Review of "Greenleaf" on OWN From The TV MegaSite

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Greenleaf cast 

"Greenleaf" review by Suzanne 7/7/16
Airs Wednes
days, 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 Clement Virgo.

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