LGBTQ, and Asians authentically reflecting these communities due to Kellett and his team’s intention to do so. While the series deals with heavy topics, it ultimately delivers the joy that Kellett wanted to bring out.

With love is available to stream now on Prime Video

Karl M. Bailey