Tuesday night, American TV icon Oprah Winfrey premiered Greenleaf. The new drama series debuted on Winfrey’s network OWN.

On Tuesday, June 21, Greenleaf was finally showed on small screen. The melodrama show tackles several African-American issues accompanied by reflection and consciousness notes and experiences.

TV icon Oprah Winfrey at the premiere of Greenleaf on Winfrey's own network. Image Credit: ABC News
TV icon Oprah Winfrey at the premiere of Greenleaf on Winfrey’s own network. Image Credit: ABC News

This time, Winfrey returns to TV in a co-starring role. She plays Mavis McCready, a blues club owner who is Lady Mae’s sister and also Grace’s close confident.

So far, Winfrey’s religious drama has received great reviews from the media critics.

Greenleaf’s plot

The television drama series presents the vicissitudes of the Greenleaf family which are surrounded by shocking secrets and unfaithful events. All the drama surrounding a bishop’s family takes place in a Memphis megachurch, whose adepts are mostly African-American.

The show’s heroine is Grace Greenleaf, daughter of Bishop James Greenleaf and Lady Mae Greenleaf. Since her childhood, Grace had preached at the influential black church until she went away from home. After 20 years, Grace comes back for the funeral for her sister Faith. Once she meets up again with her family,  Grace gets involved in a complex cluster of lies, affairs and secrets that give to her hard times.

Greenleaf depicts common issues within black families and the black church, which have occurred for a very long time and which have been little streamed on TV.

However, the series not only presents black characters but also there are included two white characters that are critical in the development of the story. The two white characters represent extramarital temptations to break the apparent “balance” in the Bishop’s family. So, The Greenleaf meet devil on earth with these two white characters.

The TV show puts together different aspirational black characters, melodrama hidden in black church’s walls and African-American political and social issues.

The series was created by Craig Wright and executive produced by Winfrey. The cast is composed by Emmy winner Lynn Whitfield as the matriarchal figure of Greenleaf family, Lady Mae. Keith David represents Bishop Greenleaf and the series’ protagonist, Grace Greenleaf, is played by Merle Dandridge.

Regarding her role on Winfrey’s show, Dandridge expressed: “It was time for me to move forward and move on. What I opened my hands to was opening myself to a new experience, not letting Broadway be the end. I may go back to that one day, but there are much more possibility and much more life beyond the 15 blocks that I had been living in for a good decade.”

The 41-year-old American actress and singer did not have on her plans to lead a protagonist role, but she is very pleased about the opportunity that knocks on her door.

Source: LA Times