HBO’s latest streaming service, HBO Max, has picked up a new series from Matthew A. Cherry, the creator of the Academy Award-winning animated short film Hair Love. The 12-episode series is called Young Love and will continue to follow the family introduced in the animated short.
In Hair Love, a young African-American girl named Zuri wakes up one morning determined to tame her hair into a stylish coif. After attempting to style her hair on her own, her father steps in. But with no experience on how to handle a Black girl’s hair, he’s intimidated — it’s usually Zuri’s mother who handles hair. He’s ready to throw a hat on Zuri’s head and call it a day, but with a little encouragement, he rallies the courage to help his daughter.
The story resonated deeply with fathers especially, who might relate to being intimidated by taking care of their daughters on their own. It’s a rare, but welcome, positive representation of the bonds between fathers and daughters on screen.
According to a statement from HBO, Young Love will take a deeper look at Zuri and her family, as well as her “millennial parents Stephen and Angela” and her pet cat, Rocky, “as they juggle their careers, marriage, parenthood, social issues, and multi-generational dynamics all while striving to make a better life for themselves.”
It’s also been crucial to tell diverse stories about families of all types and experiences, but in a time when the United States is facing a reckoning over its treatment of Black people, Young Love feels all the more potent. The story of Zuri’s family centers on joy and love, not suffering, and the more shows like this get greenlit by major networks in the future, the better.
The release date and voice cast haven’t been announced yet, but there’s a chance we might see some big names attached to the project soon. After all, HBO Max is already home to every Studio Ghibli film, an adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s award-winning novel Americanah, and a spin-off series from the Dune universe.
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