Lynn Whitfield, Keith David and Merle Dandridge attend Greenleaf Season 2 Press Luncheon on Feb. 3, 2017, in Atlanta. (Paras Griffin/Getty Images for OWN)
I came to actively watch the show Greenleaf on accident. I was tip-toeing in my Jordan’s (more like Chuck’s but whatevs) through Netflix and saw that the first season was available. I knew it was an OWN show but I kind of thought it was a reality show about a family in a megachurch. I was out on that but boredom beset me so a thug ante’d up the first episode and it was on like popcorn from there.
Listen, for all of you people that love you some good African-American television (as my boy Corey calls is), Greenleaf is your show. For starters, they could re-name the show “Shenanigans” and it would not make an ounce of difference. In fact, Shenanigans MIGHT be a better name for the show.
In fact, do you know what the tagline for Greenleaf should be? No? I’ll tell you:
Gigi shows up. Shenanigans ensue.
I’m getting ahead. I’m sorry. Shenanigans almost always have me jumping the gun on things. It’s a curse really. Let’s start at the beginning.
Greenleaf is a show about a family that has over 99 problems. The family patriarch is Bishop James Greenleaf who has a wife and children named Grace (Gigi), Charity, Faith, and Jacob. Grace was the star child who was supposed to grow up to be a pastor and take the helm of the family church, Calvary something or other. Well, it turns out that Bishop’s brother-in-law (wife Lady Mae’s brother Mac) is a child molester of the “who didn’t he molest” variety and molested their daughter Faith as a youth, which allegedly led to her eventual suicide. Grace told her parents what Mac was doing all those years ago but they ignored her which pushed her away from the church and her calling.
She left, moved to Phoenix, met a white man, had a child and got into the entertainment field, but never let the injustice that happened to her sister go. And now that her sister committed suicide about 20 years later, she comes back to Memphis (where Greenleaf takes place) to put Mac in jail and get some justice for Faith.
Seems fairly simple, except nothing in life is ever that simple. See, Grace has some skeletons of her own. She had a thing with the dude who does the thing who is getting married and steps back into that landmine. Her return throws the rest of the family into a tailspin since they’ve been operating just fine without her for years and she’s out here bringing up old shit. Plus, Momma Greenleaf ain’t so keen on how highly Bishop looks upon Gigi. The golden child’s return throws Jacob, the only son and lazy heir to the throne to the side to make way for Grace, causing he (Jacob) and his wife some issues as they try to find their footing again, to go along with the cheating issues he already has.
Charity is married to Kevin, but Kevin is actually probably gay. So you know that’s going to be a thing.
Somebody gets shot. Two people, actually. Auntie Oprah is one of the sisters who gave up church to open a bar. There’s the pop culture relevance of churches embracing police officers who shot an unarmed Black man. There’s scandal. There’s drinking. There’s the random white woman who works for this super Black church because there’s always a white woman in the mix somewhere. That’s a slick-talkin’ pimp-walkin’ pastor with a vendetta because of one of those skeletons in the closet.
You’ve got a church engulfed in some financial scandals, a family that falls into shambles, NOT ALL but mostly because Gigi has decided to stay in Memphis.
Oh…oh…NOT to mention, she is out here breaking all kinds of laws by bringing her daughter to Memphis with her FOR GOOD without the consent of her child’s father who might be a deadbeat, but they signed an agreement and she poo-poo’d all over that thang.
If you’re a person who is for the shits, Greenleaf was crafted especially for you. I mean this in a good way. Sure, your church probably doesn’t (hopefully) have 1/10th of the mess going on as this one…but it could!
Oh, and how could I forget the most crazy party – everybody in the Greenleaf family lives under one roof. Now, it’s a really big roof but still, everybody basically has their own little apartment (sans kitchen) in the house, except for Mac who lives out there in them Memphis streets in a penthouse looking apartment in the sky.
Grace came home to finish what she started 20 years ago, and she just might take the whole damn Greenleaf family down with her. But on the trip…
The first season is on Netflix now. You’re welcome.