Too Close to Home is TLC’s new hit drama, and Tyler Perry really brings it home as writer, director, and producer. After achieving strong ratings for its series premiere, TLC has ordered a second season for 2017, says Yahoo. The show was premiered in partnership with OWN and reached 4.2 million viewers for the first episode on TLC and OWN. Twitter hailed the show the show as the No. 3 drama series in prime time. Tyler Perry ventures into the territory of political scandal and the proverbial challenge of going home again in a story that blends elements of TV’s Scandal and the movie, Sweet Home Alabama.
The story focuses on Anna (Danielle Savre), a White House intern. After a tragic event in the Oval Office, it is revealed to the public that she’s been having an affair with the president. Anna is immediately chastised by the fiercely vindictive First Lady, played by a dynamic Heather Locklear. Anna then loses her job and her apartment in Washington, D.C. and is forced to return to her home in Alabama, where she is known as “Annie Bell.” Although she has misled her fellow interns and friends to believe she’d come from a southern aristocracy of debutante balls and mint juleps on the veranda, nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, she’s from a dysfunctional family in Happy, Alabama who are living in a trailer park and struggling to stretch pennies from one paycheck to the next.The show is aptly named because the scandalous dramas that Annie has to face really do hit too close to home.
Annie’s sister, Bonnie, is portrayed by Kelly Sullivan, a veteran Broadway actress who also appeared on The Young and the Restless. Bonnie waitresses at a diner and has taken over the family responsibilities, which include raising children for her two sisters and caring for her mother who is confined to her bed as a result of illness and extreme obesity. Her mother, Jolene (Tricia Stahl), lives in a trailer close to Bonnie’s and is verbally abusive to Bonnie and other family members. Anna, feeling guilty at the realization of just how much her sister has sacrificed, vows to step up and get a job to help the family. Bonnie and Anna have a little sister, Shelby (Brooke Anne Smith), who has abandoned her children and chased after a life of illicit drugs and promiscuous sex.
Anna has to face family, friends, and neighbors who bear a thinly-disguised resentment towards her for leaving Happy to pursue a “better life,” says Deadline. Not only is she forced to deal with their attitudes, she must face her friends and colleagues from Washington, D.C. A chain of events leads to their arriving in Happy, Alabama and discovering the humiliating truth of Anna’s past. Thrown into the mix of drama, Anna must also face her high school sweetheart, Brody (Brock O’Hurn), who had been left behind, hurt and embittered by her exit to seek a better life. Brock O’Hurn rose to fame after a man bun video he made earned him 2.1 million Instagram followers. He is new to acting, and spoke of his gratitude for the opportunity to work with Tyler Perry when he spoke to ABC News.
“This guy is one of the most incredible, incredibly creative people I’ve ever met and seen in my entire life. It was incredibly humbling [to work with Perry]. It left me speechless, to be honest with you.”
In Tyler Perry’s signature style, plenty of dramatic twists and turns have thus far kept viewers tuning in to each new episode. Season 1 consists of eight episodes, with the finale airing on Sunday at 9 p.m. eastern. For those who didn’t tune in at the beginning, it’s not impossible to catch up. Once the finale airs, TLC is likely to air all eight episodes as reruns before the show returns for its second season in 2017. Sunday night’s finale promises to close the season with enough suspense and shocking twists to ensure viewers will tune back in for Season 2. Nancy Daniels, President and General Manager of TLC spoke about the networks leap from only reality shows to its first scripted series.
“Our audience was ready for a move into the scripted space, and Too Close to Home has whet their appetite to see more. More twists, more heartbreak and certainly more of Tyler Perry’s notoriously dramatic writing.”
Tyler Perry really does bring it home with his newest series, Too Close to Home. Have you watched the show? Who are your favorites and what do you think Sunday’s finale will bring? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by TLC]