Mara Brock Akil knows a thing or two about telling a good love story.  From her cult classic show, Girlfriends, to other must see TV shows like The Game, and Being Mary Jane, the writer, creator, and producer just gets us.  Now she’s well on her way to having another hit show on her hands alongside her husband, Salim Akil, and this time it’s really personal.

The Hollywood power couple has teamed up again to bring Love Is___, to our TV screens on Oprah’s OWN Network. The new series is loosely based on their personal love story set in the 1990’s. The romantic drama is already establishing a loyal fanbase and has become one of the most talked about shows of the summer.

“There is still a lot of love out there. There are a lot of beautiful love stories that are not being told. You (viewers) said Joan (Tracee Ellis Ross character from Girlfriends) could have it all, but we didn’t get to see the end of her story. So, how did you do it because you seem to have it all? The TV show (Love Is_) is the answer to their questions,” Brock Akil told theGrio.

Hopeless romantics and even skeptics are tuning into OWN each Tuesday night to find out what will happen next between Nuri (Michele Weaver) and Yasir (Will Catlett). Viewers seem to be mesmerized by the imperfect love story. Romantic dramas tend to focus on a woman’s perspective, but not this time. The Akils strike a balance of telling a true love story reflecting both partners point of view.

Mara Brock Akil and Love Is___ stars Will Catlett and Michelle Weaver stopped by theGrio LIVE to talk with host Natasha Alford about their infectious show. Here are 5 love lessons they shared.

1) Look for character in a mate.

Yasir(Love Is__ character) is living in LA, unemployed with a dream. It is important to get to know a person’s character and heart first. You could miss out on someone if you rule them out for not having it “all together.”

“You either choose to love the idea of someone or you choose to see who they are and to love them where they are at,” said Weaver.

“When you see that intended effort; you get to see character,” Brock Akil said.

2) Don’t let technology do all the talking.

 Technology can get in the way of making a real connection when dating. In a social media driven world, don’t forget old school courting helps you to truly get to know the person you are dating.

Yasir didn’t allow not having a phone, pager, or money to stand in the way of getting to know the woman of his dreams.

“No matter the time if you really want love, you will do the things you need to do to get it. It doesn’t matter that we are in 2018 technology is not going to slow down. It is how you deal with it,” said Catlett.   

3) Take a risk for love.

We all wish love was simple and easy to get and maintain. The reality is in order to fall in love, you may have to take a leap of faith or risk.

Nuri has a budding career and several suitors, but she decided to take a chance on Yasir and it pays off. The love of your life may not come complete. It may take time, support, and faith to get the happy ending you desire.

 If you want love it is a risk. You have to be vulnerable. You have to be open if you want to share something because it’s through the good and the bad,” said Weaver.

4) Follow your purpose- it could lead to love.

Often times, love doesn’t come when we want it or when we go looking for it. Love can develop when you are focused on other things. If you follow your purpose in life it could lead to unexpected love.

“If I really realize it, I wasn’t looking for a man I was following my purpose. I found a man, a career, some friends. It is right there,” said Brock Akil.

5) Go after what you deserve.

Fear can consume us. It can cause us to be hesitant to go for the things we really want in life. Sometimes, we settle for safe because we are not sure we can achieve our goals. You must find the strength to go after what you deserve in all aspects of your life.

“These characters are inspired by real people. They are real. They are not perfect, but they are proof you can go after what you know you deserve in both love and your career,” said Weaver.

Make sure you check out “Love Is___” each Tuesday on OWN at 10/9c right after the Have and Have Nots.

TheGrio LIVE!: Today on #theGrio LIVE, we have the legendary showrunner Mara Brock Akil (Creator of " The Game") and the stars of OWN’s new romantic drama "Love Is___", Will Catlett & Michele Weaver to discuss the show and more.

Posted by TheGrio on Thursday, July 12, 2018