Love is___ if it doesn’t feel like 90s R&B music, we don’t want it. That’s the kind of love one yearns for. The kind that feels so good, makes you feel light on your feet, gives you the notion to sing out loud and belt out a note you may not even have, and dance ‘til the sun comes up.
Love is___ the kind of love that actor, director, writer, and photographer Will Catlett plays to Michelle Weaver in OWN‘s newest romantic drama. The hit show, which premiered last night and aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network, is inspired and based on the Akils’ real-life relationship. The television series is created and produced by the creative couple, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil. Catlett plays Yasir, who he describes as, “Every black man in the world.”
Love is___ the series following a modern-day couple thriving in Black Hollywood juggling successful careers and family, over three decades. It’s 2027, a black power couple is telling the story of their rise to success in Hollywood starting in the 1990s, ‘97 to be exact, when the show’s couple meets. Nuri, played by Weaver, is a comedy sitcom staff writer and Yasir is an aspiring out of work writer/director. Nuri desires working in drama. It exhibits thirty years of real love, which comes with challenges like any, falling in love or working out the kinks before embarking on a life with one.
Love is___ vulnerable. Will spoke on his leading character when The Quintessential Gentleman caught up with him. He goes on to talk about his character stating, “He’s sensitive, he is vulnerable but he knows what he wants and he knows who he is.” With such a stigma and stereotype in media and our society that depicts black men as not emotional, Love is___ goes against that grain. As Catlett told the story, “We are taught ‘don’t cry, be strong, suck it up.’ One of my Black Studies teachers told me that if you meet a man and he haven’t cried in twelve years, he is a ticking time bomb.” This makes sense, it’s important even for a man to release. Love is___ showing emotion when it hurts and loving one while it hurts.
Love is___, the way Will explains, “Love is not what it’s not. Love is not a color. It’s unconditional. It’s accepting the person for who they are not the expectations. That’s what love is in my opinion. I don’t think love wants to be labeled as black. It doesn’t have a color. I think what will happen for our community, [the show will help] reset and restart and revive. It will start that conversation and it’s needed not just for us but it is needed for the world. Let’s take care of us too because we give so much to everyone else and forget to give to ourselves. We accept everything, we are assimilated into the American culture. We’ve been accepting everybody’s stuff, now we’ve got to get back to accepting ourselves. Get back to loving ourselves. Get back to having. So I believe people are gonna love each other more, they are going to understand more. Cops are even going to look at it different by watching the show.”
Love is___ patient. “I think men are going to look at it, not just black men, but men are going to look at this and be like, ‘that’s me. If he can make it, I can make it. If things are working for him then it can work out for me,’” Catlett mentions his hope for the lens of our men.
Love is___ love. So go on and get to loving people. After all, you know complaining is directly related to cancer. That’s what Will said. “I believe that we can cut complaining completely out of our lives that will be the cure for cancer.” Don’t forget that.
Be sure to check out Love is___ and fall in love on Tuesdays at 10pm EST on OWN. Check out the trailer below.
Watch the first episode on OWN here.
Photo Credit(s): Oprah.com, YouTube, Troken George