The newest show from OWN premiered on Monday with a pink carpet event. The show titled, Love Is ___, stars Will Catlett (Black Lightning) as Yasir and Michele Weaver as Nuri. The new romantic drama features award-winning producers Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends, Being Mary Jane, The Game) and Salim Akil( Black Lightning). OWN describes the drama, which is set in the 90s, as “Told from the perspective of the couple’s present-day selves, the romantic drama also revisits the social issues and vibrant black culture of that time reflecting on how it all aligned to shape the couple they have become nearly 20 years later—a power couple navigating a complex set of social codes while also balancing successful careers and a beautiful family. Drawing inspiration from creators Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil’s own relationship journey, the series explores the highs, the lows, and the magic of falling (and staying) in love.”
The event was graced by Oprah Winfrey who had a lot to say about love and her past heartbreak experience. Gracing the occasion were female journalists from different news outlets and they had the privilege to ask Ms. Winfrey some questions about the show and generally about love.
When asked about what love meant to her, Winfrey explained with examples to demonstrate her true perspective on love. She said, ““My favorite way love shows up in my life is when other people get it. Nothing makes me happier than when I’m in the middle of a conversation and someone says, ‘Oh, I never thought of it that way before,’ or ‘Oh, I didn’t know that,’ or ‘Oh, OK, I’m seeing it differently now.’ That’s what I’m here to do, and I know that. To me, my greatest joy is making other people feel joyful. That’s what feeds me. I got it down!”
Winfrey explained her understanding of love in a manner that brought out her selfless need to see someone else have enlightenment. The media icon also talked of the romantic drama Love Is___, explaining the gap it was filling that other black love stories didn’t have. Winfrey said, “The thing that’s missing from black love stories that I’ve seen, other than Queen Sugar, of course … is what we started about two years ago with Queen Sugar. The reason people love it so much is a sense of intimacy. So when Mara walked in with this story about her courtship with Salim, before she even finished the pitch, I said, “Yes, I’m in,” because of the levels of complexity.”
But the highlight of the conversation came, when Winfrey answered a question about heartbreak. She shared her experience crying over a man in her 20s. She said, “Every heartache is there to teach you something about yourself…..When you look at it, the deeper the heartache, the more you need to learn. I had some terrible stuff in my 20s. I look back; I was really in the—when I was moving all of my stuff from Chicago to California, I ran across some old letters that I’d written to him—woooo—shame, shame, girl. I’m so glad I didn’t send them.”