In Second Season of ‘With Love,’ Romance Comes in Many Forms (INTERVIEW)

Jun 20, 2023
12:40 PM

From left: Mark Indelicato (Jorge Diaz Jr.), Isis King (Sol Perez), Vincent Rodriguez (Henry), Desmond Chiam (Nick Zhao), Emeraude Toubia (Lily Diaz) in ‘With Love: Season 2’ (Courtesy of Prime Video)

Yes, another show about a Latinx family got a second season—and it’s out now! With Love, by the showrunner of One Day at a Time‘s Gloria Calderón Kellett, follows the Díaz family as its next generation steps into adulthood.

While the first season was about the family as a whole, with an affair plot line for Constance Marie’s matriarch Beatriz, romance arcs for her two kids and one of their cousins, and multiple big-family gatherings, the second season is more of a straight love story, with Emeraude Toubia’s Lily navigating a love triangle and trying to figure out who she is without a man.

She’s joined by her brother Jorge, played by Mark Indelicato who Ugly Betty fans will remember as the titular character’s nephew and an early example of gay Latinx life on screen. In With Love, Indelicato brings to fruition that earlier show’s promise, spending this season planning and executing a beautiful wedding with Henry (Vincent Rodriguez III of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Rounding out the trio is Isis King’s Sol, a trans femme doctor who is also in a loving, stable relationship with a man.

The tableau is a testament to the many ways romantic love can look regardless of sexuality, gender expression, or gender identity. With Love treats them all kindly, giving Jorge the romantic, meaningful wedding he planned, allowing Sol to grow and learn while always being worthy of love, and teaching Lily about herself while giving her two dreamy men to pick from.

It’s nice, even if I struggled with Lily some this season. She’s the type of traditionally feminine heroine we haven’t seen in decades—you know the girl who grew up dreaming of her wedding day and now defines herself by whatever man is paying attention to her. It grates some.

“I’m rooting for Lily,” Toubia told Latino Rebels, saying she balances Lily’s extreme feminity with the challenges it brings. “I think that sometimes, like most women, a cute boy comes along and we get lost in your eyes and it’s okay… She’s a little messy and she lives in this fantasy world sometimes, but I really want her to just focus on herself, on her career, and prioritize that.”

“We all want to be loved. But then we have societal expectations, we have our family expectations, and on top of that we have Latino family expectations: be successful, but not too successful and push men away,” Toubia explained in defense of her character. “So where do we stand? Where do we raise our voice and decide this is what we want?”

From left: Gloria Calderón Kellett (showrunner, executive producer, Gladys Delgado), Emeraude Toubia (Lily Diaz), Mark Indelicato (Jorge Diaz Jr.) in ‘With Love: Season 2’ (Courtesy of Prime Video)

She thinks the show, and Lily’s arc in particular, says: “Whatever it is —whether you want a wedding, whether you want a fairytale marriage, or whether you want to be single and thriving and work on your career— (it’s) all valid. But (stop) seeking everyone else’s validation and start learning what yours is and fight for that.”

For his part, Rome Flynn, who plays one of Lily’s love interests Santiago Zayas, mostly echoed his co-star’s assertions. He sees Santi on a similar journey as Lily, saying, “I didn’t want to placate to the idea that he wants to just conform to what she wants, because that’s what people expect… He’s trying to find himself within Lily and also without her.”

This gender mix-up, where both partners in a straight love story have to learn to prioritize their connection and themselves, is at the heart of With Love. It’s a show about Latinx people learning and growing together. Toubia says the moral of the story is “love comes in many forms and in many ways and to accept it and respect it.”

She hopes viewers walk away from the show “feeling loved and all the fuzzies,” which is definitely what I got out of it, despite my reservations. It’s just so pleasant to watch something about Latinx people winning at love and life, especially when the show defines love in an inclusive, queer way as With Love does.

I do hope we get a third season with the Díazes, and that the next one can focus more on the familial bonds between Lily, Jorge, and Sol. Their dynamic is my favorite part of the show, and their love deserves more exploration—we have plenty of shows about romantic partners but less about siblings and cousins.

In the meantime, you can catch glimpses of how those bonds give our lives meaning and shape in With Love on Prime Video. Both seasons are available to stream now, and if you’re ready for a kind rumination on love from the Latinx perspective, go ahead and add it to your queue.


Cristina Escobar is the entertainment reporter for Latino Rebels. She is also the co-founder of, uplifting Latina and gender non-conforming Latinx perspectives in media. She’s a member of the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association and writes at the intersection of race, gender, and pop culture. Twitter: @cescobarandrade