Young Love is an absolute joy to watch. I binged all 12 episodes and at times forgot I was watching an animated series.
You’ll recognise the father Stephen Love (Scott Mescudi) and daughter Zuri Young Love (Monroe Conaway) from the very touching Oscar winning animated short film, Hair Love, with the former trying to do his daughter’s hair as his partner battled cancer. Young Love expands on that short and introduces us, the audience, to an array of different characters.
I loved the positive representation of a young black family and their smart and confident black female child, Zuri together with their supportive and stable grandparents. Whilst race is important, it is more the jumping off point rather than the central driving force. It’s what makes this so great; it’s not written for the white gaze so there are no inane explanations, rather it is just telling stories and treating the audience as intelligent. The creator Matthew A. Cherry focuses on generational family issues ie the grandparents voicing their sometimes unwanted opinions, the couple trying to rediscover their family life now that Angela is in remission from cancer and little Zuri navigating school and the parents also trying to excel in their chosen professions.
Representation and diversity are so important and Young Love excels at both with each episode focusing solid storytelling. It’s what makes Young Love so smart, refreshing, and really engaging.
I can’t wait for a second series!
Actually, I should also mention the cast you’ll recognise a number of the voices: Issa Rae, Harry Lennix, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Tamar Braxton.
YOUNG LOVE, debuting with four episodes on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 on Max. The twelve-episode season continues with four episodes weekly, leading up to the season finale on Thursday, October 5.