Tembi Locke’s 2019 memoir From Scratch begins by leaping forward in time, with a recounting of the author driving along a winding country road through a small Sicilian village in a rusted Fiat, her husband’s ashes in a small box tucked between her legs. “In Siciliy,” she writes, “every story begins with a marriage or death.” In her case, the story starts with both, though it certainly doesn’t end there.
Over the weekend, millions of Netflix subscribers got caught up in an adaptation of that same story, based on Locke’s memoir about losing and finding love, thanks to the fact that the author, today, is a 52-year-old actress and also the creator of a new show that’s currently #2 on Netflix in the US. It’s titled From Scratch, and it’s based on her story about studying abroad in Italy years ago, and falling in love with a Sicilian chef.
From Scratch — #2 on Netflix in the US
The new 8-episode show hit the streaming giant on Friday, October 21, and stars Zoe Saldana as a young American named Amy Wheeler, a character who’s based on the events that happened to Locke. It quickly rocketed up the Netflix Top 10 TV ranking in the US, and has since surpassed everything except The Watcher — the new Netflix TV thriller starring Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale.
As for From Scratch, it dramatizes Locke’s memoir by presenting a whirlwind romance between two people with very different cultural backgrounds, while also seasoning it with humor and lightheartedness to balance out the drama. Eventually, the Italian chef (named Lino in this series) confronts an unimaginable health challenge, and the two lovers and their extended families come together to prove that love conquers all and can certainly cross any border.
“From Scratch on Netflix is hands down the best limited series I’ve watched this year,” one Twitter user raved. “I laughed, smiled, and cried. I highly recommend it. 10/10!”
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Writes Locke in From Scratch:
“He soothed the places I hadn’t known needed soothing, seemed perfectly willing to embrace the parts of me that were wanton, unsettled, unfinished, and contradictory. Together we had engaged life as two forks eating off one plate. Ready to listen, to love, to look into the darkness and still see a thin filament of moon.”
“From Scratch” (Netflix) had me crying so hard. A whole thug like me? I’m so happy I gave it a chance sha. Beautiful!
— VEE. (@veeiye) October 24, 2022
As a further measure of the show’s success, From Scratch as of the time of this writing boasts a perfect 100% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes. Also, while the scores on the review aggregation site for Netflix series and movies often diverge between critics and viewers, that’s not the case here. From Scratch also currently enjoys a near-perfect 93% score from viewers on the review site.
“I hope the entire cast and producers are proud of this work,” one of the many laudatory Rotten Tomatoes reviews reads. “It’s the best I’ve seen in a long time. The rollercoaster of emotions and character build is deserving of your time.”
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