Episode 1 of With Love begins at Christmas time. Twinkling Christmas lights, a beautiful church service and singing are the name of the game here. As the service comes to an end, Jorge Sr. tasks Lily with buying some wine ready for their Christmas party. There’s some really nice vibes at this party, but a much bigger problem in the wings.
That problem comes from Lily, who’s worried about her three generations of family questioning her about the recent break-up to her boyfriend, Michael. Things weren’t going so well between them and they broke up. He also happens to be a lawyer too. While out picking up wine, Lily flirts with the cashier and suggests he go with her. They both touch hands while exchanging goodbyes, leading Lily to give this guy, Henry, her number.
Now, this party is actually a big deal for Lily’s brother, Jorge Jr., too. He’s about to introduce the extended family to his boyfriend, Henry. Yep, it’s the same Henry from the store so obviously awkwardness is going to ensue! The pair are formally introduced again as Lily awkwardly chuckles.
Henry eventually does meet all the different family members, including Sol. Now, it turns out Henry is actually bisexual, and the family immediately gather to ask him questions on the sofa.
While this is going on, Lily talks to Sol in confidence. There, she admits that she was the one who actually broke things off with Michael. She always felt like something wasn’t quite right between them, and when it comes to love, Lily was worried this wasn’t the right feeling. In other words, she was getting cold feet. So naturally, given it’s Christmas and the time for forgiveness, Lily decides to make a big, romantic gesture to win him back.
Now, Sol has her own romantic ventures at work; Dr Miles asks her out. When she refuses, Sol reassures him that they can still flirt over charts at work. Sol is scared of taking the next step, knowing that flirting is “safe” but also aware deep down that sometimes you have to take risks in life.
Another couple of family members with their own subplot stems from Beatriz and Jorge Sr. In public, they’re seemingly the perfect couple. They get along well, they don’t argue and they’re both hosting this party with big smiles on their face. However, there’s very little passion between them. Gladys teases Beatriz about going through a “dry patch” while Jorge Sr. pulls away from holding Beatriz’s hand at the buffet table.
This situation is only made worse when Jorge heads outside and talks to his dad about relationships. Here, Jorge Jr. gushes over how much of a role-model his dad is in regards to his perfect relationship with Beatriz. Of course, looks can be perceiving but it’s still a touching chat in truth.
Now, speaking of dwindling romance, Lily shows up at Michael’s place to try and win him back. However, he doesn’t want to go back and rejects her proposal. Lily heads back to the party, crushed. She doesn’t want to ruin Jorge’s perfect night by talking to him about this though, especially as he’s still beaming after Henry made such a good impression. So instead, she stays quiet about how she truly feels.
After getting drunk, our main cast of characters head out into the street and begin singing Feliz Navidad. Now, interestingly in the car next to them happens to be Santiago and his father, who have both had quite the trying ordeal at the hospital. Sol was their doctor and also the person whom Santiago instilled knowledge on.
That night, Henry and Lily clear the air but with Lily sleeping on the sofa and clearly on a rebound, she decides to hook up with Nick, Jorge’s flat-mate.
The Episode Review
The first episode of With Love gets this festive holiday-friendly series off to a great start. The vibe is absolutely perfect for Christmas too, and there’s no artificial drama in sight – result!
Seeing a party like this without any shouting, screaming or contrived drama is such a refreshing change of pace. And it’s absolutely perfect to actually allow for several different subplots to simmer at the same time. You’ve got Lily’s issues with her ex boyfriend and a potential matchmaking with Santiago – especially if that end scene with the truck is anything to go by.
Likewise, you’ve got Jorge and Henry’s adorable relationship and with an accepting father, it discards the tired trope of the disapproving dad than needs to be won over.
The jokes are generally pretty funny, especially those involving Henry’s bisexuality, while the characters are all interesting and have their own quips and intriguing subplots. There’s a lot of relatability here with plenty of these people, but we’ll have to wait and see if they grow and evolve over time. For now, Amazon’s newest series gets off to a great start!