The two-minute teaser for the 12-episode, animated expansion produced in partnership with Sony Pictures Animation features Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi) as music producer Stephen Love, Issa Rae as natural hair vlogger Angela Young, and Brooke Monroe Conaway as their young daughter Zuri Young Love.
The trio navigate the modern ups-and-downs of their professional and personal lives in Chicago as artists and a Black millennial-parented family. For Angela, that’s returning to her work as a stylist after cancer treatment, while Steven manages the grind of a career in an ultra-competitive industry.
“Welcome to my castle,” Zuri tells one of her friends as they enter her apartment. “You can drop your bag on the floor. My mom and dad will get them.”
“Are we the help?” Stephen asks. “Worse,” Angela responds. “We’re parents.”
With a mix of heartfelt introspection and comedy, this tight-knight family consider the challenges and joys around marriage, social issues and multi-generational dynamics while striving to make a better life.
“I wish I had a calling. What’s my legacy?” Angela asks before Stephen responds, “Can we have one existential crisis at a time, please?”
“I’m a woman. I can multitask,” Angela quips back.
While speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the show’s premiere, Cherry said the TV series was an expansion on Hair Love that the team had been thinking about since their Kickstarter campaign days. “When we first saw Vashti Harrison’s amazing artwork, we had always thought, ‘What could this be?’” Cherry says. “A feature idea just felt not big enough, but what always felt like it could make a ton of sense was a series.
“Even though the short didn’t have any dialogue, we did do a lot of work in trying to establish who they were,” he adds.
Young Love is part of Max’s expanding animation slate, and is — despite its child inclusiveness — not a kids show, though young audiences can certainly watch. “We wanted people who loved the book and love the short film to not be alienated by the things that felt too adult,” Cherry says. “We wanted adults, when Zuri is on camera, and we see her friend group, to hopefully still be in it, to find the comedy in this little girl who is a natural-born leader, who wants to change the world and is super outspoken.”
The animated series also features a notable supporting voice cast, including Loretta Devine, Harry Lennix, Tamar Braxton, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Debra Wilson and more. Cherry executive produces the series alongside Monica A. Young, Karen Rupert Toliver, Carl Jones, David Steward II, and Carl Reed. Karen Malach is a producer.
Young Love will debut with four episodes on Sept. 21, with four new episodes rolling out weekly through the season finale on Oct. 5.