Amazon’s latest five-chapter romcom is somewhat of a mixed bag. After a bright opening, a simmering middle chapters eventually pave way for a rather disappointing and rushed final episode that’s in desperate need of 1 or 2 chapters to flesh everything out.
The premise of With Love is pretty straightforward, revolving around a Latino family as they navigate thee trials and tribulations of holiday hijinks and romance. Specifically, the show centers on the Diaz siblings, Lily and Jorge.
Both of these characters essentially serve as the glue that holds everything together, with Lily’s lack of luck in love (try saying that fast three times!) juxtaposed by Jorge trying to stay together with his beloved, Henry.
As the season progresses, Lily finds fate playing a part in pushing her closer to Santiago, a guy who is similarly down and out when it comes to love. He wants to find the right woman and laments the idea of a one night stand (no matter how much his dad encourages him to do it!)
Predictably, Lily and Santiago do end up growing closer together, setting up a whirlwind romance between the two. Alongside this story though are several other subplots that interweave around this, including the Diaz parents, Beatriz and Jorge Sr., who have marital issues and a notable lack of physical intimacy.
There’s also another subplot involving Sol and Dr Miles too, but it’s severely under-utilized and ultimately falls flat. And that unfortunately sums up this show.
With Love starts off so brightly but it ends on a strange note and falls into every cliché by the time the final episode wraps up. That’s a particularly difficult pill to swallow given the opening chapters take the time to buck as many trends as possible and move to the beat of its own drum.
The characters are ultimately what make this such an appealing watch despite its shortcomings. Most of the big players are really likable and there’s a distinct lack of contrived drama here too. Although there are a few moments late on that superficially manufacture some last-minute drama (especially in that disappointing finale) for the most part everyone here is easy to root for and get behind.
It’s just a pity that With Love falls flat when it matters most. Stay for the characters and the romance, try to look past the cliched story arcs and motivations. The show certainly has promise, and both the premise and ideas are good enough to at least check out.
Verdict - 6.5/10