1 of 7 | Constance Marie and Benito Martinez star in "With Love." Photo courtesy of Prime Video
LOS ANGELES, Jun 2 (UPI) -- The cast of With Love said each of the characters explores deeper facets of their sexuality or romantic relationships in Season 2, premiering Friday on Prime Video.
The show follows the love lives of the Diaz family and their partners. At the end of Season 1, patriarch Jorge Diaz, Sr. (Benito Martinez) forgave his wife, Beatriz (Constance Marie), for beginning an affair, which she ended and for which she apologized.
"They are reaping the benefits of all their hard work on their relationship in Season 2," Marie told UPI in a recent Zoom interview. "To see middle-aged people sexual, it's pretty awesome."
Season 2 sees Jorge and Beatriz overcome the sexual dysfunction with which they coped in Season 1. Martinez said it was important that their sex scenes not be gratuitous.
"We can laugh at it, love at it and go on that joy of reconnecting, even people of our age," Martinez said. "It's a very wonderful thing to share with the world."
Marie, 57, said she had reservations about performing love scenes at her age, but cinematographer Steve Gainer eased her concerns with his lighting.
"He made me prettier than I have ever been in my entire life, so he helped me feel a lot calmer," Marie said. "It's also scary in high-definition television when you're older."
Season 1 also saw cousin Sol (Isis King) begin a relationship with Dr. Miles Murphy (Todd Grinnell). Sol is a nonbinary trans person, and Season 2 explores the fluidity of their relationship.
When the season begins, Miles still considers himself a straight man dating a trans woman. They have a conversation in Episode 3 in which Sol explains that because they are nonbinary and trans, Miles is in a queer relationship.
"Miles stumbles a little bit, but then, thankfully, is open-minded and open-hearted enough, without any ego and defensiveness, to learn and grow," Grinnell said. "
King, a trans woman, said she worked with writer juliany taveras, a nonbinary writer, on the dialogue in the episode to make sure it represented queer relationships fairly. Though King uses she/her pronouns, Sol uses they/them.
"I just wanted to make sure that Miles knew who Sol was and how they felt about their self," King said. "It didn't push Miles into saying he's something he's not, but also just making him aware of who Sol was and giving him a choice."
Jorge Diaz Jr. (Mark Indelicato) has been in a relationship with Henry (Vincent Rodriguez III) since the beginning of Season 1. Their relationship moves forward in Season 2.
"One of the things they are doing for one another throughout Season 2 is facilitating stepping out of their own comfort zones," Rodriguez said.
"When you love someone, you sacrifice for them and you do whatever you need to do, even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone in order to make them happy."
For Jorge Jr., stepping outside of his comfort zone means setting boundaries with his friends and family. Since Jorge has been a people-pleaser in the past, this is challenging for him.
"It's a very universal lesson as any individual comes into their full blown adulthood to set some boundaries," Indelicato said. "It's not a comfortable conversation."
Jorge Jr.'s sister, Lily (Emeraude Toubia), turns 30 in Season 2. The milestone birthday comes with some serious self-reflection for her.
"She starts off [Season 2] hitting rock bottom, no place any about-to-be-30-year-old wants to be," Toubia said. "I feel that's what's going to make her much stronger. Your failures make you appreciate your wins a lot more."
Lily's friend and former lover Nick (Demond Chiam) has a new relationship, too. Nick's girlfriend, Ana (Briana Cuoco) is a new character in Season 2, but does not specify how they met.
"It's difficult for me to pinpoint because he could've approached her anywhere," Chiam said. "Nick's that kind of guy. We never really worked out the specifics."
All six episodes of With Love Season 2 premiere Friday.