HOLLYWOOD─It is a very rare thing to see Black romance on the small screen America. However, the new OWN series “Cherish the Day” is a welcome breathe of fresh air. The series is the brainchild from director Ava DuVernay and it’s smart, poignant and exciting. How so? The focus is on our two primary characters and that is the driving point of the narrative without other misdirects. In so many dramas, especially where romance is at the core, there are a ton of side characters, who take away from the narrative that is to focus on our core characters.
With “Cherish the Day,” the audience is not seeing that. We have Gently James (Xosha Roquemore) and Evan Fisher (Alano Miller). Gently and Evan are from different worlds. Some would make the argument that Gently comes from a world that is a bit more street, more from the urban world and lower class. On the flipside, Evan works in the tech arena, he has money, he as a level of affluence that is visible from the moment the audience spots him. He dresses nice, drives a nice car, is not afraid to spend money, etc.
They have a chance meeting at the library, where Gently is doing her best to get fees waived for Miss Luna Lee Langston portrayed by the great Cicely Tyson. Tyson’s role is limited in nature here, but it provides for that level of wisdom. A woman who schools the youngsters about love, life and happiness. It is at the library, that Evan finds himself first smitten by Gently. That soon turns into a date, where Gently is looking to replace a leaky refrigerator and they find themselves on a bit of a road trip.
Why does this series present all levels of feels for me? The chemistry between are main characters is electrifying, and that’s a testament to Miller and Roquermore. These two just have a spark and it’s evident from the moment they appear on the screen together. Those sparks are only further heightened as we see these two interact more. Gently is that free spirit, while Evan is a bit more of a rationalist.
I can’t help, but replay two specific scenes in the series premiere where Evan allows a complete stranger to get inside his Tesla based on a referral from this woman he is just getting to know. Evan’s response to seeing this guy place bags of bottles inside his trunk and back seat spoke wonders.
Not to mention that other scene where Evan had to leave his Tesla behind in a neighborhood that was not familiar to him. To make the argument that Evan was worried about his vehicle being in a neighborhood that is across the tracks tells you a lot about the character. He might be book smart, but not so much street smart. That presents an interesting dynamic where you have the street world colliding with the book world in terms of romance.
The blazing moment of the episode was the moment where the first date felt like love at first sight, but later became the nightmare from hell. How so? Sharing tales from the past struck a chord with Gently that she did not like and everything torpedoed from that point forward. The distance between the two could be felt, and before the episode culminated Evan was taking an Uber to get back to his Tesla, and both were contemplating rather to make a move.
It is important to note for the audience that “Cherish the Day” is an anthology. So each season a new couple is introduced to be followed and each episode occurs in the span of one day. That is another interesting development to suture the audience into the series. We saw what drifted Gently and Evan apart in episode one, and in episode two the audiences witnessed what drew the characters back to each other after not seeing each other for over a year. So each week a new obstacle in the relationship or curveball testing their love is presented.
The audience is actually getting to see love as it blossoms. With that said, episode one hooked me, episode two made me want to see how things end. “Cherish the Day” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on OWN.