Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 12 x 24m episodes
Creator(s): Matthew A. Cherry
Cast: Kid Cudi, Issa Rae, Brooke Monroe Conaway
Where To Watch: premieres on Max September 21, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Dive into a world where animated tales and the poignant struggles of real life beautifully intertwine. Welcome to Max's YOUNG LOVE, building upon the foundations Matthew A. Cherry solidified with a heart-touching story about an African-American father and daughter; this series thrusts viewers into the vibrant heartbeats of a young family confronting the contemporary tribulations of society.
Before I continue, if you haven’t seen 2019’s HAIR LOVE short film, please watch that now! It deservedly won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. While Cherry's original introduced us to a world beyond mere hair struggles, unveiling cultural depths and smashing established media perceptions, YOUNG LOVE amplifies that echo, although sometimes taking things too broadly and losing a small portion of the original impact. It's not just a moment; it's an entire gallery of life's highs and lows. Traverse the world of Stephen, Angela, and their daughter Zuri on a path dotted with financial crunches and hilarious generational tiffs.
The charisma isn't limited to the narrative alone. The voice cast creates a magnetic pull that brings these characters and their lives to the forefront. And if you're seeking some humor amidst depth, this series has a beautiful balance of back-and-forth between characters that add a bit of fun to some severe topics.
This series is a delightful blend of the familiar with the feeling of a single-camera sitcom. It also tackles subjects important to the community it's made for and about. And oh, the depth! Angela's emotions, Stephen's relentless spirit – it's a character-driven treat. Yet, despite its brilliance, YOUNG LOVE occasionally seems tentative, brushing the surface of deeper societal issues when it could have plunged deeper. Ultimately, the voiceover ensemble shows crafted passionate performances that anchor the animation.
Max's bet on evolving this narrative into an entire season was brilliant. Beyond its legacy, the genuine snapshot of African-American family life, sharp dialogues, and energetic voice performances elevate YOUNG LOVE's allure to another level. The series effectively bridges the gap between those who fell in love with the original story and newcomers alike, making Angela's journey or Stephen's battle with his past both moving and relatable.
In essence, YOUNG LOVE is a triumph. It beautifully captures the Black saga, adeptly oscillating between entertainment and reflection. Its charm and insightful offerings make it more than just a watch – it's an evocative journey that beckons the audience.
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[photo courtesy of MAX, HBO MAX, WARNER MEDIA, SONY PICTURES ANIMATION, LION FORGE ANIMATION]
MY SAG-AFTRA/WGA STRIKE STATEMENT:
As an advocate for creators, actors, and writers, I firmly stand with SAG-AFTRA and the WGA in their current strike. The entertainment industry is built on these individuals' extraordinary talents, and their contributions must be appropriately recognized and rewarded. They deserve fair compensation, sensible work hours, and respect for their creative rights. I believe in the power of unity and collective action, and I'm steadfast in my support for their fight for better working conditions and fair remuneration. Together, we can shape a more equitable future in the entertainment world.
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