Oprah's 'Greenleaf' will make you question everything you know about church
Greenleaf premiered June 21st with a 2 day event. With this new addition and the announcement of shows to come this fall (like Queen Sugar), it feels like
The show is sure to be controversial, exploring the scandal that at times comes in the black church- or any church really. The idea that culture is relevant to this story is founded. Often,
The cast is strong with this one, with Oprah lending her own star power as Aunt Mavis, the family black sheep. Grace Greenleaf is played by Merle Dandridge, the central character. Keith Davis is Bishop James Greenleaf (dad), Lynn Whitfield plays Lady Mae Greenleaf (mom), Lamman Rucker is Jacob (brother) and Gregory Alan Williams is Uncle Mac; all the helm of a great extended cast.
In episode one, we learn that Grace Greenleaf has been estranged from her family for 20 years. She is unmarried and lives in Phoenix with her daughter, Sophia. Although she used to preach at Calvary Church, alongside her father, she doesn’t preach anymore. In fact, there’s a possibility they’re moving to New York, as Grace has interviewed for a job with 20/20.
Grace and Sophia are home to honor her sister, Faith, who has passed away. We learn that even though it's been a long time,
Sophia makes fast friends with her cousin, Zora. We quickly learn that Zora is into some shady things as she offers Sophia Ritalin to snort practically the first moment they’re alone. While Sophia and Zora are off (unknowingly to Grace) getting high, Grace goes over to Beale Street to see Aunt Mavis.
Through Aunt Mavis’ and Grace’s conversation we learn that Faith committed suicide. No doubt the act stemmed from the fact that
As if that isn’t enough scandalous mess going on with this family; Calvary is being investigated. All Tennessee megachurches are being scrutinized over their tax exempt status. Bishop isn’t trying to hear any of that, though. He’s going to stonewall the authorities any way that he can. Meanwhile, Jacob is having an affair with Bishop’s secretary…right in the church. Like service has started, Charity is singing her heart out for the Lord…and Jacob’s in the backroom getting his freak on. I guess we know who he was texting during dinner!
During Bishop’s sermon, Grace is reminded of her relationship with God. What her Dad is saying is reaching her, connecting with her to the point that she comes to the altar; finally accepting what she’d been running from all these years. Her father is thrilled and as he’s talking to Grace, Uncle Mac comes to whisper in his ear.
Bishop leaves Grace to announce that they have new members who’ve just so happened to win the Powerball. They’ve donated a generous $250K to Calvary. Suddenly, Grace is pulled back to her harsh reality. ALL. THIS. HAPPENED. IN. ONE. EPISODE! This show is worthy of a weekly recap. I've already followed the cast on Twitter and I'm ready to see how this story unfolds. I just know it's going to be good and step on some toes!