Young Love is the spin-off of the Academy Award-winning short Hair Love, which tells the story of a father, Stephen Love, played by Scott "Kid Cudi" Mescudi, doing the hair of his precious daughter Zuri. At the short's end, we learned that wife and mom Angela Young (Issa Rae) had been finishing up her last rounds of chemotherapy. Young Love addresses that storyline thread in the new animated series on Max.
“We wanted to focus on a character who had looked death in the eye and was just trying to get beyond it,” declares Matthew Cherry, who created the characters several years ago and is the show's executive producer.
“She’s reminded of it at every turn; people treat her like she's super fragile. She wants the kind of life she had before, but it’s not the same.”
In upcoming episodes, viewers see how life has changed for the family: Stephen had to take time off work to hold them down, so he's a little behind in his music career. And larger-than-life Zuri begins acting out to the point where her teachers are concerned. We also meet Angela's parents, Russell and Gigi Young, played by Harry Lennix and Loretta Devine.
“It’s all connected Angela having this whole situation with her illness, and no one ever really talked about it directly,” Cherry shares. He adds, “Angela is trying to find her purpose and make sure that whatever she's doing means more for her family than it did before.”
Family is the central theme in Young Love, as the series explores the Loves “being themselves; living and loving and trying to survive.” Showcasing a Black millennial family in this way is important to Cherry “because it's how you combat stereotypes,” he says. "People can see themselves in these characters even if they're not the same race. The more specific you get, the more universal these things become. We just wanted to do something that felt like people you know and could root for.”
Watch Young Love beginning September 21 on Max.