Whenever I think of the phrase “happily ever after” the first image that comes to mind is Cinderella and her Prince Charming waving from the back of a horse-drawn carriage (understandable since we’ve been conditioned by movies and fairytales to believe that’s what a happy ending looks like); I rarely think about people who don’t look like Cinderella (or Belle, or Snow White…) and who doesn’t love someone that looks like Prince Charming. Well, thanks to With Love, Amazon’s new show which just debuted its second season, earlier this month, I’m finally able to start changing this pattern.
With Love, which features an ensemble cast made up of names like Emeraude Toubia, Mark Indelicato, Isis King, Benito Martínez, Constance Marie, Gloria Calderón Kellett (who is also the series creator!), Julissa Calderón, and Renée Victor, is what I can only describe as Prime Video’s version of a Latinx rom-com modern fairy tale. It revolves around the different members of the Díaz family — Lily, Jorge Jr, Sol, Beatríz, Jorge, Luis, and Martha — and their partners, showing us how they navigate love (with romantic partners, friendships, and even with each other) and evolve their relationships in one year’s time.
Like any other family, the Díazes go through heartbreak, have friends with benefits, deal with sibling rivalry, celebrate weddings, contemplate divorce, and even learn how to deal with dementia.
Through the highs and lows, the Díazes really are like any other traditional Mexican-American family. They have the gossipy tías, the loving but quirky grandmother, the parents that want their kids to follow in their footsteps and take on the family business (but still somehow refuse to let go), the cousin who is a successful doctor but is still expected to be a stay-at-home spouse/parent after marriage. But they all support and show up for each other, no matter what. Yes, even when various members of the family aren’t exactly “traditional.”
With Love is one of the most inclusive pieces of Latinx-centric media to date. It is certainly my first time watching members of doubly marginalized communities get a happily-ever-after: Not the fake, fairytale-like version sold by corporations like Disney, but something more real. Meaning, everyone is not happy and everything is not perfect all the time. Instead, we see people who love each other put in the work to address their shortcomings, even when they aren’t happy with themselves, and even when life looks nothing like the fairy tale they imagined. That’s how With Love depicts love, and it’s incredibly refreshing.
Sometimes “happily ever after” means that a strong married couple faces the possibility of divorce and has to learn to love each other again. Sometimes it means a trans, N/B doctor finds her partner and then has to learn how to navigate their relationship with all the variables and terminology around it. Happily ever after can come in the shape of a neurotic, type-A gay young man finding his very chill better half or a 29-year-old woman who falls in love with her brother’s best friend who was her FWB for a while, or even an old couple facing dementia head one.
This Latinx rom-com even depicts what life is like once the wedding is over and reality kicks in — and yes, this includes sex. Because even if the mainstream media and Latinx families alike continue to treat the topic as taboo and insist on using euphemisms, sex is a huge part of relationships! Navigating sexual relationships and their importance in every stage of a couple’s journey is fundamental to getting the happy ending we all dream of (yes, pun absolutely intended!).
While there is no official confirmation on whether or not we’ll get a season three (and given the current state of the TV and film industry, I’m assuming it’s going to be a while before we get any new Díaz family content), I’m keeping my fingers crossed for this one.