TV Show Reviews
"Greenleaf" review by Suzanne
Wednesdays, 10/9c on OWN
As a long-time fan of soaps, I always enjoy a good one,
whether it's a daytime or primetime soap. There are many
good ones out there now. Here's another one to add to the
list. I enjoyed it so much that I binge-watched the first
three episodes, and I plan to go back and watch the rest. I
normally only watch one episode when I review these series,
unless it's something I really like a lot.
First of all, the acting is stellar. How can it not be
with Oprah Winfrey, Keith David and Lynn Whitfield as the
stars? These are all seasoned veterans of film and TV, with
multiple Emmy and Golden Globe wins and an Oscar nomination.
They are the cream of the crop. The younger actors in the
show are also outstanding.
The show is about a TV ministry family in Memphis.
Religion is an important issue on the show, as it is in
their lives; and yet the show is not preachy at all. It's
very realistic. If you've never lived in the South or been
among a lot of African American people, you may not
recognize how authentic it is. Trust me, it is.
Merle Dandridge stars as Grace, a former preacher who had
left home years ago and moved away to Arizona. She returns
home with her teenage daughter for the funeral of her
sister, Faith, who committed suicide. The family has all
sorts of secrets, like any good soap opera.
I believe that the characters and story will hook you and
drag you in, the way they did me. I'm just grateful that
it's not a daily soap because I don't have time to watch it
every day. I just wish that the daytime soaps would improve
their shows, so they would be half as good as this.
I'm sure that many people would try to compare this to
"Empire," but aside from having a mostly-black cast and
being a soap opera, that's where the comparison ends.
Empire has lots of music and action. It is more cutting-edge
and youth-oriented, and the characters are way more dramatic
and larger-than-life. That show is filled with awful
people that I wouldn't want to know in real life. This
one is filled with people that I like and wouldn't mind
knowing (aside from one or two). I would say that "Empire"
is more male-oriented and more flashy, whereas this one is
more female-oriented and more realistic.
You don't want to miss this show! Especially if you're a
soap fan, or any fan of good drama.
FYI, Oprah has always been a big soap opera fan and
supporter of the genre. When ABC canceled "All My
Children" and "One Life to Live," she took some heat from
fans for not wanting to invest her own money in saving them
or putting them on her network, and her comments to fans
didn't help. However, later, she did air the
shows on OWN after another company produced new episodes and
put them online. I'm glad she's decided to make her
own soaps on her network. This is the third one (after
"If Loving You Is Wrong" and "The Haves and The Have Nots")
but arguably the best of the three. Thank you, Oprah!
The new original drama series Greenleaf
from award-winning writer/producer Craig Wright (Lost, Six
Feet Under, Brothers and Sisters)
takes viewers into the unscrupulous world of the
Greenleaf family and their sprawling Memphis
megachurch, where scandalous secrets and lies are as
numerous as the faithful. Born of the church, the
Greenleaf family love and care for each other, but
beneath the surface lies a den of iniquity—greed,
adultery, sibling rivalry and conflicting
values—that threatens to tear apart the very core of
their faith that holds them together.
Greenleaf stars Merle Dandridge (The
Night Shift) as Grace Greenleaf; Keith David (Community)
as Bishop James Greenleaf; Lynn Whitfield (The
Josephine Baker Story) as Lady Mae Greenleaf;
Kim Hawthorne (Rake) as Kerissa Greenleaf;
Lamman Rucker (Meet the Browns) as Jacob
Greenleaf; Tye White (The People v. O.J.
Simpson: American Crime Story) as Kevin
Satterlee; Deborah Joy Winans (Whitney) as
Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee; Desiree Ross (Falling
Skies) as Sophia; and Oprah Winfrey (Selma)
in a recurring role as Mavis McCready.
Greenleaf is produced for OWN: Oprah
Winfrey Network by Lionsgate. Executive
producers are Oprah Winfrey, Craig Wright and
Tune in on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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