Cherry’s transformative journey has taken his Oscar-winning, dialogue-minimal 6-minute animated short, “Hair Love,” and evolved it into a mesmerizing animated television series, “Young Love,” now available for streaming on MAX.

The exquisite artwork by Vashti Harrison served as an additional source of motivation, breathing life into Cherry’s vision. The roots of this narrative were grounded in everyday scenes captured from videos and social media, showcasing African American fathers tenderly caring for their children’s hair. Cherry, with boundless creativity, expanded this foundation, weaving a heartfelt tale around a tight-knit, contemporary family. At present, the series boasts 12 episodes, each a testament to Cherry’s dedication and artistic brilliance.

In “Young Love,” viewers are welcomed into the world of Angela (portrayed by Issa Rae), a dedicated hair stylist embarking on a courageous journey to rebuild her life after a challenging illness. Alongside her stands Stephen, an unyielding music producer (embodied by Scott Mescudi, also known as the rapper Kid Cudi), acting as the bedrock of support throughout their family’s tribulations. Their home, nestled in the scenic West Garfield Park area of Chicago, becomes the backdrop for their story. 

In a multi-family residence, they share their lives with their vibrant six-year-old daughter, Zuri (Brooke Conaway). Downstairs, the presence of Zuri’s grandparents (Loretta Devine and Harry Lennix) enriches this familial portrait, infusing it with depth and warmth.

Cherry’s ability to translate the subtleties of life into captivating narratives shines brightly in “Young Love,” a series where love, resilience, and the enduring spirit of family take center stage. Through every frame, Cherry’s vision comes to life, reminding us of the power of storytelling and the beauty found in the ordinary moments of life.

“Young Love” beautifully captures the nuances of family life, delving into relatable struggles such as balancing work and family commitments, navigating bedtime rituals, and cherishing the stolen moments between parents and their child.

This series, unlike Disney’s humor-packed “The Proud Family,” adopts a more cerebral approach to comedy. Zuri, the young protagonist, is portrayed as intelligent and self-assured, much to the discomfort of her somewhat narrow-minded teacher. Her sharp wit shines through when, while critiquing a children’s storybook about a turtle athlete named Tisha, she astutely remarks, “Who cares if Tisha can run fast? Instead, she should be teaching kids how to be healthy and well-rounded adults.”

While it might seem unusual for a six-year-old to articulate such thoughts, the reality is that it’s nearly 2024, and this generation simply sees the world in a different light.

“Young Love” unfolds against the backdrop of West Garfield Park, a place Cherry holds dear. His love for the city is palpable in the series, adding an authentic layer to the storytelling.

Despite having a young child at the center of its narrative, the streaming show’s 12-episode first season is not for kids. Yet, it’s not quite adult animation, either. 

This series has nuances. That’s something that sets it apart. And I admit that my expectations are high. I want the series to be a success. I hope that everyone reading this takes the time to check it out on MAX and spread the word. It’s a heartfelt story and it deserves to be seen. 

This article originally appeared in the New York Amsterdam News.