Episode 1 of From Scratch starts with Amy at home looking at a photo and reminiscing. We then jump back to the fall of 2000 when Amy travelled to Florence, Italy.
There she meets Sloane, a bartender who is willing to give her work so she can sustain herself. Sloane tries to get to know Amy better and asks where she is from. We learn that Amy is a Texan and looking forward to exploring Florence. Sloane teases her to take a lover and explore the city and culture, away from guidebooks and other Americans.
They soon arrive at Amy’s apartment which she shares with two other ladies, Caroline and Lindsay. The next day Amy goes to her first class in her six week course on art. After class, she calls her sister Zora, who is back in America and celebrating Labor day with the family. Based on their conversation, it is obvious that her father does not support Amy’s decision to go to Italy and defer to law school.
Later, Amy goes to Sloane’s bar where she is working and Sloane is trying to convince her to stop “slaving away” and get a man who can easily fund her stay in Florence. Amy is against this and wants to simply learn about art and try new things, and have her own renaissance. As they take a walk, they run into Lino, a chef and friend of Sloane who is immediately taken by Amy.
As the days pass by, Amy meets a new guy, Giancarlo, at a cafe and he invites her to his family’s art gallery. Amy takes him on the offer and visits the gallery and they start dating.
She once again runs into Lino when she goes to collect her pay at Sloane’s bar. Sloane asks Lino to escort Amy back home as it was at night. Lino and Amy have a lovely conversation on their way home and they realize they have some things in common. They only disagree on which cuisine is superior between Italy and France. Lino, who is a chef, is flabbergasted that Amy thinks France is better.
The next morning, Lino shows up unannounced and gifts Amy a bike to help her get around. Amy initially refuses to accept it and says that she is dating someone else. Lino convinces her it is nothing much and also invites her and her friends to his restaurant.
Amy takes her friends to the restaurant and Lino works magic with his dishes. He goes all the way out, cooking almost everything on the menu. Caroline and Lindsay don’t believe that Amy and Lino are just friends based on the way he tries her. They nonetheless enjoy the meal and I am convinced Amy fell in love with his cooking first before she fell for the man he is.
Amy is also questioning whether she is talented in art and calls Zora who assures her she has what it takes. She also notifies her that their dad and Maxine( her stepmother) are planning on visiting her in Florence soon.
Meanwhile, Amy asks Lino to show her around Florence after they define their relationship as friends who have something. Lino agrees and hopes that Amy will fall in love with Florence even if she can’t fall for him. Lino drives her around Florence on a motorbike and lets her take in the sights and culture.
Later, she shows Lino her work and he likes one of the drawings she did on the night he escorted her home. She talks about trying to convince her dad to let her do art. She also shares her dream to be selected for the exhibition at the end of the course. Lino understands her because he has been through the same thing with his dad.
Her parents finally arrive in Florence and her dad is eager to know her plans and when she will get back to Law School at Georgetown. Amy tells him that she met someone and is reconsidering leaving law school. Her dad and Maxine ask to meet him and she obliges their request. Maxine is also looking forward to enjoying Italian cuisine. Amy decides to take them to dinner at Lino’s restaurant. Giancarlo arrives late to dinner and Lino gets a chance to have a conversation with Amy’s parents.
Amy’s dad is not impressed by Lino or Giancarlo but doesn’t think her little budding love triangle is crucial because he expects Amy to return to law school after two weeks. Amy drops a bombshell on him that she wants to be an artist and is planning to move to L.A. He doesn’t take the news well and asks her to return to her real life, Italy has blinded her.
Her dad is not the only person who is disappointed in her. Lino is also angry that she brought Giancarlo to his restaurant to meet her parents. He was under the illusion that Amy brought her parents to his restaurant because he wanted them to meet him. He had no idea that Giancarlo was coming as well. He thinks Amy is embarrassed by him and thinks he is not good enough for her.
He tells her once again that he likes her and thinks she likes him too but she doesn’t answer him. Amy apologizes and Lino tells her that they shouldn’t spend any more time together. She gives him a notebook and leaves.
Amy has a tough time not seeing Lino anymore and confides in Zora that it makes her feel sick. She has broken up with Giancarlo but doesn’t think she and Lino will work out. She will leave Florence after two days and the fairytale will be over.
At the exhibition, following the end of her art course, she spots Lino and she gathers the courage to talk to him and invite him to her apartment later that night. Lino shows up as planned and they spend the night together.
As a fan of Zoe Saldana, I am happy to see her on the small screen. The cinematography in this show is visually pleasing and does a splendid job of showcasing the beauty of Italy.
The first episode has left us intrigued about where this compelling love story will take Amy and Lino. Will they just remain a one night stand? Will Amy stay or will Lino leave with her for L.A? We’ll have to wait to find out!
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