• Nina Sahar

Why It's The Wrong Time For "Love Is__"

Updated: Oct 1, 2018

Let me start out by saying Oprah can do no wrong and in theory I love the show. With that being said, there is a time and a place for everything. 2018 is neither the time nor place for Love is__.


The Show Reinforces Narratives Of Black Woman Holding Down Their Man For The Reward Of The Man He Will Become.

There is beauty in seeing potential. In this era no one even bothers with commitment because we all believe there is better out there. The story of Nuri and Yasir is about deliberately deciding against looking for the “next best thing” and investing time and energy into what’s in front of you. I definitely see value in that. Pero like, I’m not going to have my own house and still be dealing with a man who has never stood on his own two feet. Much less one that neglects his child, belittles his child’s mother, and depends on his parents.

Too often black women water infertile ground. We nurture expecting that one day we will reap the rewards of a bountiful harvest, but there is literally no guarantee that day will ever come. I’m sick of seeing stories that tell me black women have to earn the right to be loved by black men. I think we have outgrown the idea that potential is enough.

Yasir Shows So Many Red Flags, and Nuri Ignores ALL Of Them.

I don’t want to throw around the word abuse, but his volatile and emotionally manipulative behavior tap dances on that line. Besides not having his life in order, he’s moody, controlling, and often inconsiderate. Let’s start with the night he closed the door in her face when she demanded answers about him still being loosely involved with his ex. That would have been the last time he heard from me personally. Then there’s the moment he almost hit the mother of his child in front of his entire family. Again, that would’ve been a cue for me to exit stage left. Last but not least there was that time he humiliated her at her job, in the middle of the biggest moment of her career, after she invited him there as a favor.

Obviously all couples have their issues, but then again some things you just can’t (and shouldn’t) ignore. I think it’s dangerous to glamorize a relationship where so much is wrong from the beginning. In reality when women ignore obvious warning sounds, it usually leads to heartbreak down the line. I hesitate to buy into any story that demonstrates a woman ignoring her instincts (and her mother’s warning), because in reality there won’t always be a happy ending

The Whole Super-Duper Light Skin Female Love Interest Thing.

Love is love and all that, but let’s be honest; how often do we see two brown skin people in a healthy loving relationship. Or better yet, when is it ever a dark skin girl and a light skin man. For a show that’s supposedly progressive, they disappointed me with the same old, played out casting choices. What makes it so bad is Nuri’s complexion is an active part of the plot. It’s one of the first things Yasir and his friend notice about her. It’s something his mother points out upon first meeting her. It’s the biggest difference between Nuri and the two women that Yasir couldn’t make it work with. All of this is not to say that the actress (Michele Weaver) isn't phenomenal or worthy of the role. I just think playing into the idea that only light skin women deserve sweeping romance is at this point way overdone. The shows creator (Mara Brock Akil) who loosely based the character on herself and the story on her own relationship, is not nearly as fair. So one is left to wonder how and why those decisions were made. In my humble opinion, it's time Black romance on TV started representing women shades darker than medium-tan.

Yasir is charming. He cares for Nuri in very tender and loving ways. Their chemistry is beautiful to watch. Still, for me the cons of their relationship by far outweigh the pros. In a time where young black women are thriving, and demanding more as opposed to settling for less, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to glorify the kind of relationship where all the man brings to the table is good dick and a story to tell.