Love Life writers on shifting the perspective to Black love in season 2: ‘We wanted to explore a different story’

Love Life season 2 sees William Jackson Harper take the lead in season 2 (Picture: HBO Max)

Love Life fans are finally about to go on another journey with the release of season two as William Jackson Harper takes the reigns from Anna Kendrick.

Those who fell in love with the HBO Max series would have been well prepared for the fact the show focuses on a completely new protagonist, but not many might have put a bet on the program following a divorced Black man.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk about the refreshing change of pace in the rom-com anthology series, co-showrunner Bridget Bedard explained that the creation of the character Marcus Watkins was born from the desire to tell a different love story.

‘The main idea was that we didn’t just have another lovelorn person in their 20s,’ she explained. ‘We were interested in exploring a very different person with a very different set of circumstances for this new story.’

The co-executive producer continued: ‘We wanted someone who was in their 30s and then we thought about having a man of color… then we began to focus in on William Jackson Harper, and we were able to miraculously get him! After that, we just went from there.’

Indeed, the writer’s truly explore things from a new angle as the series picks up with Marcus’ marriage unexpectedly imploding. Suddenly the publisher is forced to rebuild his life brick by brick, including taking a step back into the wild world of dating, with the hope he can somehow find a love that will last this time. 

The series focuses on life and dating from the perspective of a Black man in his 30s (Picture: HBO Max)

Naturally, this shift had to be done right as co-showrunner Rachelle Williams revealed how they embraced the changes that came from focusing on a single white woman just out of college to a Black man in his thirties who married to a white woman.

She explained: ‘Season one had issues that were very specific to Darby and her experience. Now with Marcus, we needed to have issues that are specific to him and his experience as a black man.

‘Of course, he has certain conversations like the question about how many black girls he’s dated- and I love how the character handles it’.

The rom-com anthology series introduces a whole new world of characters who help the character Marcus Watkins to find his true happiness (Picture: HBO Max)

Discussing the journey the character goes on in the ten-episode season, she teased: ‘Moments like that help him to reflect and think about what he truly wants. Viewers will get to see how he takes ownership of who he is.’

The co-executive producer revealed how her own relationship had helped to inspire some of the topics explored in the season as she added: ‘A lot of the people in our writer’s room are in mixed relationships. My husband is white and some of the topics were things I asked myself before making that leap.

The character is also seen trying to find satisfaction in his job as the pandemic hits (Picture: HBO Max)

‘These are things that you have to think about and I wanted the viewer to see Marcus go through that process and find what was really important to him.’

Spoiler alert! Another big topic known as Covid-19 pops up at some point during the season – but that shouldn’t really be a complete surprise to viewers considering just how much season one references current events of the time.

Creator Sam Boyd told us that avoiding the pandemic and the effects it had on people both romantically and emotionally wasn’t really an option because the show is all about being true to the modern day.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

He stated: ‘The show is very specific with highlighting what year it is in each episode… When we working on season two, we felt that considering the ways that season one was so specific about time, it would be weird to all of a sudden go “This is a universe where Covid never happened”.’

Sam continued: ‘On the other hand, we were also just thinking about this character and his journey. Marcus is someone that is so driven by other people’s perception of him or how he thinks people want him to act.

More: US TV news

‘There’s so much self-consciousness there so it was interesting to us that Covid presented an opportunity to go, “Okay, well, now he’s got all this time to face himself and his issues.”‘

The first three episodes of Love Life Season 2 are available to stream on HBO Max from October 28 in the US. Season one is available to stream on BBC iPlayer in the UK.

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.


MORE : Love Life season 2 review: William Jackson Harper charms as he navigates modern dating world from the divorced place


MORE : Made For Love creator says Cristin Milioti was perfect choice to lead zany comedy: ‘She conveys so much with her eyes’