Home / World News / In ‘With Love,’ Gloria Calderón Kellett Comes Home for the Holidays

In ‘With Love,’ Gloria Calderón Kellett Comes Home for the Holidays

So she conceived “With Love” as an optimistic response. If she and her husband couldn’t see their families for the holidays, she would structure every episode of her show around a holiday. If queer characters and characters of color were typically found at the margins of rom-coms and Christmas movies — if they were found at all — she would put them at the center. And give them a Nancy Meyers kitchen.

She pitched the series in January, assembled a writer’s room in February, shot it in June. Set in Portland, it follows the Diaz family, an interdependent, intergenerational clan that runs a high-end Mexican American restaurant. Starting on the night before Christmas, it moves through New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Independence Day and the Day of the Dead. Calderón Kellett cameos as Tía Gladys, a perennial bachelorette who belongs to two book clubs and one wine club. (The book club is basically a wine club, too.)

The relationships can feel glamorized; the elder members of the Diaz family are accepting and loving almost to a fault. I wondered if this was a deliberate overcorrection, a way to make up for all of those decades of drug dealers and gangbangers and crying moms. Not really, Calderón Kellett told me.

“Families do look like this; my family is like this,” she said. (Several of her colleagues confirmed this. That her parents now live across the street in a house that she mostly bought also feels like corroboration.)

For Emeraude Toubia, an actress of Mexican and Lebanese descent who plays Lily, the Diaz daughter, Calderón Kellett’s stories didn’t feel overly romanticized. “Yes, it is idealized,” she said during a phone interview. “But at the end of the day, this is who we are.” If the show models kindness and understanding, what’s so wrong with that?

To dedicated rom-com and Christmas movie fans, many of the conventions of “With Love” will feel familiar. But this, too, is deliberate. Steven Canales, another close friend of Calderón Kellett and a creator of “Pose,” told me that he admired her for putting Hispanic characters into genres where they haven’t often been invited. “What Gloria deserves more credit for is positioning Latinx people in spaces where we historically have not had access,” he said, using a gender-neutral term for Latino people.

About brandsauthority

Check Also

Norway's wealth fund posts record $233 billion loss

After years of soaring profits, Norway’s wealth fund has ended up a staggering $A233 billion …

%d bloggers like this: