A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Love Is ___ is a dramatic series based on the real-life story of a successful couple working in the entertainment industry. It features lots of adult-oriented content, including conversations about adult relationships that contain strong sexual innuendo, lots of bedroom activity (people in underwear), and strong language (which includes the use of the "N" word). There's lots of wine drinking, and occasional arguing, too.
What's the story?
Based on the real lives of show creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, LOVE IS ___ is a drama series that chronicles the lives of a successful modern-day couple in Hollywood. It's 2017, and Nuri (Wendy Davis) and Yasir (Clarke Peters) are sharing how they met, how their relationship evolved, and how they balanced their personal lives with their growing careers over the years. To do so, they take us back to 1997, when Nuri (Michele Weaver) was a TV comedy staff writer and Yasir (Will Catlett) was an unemployed director. As their history is chronicled, the contemporary versions of the couple offer their insights about what they were thinking then, and how they may or may not have changed over the years.
Is it any good?
This well-written series relies on extended flashbacks to tell the interesting story of one of Hollywood's most powerful African American couples. While much of it is a love story, it also reveals some of the many challenges they faced as they fought off personal demons and raised a family, all while rising in the ranks of the TV and film industry.
The show is largely fictionalized for entertainment's sake, but Love Is ___ is a good story in its own right. It's a well-produced narrative filled with some appealing characters, and showcases repeat performances by veteran actors like Loretta Devine, Vanessa Bell Calloway, and Tim Reid. Folks looking for a fun dramatic series to invest in will find one here.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the backstories of people in their family's history. How did your parents meet? Grandparents? What can you learn about yourself when hearing about their relationships?
What is a flashback? Why do you think the producers of Love Is ___ chose to tell the story in this way? What are some of the challenges that come with creating narrative shifts from past to present?
Themes pertaining to race and gender are subtly raised throughout the series. In what ways are they presented? What do they address specifically?
For kids who love love stories
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