Okay, so I’ve been watching this new TV show, Greenleaf, on OWN Network. I’m weeks late with all of this, and the season finale is this Wednesday, but I don’t care.
I’m so hooked. And from my real life perch, I gots plenty of judgments about them church folks.
I was first drawn to the show because it was about a mega church family and all of their goings-ons, some which I figured would be semi-sordid for a church family… But then again, they’re a bunch of frail humans, so I guess it’s not so sordid after all. These folks just happen to tote Bibles.
Quick-fast pilot overview
Grace Greenleaf, the drama’s central character. She traveled home to Memphis for her sister’s funeral.
Faith Greenleaf committed suicide.
Grace believes her mother’s brother, Robert “Mac” McReady molested Faith. Grace also thinks that violation or series of violations was why Faith killed herself at the serene-looking lake on the Greenleaf family estate. Grace was only coming to Memphis to bury Faith but decided to stay, hell-bent on getting that perv Uncle Mac in jail.
Then there’s Grace’s brother, Jacob, who doubles as a cheating husband to Kerissa… his ultra-ambitious and ultra, no-plank-having-in-the eye judgmental wife who wants him to rise up the ranks at Calvary, his daddy’s church. Kerissa is annoying, and had me wanting to smack her in this dinner table scene which, by the way, felt all to familiar to my church-bred tail.
Kerissa knows her Jacob has a side piece who keeps texting his phone. But she doesn’t know it’s Bishop Greenleaf’s admin assistant, Alexa the Trollop. But she isn’t a trollop on her own…
And then there’s Grace’s sister Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee who oversees Calvary Church’s music ministry. Like everyone else around that family table, Charity has other aspirations. She pitches a kinda corny-sounding sermon series, “Seasons of Christian Marriage,” but her parents don’t receive it well. Actually, they don’t receive it at all. A joke would have been treated with more gravity. So, Grace—with all the gracefulness of her name, jumps in to speak up as a supporting voice for Charity. I thought home-girl would be grateful, do the tag team trying to convince the family to let her take the pulpit a few Sundays to talk marriage in the summer, marriage in the fall and marriage in the wintertime. Charity, with all the charity her heart can muster, pounced beyond stank eye straight to stank voice and down Grace’s throat… told her sister not to play on her team and shouted, “I DON’T WANT YOUR HELP!”
Meanwhile, I get a fleeting thought that Charity’s husband might be gay. On the first episode, after Charity’s sermon series shoot-down, Kevin offered to get a bowl of ice cream with chocolate syrup and watch the Bachelor with her. I thought, “Is this dude gay?” But that was followed by “Maybe he’s being selfless and catering to his wife’s television choices because he loves her.”
Kevin then turned off the TV before the show ended to talk about (and be about) making a baby.
Alrighty, good people. Time for church at the fictitious TV house of the Lord where Jacob the caddish man-trollop is dishonoring himself (actually, some might say he’s honoring himself quite well). Bro-man pulls Alexa into some side closest to bone while Charity is on stage praising the name. It seemed Jacob wasn’t waylaid for very long (too bad for Alexa). He joined the rostrum crew after his scrotum crew got a Sunday morning jostle. Pranced right on stage in the middle of Bishop Greenleaf’s sermon. I’m surprised the writers didn’t script in sanctuary clouds and one lightning bolt as special guests—just for Jacob. “Get a room” never had so much meaning… but still needs an addendum… “…away from the church campus.”
So no good church service seems complete without an appeal, a chance for folks to commit their lives to Christ. Grace decided to do so. I think. Daddy was happy and huggy… Then Uncle Mac whispered something to Pastor Greenleaf, who left his teary-eyed daughter to praise a couple who came down for the appeal and were perched on kneelers. They won the Powerball the week before, but Pastor Greenleaf was shouting because the two decided to make a $50,000 deposit of those earnings into “the Bank of Heaven.” Oh, Gracie listened to that spiel and her countenance slowly reshaped—not into a scowl or anything. The way I interpret it, maybe her disappointment was confirmed? Money is the root… of what? Evil? Episode 1 didn’t let that cat out of the bag, but plenty-nuff felines are mewing about to keep me coming back for more.
See fer yerself: