While we still mourn the demise of the latest iteration of One day at a timeWe’re glad Gloria Calderón Kellett got a blanket deal with Amazon. Not only does she have a good sense of creating a family that viewers want to follow, but her ability to incorporate inclusion and representation should be a lesson to all networks, services, and showrunners. His first show under his new contract is a holiday-oriented romantic comedy series. And when we say “vacation”, we mean “all vacations”. Read on for more information.
WITH LOVE: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening shot: Scenes from Portland, Oregon with “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” playing. We then went down into a church during Christmas Eve (Christmas Eve) services.
The essence: Lily Diaz (Emeraude Toubia) is not looking forward to the Christmas Eve party with her extended family, mainly because she just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and she fears that all her Aunts are going to try to set her up with her single children. and other acquaintances. But the first order of business is to tell his grandmother Marta (Renee Victor) that his brother Jorge Jr. (Mark Indelicato) was at mass when he was not there.
On her way to find Jorge for the party, where she is introducing her boyfriend to the whole family for the first time, she meets a friendly clerk at a wine store, who has just dealt with a customer who did not want to participate. chat. She asks the clerk to go to the party, but he has plans; she gives him her number anyway, feeling a vibe.
When she arrives at Jorge’s house, her straight roommate Nick (Desmond Chaim) offers to sleep with her, but she tells him that if it didn’t happen years ago, it won’t happen now. She is surprised when she sees that Jorge’s boyfriend, Henry (Vincent Rodríguez III), is the clerk she was flirting with at the wine store. He decides to keep his mouth shut, since Jorge is quite nervous.
Lilly’s mother, Beatriz (Constance Marie) and father Jorge Sr. (Benito Martínez) are going through a period of drought, to the point that Beatriz’s sister, Gladys (Gloria Calderón Kellett), offers to buy her a vibrator. “There is a 2 for 1 sale at Pleasure Palace. Two for me and one for you, ”he jokes.
When Lilly and Jorge Jr. arrive at the party, they all seem to like Henry; even Marta calls everyone into the room when Henry explains the idea of being bisexual. Lily is having a hard time. She confides to her cousin Sol (Isis King) that she is the one who broke up with her boyfriend because something in their relationship didn’t seem like it was “the one”. Sol, switching to her job as an oncology resident, tells her that maybe she left the perfect man.
At the hospital, Sol comforts Santiago (Rome Flynn), who was at the wine store, buying wine for them as a thank you, and his father Laz (Andre Royo) while Santiago’s mother is taken off life support. Santiago, who has known Sol in the months that his mother has been receiving treatment, tells them to be more open with Dr. Miles Murphy (Todd Grinnell), who finally asked them out that very night. Sol likes Miles, but is reluctant because they are trans and non-binary, but Santiago convinces them to say yes.
What shows will it remind you of? With love It looks like a classic Hallmark Christmas movie, except it’s much more inclusive and with a little more edge. With Calderón Kellett as the show’s creator and showrunner, there are also nuances from his previous series, One day at a time.
Our Take: With love continues what Calderón Kellett (with Mike Royce) created in ODAAT, which was a traditional and universal story as well as inclusive and representative.
During the party, Beatriz jokes with Henry that she has met “97.9% of all Latinos in Oregon,” which brings up one of the most interesting aspects of With love: It takes place in Portland, the hometown of Calderón Kellett. We like that he placed it there rather than in a more traditional Latin stronghold like New York, the Southwest, or California. It will reflect what life was like for her being in a big and noisy Latino family, but without having a ton of people who looked like her around.
But what we appreciate most about the show is that it takes the traditional cheesy, but warm! – romcom formula and makes it inclusive. Jorge Jr.’s concerns about Henry are more about whether the family likes him, not the fact that Henry is a man. Sol’s gender is not signaled by neon signs, though it will be a part of the story as they navigate a flourishing relationship with Miles. Miles likes Sol because they are fun and down to earth, as well as being beautiful. That will be the crux of the story there.
However, we also appreciate that the series sharpens some of the boring edges of traditional Hallmark-style rom-com, especially when we see Tia Gladys being an uncompromising horndog. But we’re also curious about Beatriz’s lack of spark with Jorge Sr., and some of the other stories that don’t have sex at their center, but at least don’t pretend that people don’t hit.
All the performances are solid, but Lily de Toubia plays on the late-20s confusion about what she wants in her love life, along with the melancholy she feels when everyone is happy at the Christmas Eve party except her – she even tries to go back to to be with her. ex, but he sends her out with the wish that they both get what they want. Indelicato, who you may remember for his role as Betty’s younger brother in Ugly Betty, he’s just as compelling as Jorge Jr., who wants to make sure his parents love Henry as much as he does.
Sex and skin: Mostly talk, and most of that talk is decidedly PG in nature.
Farewell shot: Lily talks to Nick about what she thinks true love is. He finds that passion hot, and the two finally go to his room to have sex with a friend.
Sleeping star: Isis King might have the most interesting story, as we see that Sol is not only a caring doctor, but also begins to come to terms with the fact that they can strike up a relationship without having to carry all of their identity baggage along with them. .
Most of the Pilot-y line: One of Lily’s aunts tries to set her up with a 63-year-old friend. “Think about it, she could be a grandmother without having to ruin her body,” she says. Fun line, but definitely on the silly side.
Our calling: STREAM IT. If you find Hallmark Christmas movies too cheesy for your taste, With love It will take away the itch you can get for a warm and family rom-com, with a little more acting and edge.
Joel Keller (@joelkeller) writes about food, entertainment, parenting, and technology, but he’s not fooling himself: he’s a television junkie. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Salon, RollingStone.com, VanityFair.com, Fast Company and other places.