A semester abroad eating, drinking and meeting Italian lovers. That is what I thought From Scratch was going to be about. A light-hearted series about a carefree woman in Italy falling in love. Its first episode had hints of Eat, Pray, Love and just like that I was captivated by the sights and delights of Florence. I am a sucker for eating gelato in an old square and having fresh pasta al fresco. From Scratch quickly turned into a moving show though, not shying away from topics like racism, troubled families and starting over.
The series dropped on Netflix in October 2022 and stars Zoe Saldaña and Eugenio Mastrandrea, taking inspiration from a book that tells the real-life experiences of the author. In 2019, Tembi Locke published From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home in which she tells the story of finding her true love while studying art in Florence and explores forgiveness, multicultural identity and culinary discovery. In 2022, Tembi and her sister Attica Locke created the Netflix show, an eight-episode drama series that will make you cry, hungry, then cry again.
Masked under passionate romance are themes of acceptance, grief, family vendettas and belonging. Amy and Lino, the protagonists of the series, wear their hearts on their sleeves and let them lead the way. She is a black American, he is a Sicilian chef and their families want a different future for them than the one they’re heading towards. Unexpected situations arise that throw everybody’s plans off and they have no choice but to stick together.
It is hard to say why this series is so touching without ruining the ending. Do not Google it if you plan on watching, the real-life tale will pop up in the searches and it is so much more captivating – and heartbreaking – to watch it unfold on the screen. Watch it, just keep a box of tissues nearby.
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