How to L0ve, OTV’s newest series, follows a group of teenagers who reunite to work as ball people at their community’s local tennis tournament. The series follows LT, Xia, and Kota as they work their final tournament with the hopes of being picked for a coveted ball person job at the US Open.
Our protagonists have to navigate the challenging world of groin injuries, thirst traps gone wrong, and the horrifying walking-on-eggshells feeling that comes from competing with someone you love for an opportunity. Nevertheless, these characters are a testament to the success and authenticity that comes from a creator writing what they know. Each character is played by an actor with a similar background to them (the show makes a consistent effort to highlight queer and POC talent) and a creative team that works to celebrate their team’s background as opposed to marketing it.
Robert Cunningham, the series’ creator, said in a video interview for the series’ Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Ever since I was a kid, I’ve seen tennis as a black sport — or at least one that had the potential to be a black sport. Whether it be legends like Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, the Williams sisters or newcomers like Coco Guaff, Sloane Stevens, and Francis Tiafoe; I love seeing black people excelling in spaces that weren’t necessarily made for them.”
This series reimagines the sport by putting athletes of color at the forefront of the sport while allowing the necessary recognition for the trailblazers that carved the path for these athletes to thrive in the present day. Robert Cunningham was picked as a shortlist recipient for Halsey’s Black Creators Fund and is certainly a creator to watch down the line.
This show is perfect for anyone who devours media like Jamie Babbit’s, But I’m a Cheerleader, Freeform’s The Bold Type, or anything with a fast-paced writing style that refuses to talk down to its audience. You can watch the full first season here!