Fans of One Day at a Time rejoice because creator Gloria Calderón Kellett is back with a new series that follows a Mexican American family in Oregon. With Love unfolds over five episodes with each dedicated to a different holiday with the premiere episode happening on Nochebuena. The Diaz family is at the core of the series starring 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 cast and team of writers that mostly Latinx. The show premieres today on Prime Video — read on for all the reasons you need to tune in
Authentic Storytelling Centered on Our Joy
The multi-holiday romantic comedy series is written Kellett and, during a special screening, she shared that she set out to tell our stories but also highlight our joy. “We’ve all been through this collective trauma and I just want to make something joyful. I just want to see Black and brown, queer, and Asian joy on screen.” We saw that 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 her 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) who kick things off on the first episode when Henry meets everyone for the first time. Just like in ODAAT, Kellett also acts in the series, this time as the single and fun lovin’ tia, Glady Delgado. Joy is abundant and it’s a beautiful thing to see especially for queer people of color who so rarely see happy storylines on TV.
Diverse Love Stories
Love in all its complexities plays out in the show from queer love, to self-love, to 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-Latine trans non-binary writer on the team. “This is not just for the trans community to see that we can be more. Also, for so many people, this might their first time to every come across someone who is trans,” she said during the screening. “We learn so much in media about representation, so I always say why fuel your thoughts of a trans person with a stereotype that doesn’t even reflect who we are. This is is your first time seeing something and you’re seeing a trans character loved, have their support of their friends, their family, grandparents, and also have a career.” Toubia echoed those sentiments sharing that for Lily it also becomes a journey of self love while for Gladys, Kellett shared that it was about normalizing being in your 40s, single and happy.
Latinidad is in the Details
The premiere episode takes place during Nochebuena and we see the Diaz familia’s table set with taquitos and empanadas and the women gathering around the kitchen to gossip. The family is loud, fun, and loving and it feels like a reflection of our family get togethers. We see Abuela Marta (Renée Victor) and her husband, Luis (Pepe Serna) flirt and bicker and the importance of religion with Abuela’s devotion made clear from the start. In one scene Jorge Jr. quips “They’re okay that I’m down with the ‘D’ as long as the ‘D’ is not the devil.” All these moments individually make us feel seen and are that much more significant when there are still so few shows telling our stories let alone featuring little moments that clearly come from writers within our community.
Supporting Latinx Content Means More Latinx Content
Kellett shared that while filming, Serna asked for everyone to take a moment to take it all in because he’d never been on a set with so many Latinxs. The veteran actor has been working in Hollywood since the 1970s with more than 100 films to his name including Scarface. That moment reminded the cast of how rare it still is to see Latinxs in front and behind the camera telling our stories. The love fans had for ODAAT is what brought it back for one season after it was cancelled by Netflix and it’s that dedication that ensures our stories continue to be told. Supporting With Love shows studios and network executives that we WANT these stories to be told and we want more storytelling to showcase the diversity within Latinidad. It’s also a story featuring Latinas at different stages in their lives navigating careers, love, and family which is such a power move when layered Latina characters are rare on television, often reduced to stereotypes instead.
We All Need Something to Watch that Makes Us Happy
We’ve seen this style of storytelling before with stories and characters intertwined but to see it with a Latinx family is powerful. It’s like This is Us meets Love Actually with Mexican American, Afro-Latinxs, LGBTQ, and Asians that authentically reflects those communities because of the intention to do so from Kellett and her team. While the series deals with heavy topics, it ultimately delivers on the joy Kellett wanted to highlight.
With Love is available to stream now on Prime Video