After the first season of Gloria Calderon Kellett’s Prime Video rom-com With Love ended, we were left with many questions. What is in store for the Diaz siblings? How Lily (Emeraude Toubia) navigating her self-love journey after saying farewell to Santiago (Rome Flynn)? And is she still thinking about Nick (Desmond Chiam)? How are Jorge (Mark Indelicato) and Henry (Vincent Rodriguez III)? Better yet, where are Sol (Isis King) and Miles (Todd Grinnell) at in their relationship? And how are Beatriz (Constance Marie) and Jorge Sr. (Benito Martinez) handling all the changes in their family?
GLAAD’s Shar Jossell spoke to the cast of With Love recently and asked them to describe season two in one (or a couple of more) words.
“Grateful,” says Flynn. Meanwhile Chiam says, “Humble.”
“I’m gonna say that the world turns upside down,” said Toubia in regard to the new season while Idelicato says its “Tumultuous.” This makes me think that Jorge Jr. and Henry are about to hit some speed bumps.
“One word to describe Henry’s journey in season two… I would say vulnerable,” admits Rodriguez.
For King, she says this season is a “love roller coaster”. Obviously, she’s referring to Sol and Miles’s relationship. “You see the ups and downs of our relationship that wasn’t there in season one as much.”
Grinnell agrees, “I would say Miles and Sol go the furthest away from each other that we’ve seen and then the closest that we’ve seen and… it’s a lot of love.”
With Love is hyper inclusive and doesn’t tokenize. Instead, the rom-com lets the characters live their lives that isn’t totally engulfed by their identities. For King, seeing a character like Sol on TV today means a lot to her – and it would have meant even more if she saw Sol as a child.
“There wasn’t any of this type of representation for a trans person to have a career, to have love, to have the support of family and friends – I’ve never seen someone have all four of those,” explains King, adding that if she saw Sol when she was younger, it would have given her a look at what healthy love can look like for a trans person. “It’s all we deserve.”
For Rodriguez, seeing a character like Henry as a child would have “changed his life”.
“It’s one of the reasons why I feel so grateful to be a part of shows like With Love, which have that level of representation inclusivity and that kind of positive messaging and positive impact for what storytelling can be and how it can help audiences,” added Rodriguez.
From the jump, With Love was unapologetically queer having multiple LGBTQ characters in the core cast and even including effortless, open dialogue about gender identities and sexuality and not making it sound like an afterschool special.
That being said, the second season of the show debuts at a time when the queer community is under attack, specifically the trans community. For Indelicato, he feels that “every eloquent and articulate phrase has been taken at this point” in terms of words of encouragement.
“I think that it almost falls on deaf ears sometimes to say ‘it gets better’ at this point even though that is true in certain contexts,” Indelicato says. “I just think that at this point, we as, a queer community and especially queer communities of color, need to stand in our own power because at the end of the day, sometimes the people and institutions you think have your back, don’t. I think that that’s very troubling for a lot of young people.”
Indelicato believes that it does get better and that we have made progress but it’s not enough. “We should take stride and take pride in how much we’ve accomplished and how much we’ve overcome,” he says. “But to be complacent is the real enemy.”
“There’s a lot of reasons why there’s so much tumult and strain in our communities right now,” says Martinez. “If we get back to, which is the heart of this show, learning to meet people where they are at and respect them, then we have a chance to start the conversations that we need to have that are important conversations and we have to make sure we leave that space to listen as well.
Marie agrees and adds that she hopes we get to a place where “you can show somebody another version of humanity that is just as amazing as your version of humanity, and you can let go of thinking that ‘I have to be right and they have to be wrong’.”
Chiam applaud Jorge Jr. and Henry’s trauma-free relationship is foundational to the series. “They have been the most rock solid from beginning to end,” he adds, saying that even though they have their own drama, it doesn’t have to do with any of trauma that that the queer community has been put through, “I hope that it is a breath of fresh air,” he adds.
“I think sometimes these shows have a way of trying to teach people, but people sometimes don’t wanna feel like they’re being taught, especially the masses out there,” says Flynn. “[With Love] really threaded the line of educating people on how these things work in these relationships… it’s really special to be a part of a show that is highlighting these things. We don’t really get to see that often.”
The LGBTQ community is no stranger to navigating uncertain and volatile landscapes and King encourages her queer siblings to keep the faith. “Just continue to be ourselves and be bold and, and the idea of knowing that who you are is enough,” she said. “If ou can’t find support here, find it somewhere else. There’s always gonna be support. Find your tribe and continue to figure out and celebrate who you are because there’s nothing wrong with you.”
WITH LOVE will be distributed exclusively on Prime Video globally on June 2nd, 2023.