Rarely, if ever, do animated series shine a spotlight on millennials navigating the complexities of raising a child in today’s world, particularly from the Black perspective. However, Matthew A. Cherry is changing the game with his latest creation, “Young Love.” This comedy series, an expansion of his Academy Award-winning animated short film “Hair Love,” introduces us to millennial parents Stephen Love (Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi) and Angela Young (Issa Rae), as they navigate the challenges of raising their fearless Gen Z daughter, Zuri (Brooke Monroe Conaway).
Angela, who is recovering from her battle with cancer, finds herself wrestling with the delicate balance between her career as a stylist and the demands of parenthood. Meanwhile, Stephen is striving to carve out a niche for himself as a musician in a fiercely competitive industry. Set in Chicago, this family grapples with the intricacies of careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and the dynamics of multiple generations, all while working tirelessly to secure a brighter future for themselves.
In an exclusive interview with Black Girl Nerds, Cherry emphasizes the importance of bringing authenticity into the world of animation by portraying a genuine slice of multi-generational Black life. He notes, “I feel like a lot of shows and movies that exist now just show the one percent. We wanted to be representative of the vast majority of America that doesn’t know what it’s like to live in a mansion or drive the fanciest car. That’s real. We’ve all been there before, even if we do have a lot of money. We really wanted to infuse it with love. Black parents, Black parenthood, Black grandparents—there are such humorous storylines to explore in that, while trying to chase your dreams.”
What sets this series apart is its deeply relatable and endearing portrayal of the Love family. Cherry’s personal favorite character is Zuri because of her earnest, open-hearted, and free-spirited nature. He believes she epitomizes Gen Z, a generation determined to be the catalyst for the change they wish to see in the world. Cherry explains, “If there’s a problem, they’re not going to sit around and wait for someone to handle it. She may not have the best methods, but she’s definitely trying to figure it out!”
The series also stars Loretta Devine, Harry Lennix, Tamar Braxton, and Sheryl Lee Ralph. The first season of “Young Love” is available for streaming on Max, and you can catch a glimpse of it in the trailer below.
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