HOLLYWOOD—I am always open to the opportunity to watch a new TV show, because sometimes you never know what little tidbit is going to catch your attention and maintain it throughout the process. With that said, I have been enjoying the new FOX series “Our Kind of People” which highlights the lives of the rich, famous and elite African-American community residing in Martha’s Vineyard.
It is a unique concept that is NOT always spotlighted on TV, so I will give the series kudos for putting that stoplight in the sphere. There are African-Americans who are quite wealthy who don’t live the lives of an athlete or movie star. With that said, I like the dynamic between Leah (Nadine Ellis) and Angela Vaughn (Yaya DaCosta). Leah comes from money, Angela not so much and she is trying to find her footing in this exclusive community where everyone is NOT ready to welcome her with open arms.
With that said, I pegged from the very first episode that in some fashion Angela is related to Leah’s family and we discovered, they are half-sisters; not that much of a surprise, I know, but work with me America. Angela’s mother was a maid who worked for Leah’s family, particularly her father, Teddy Franklin (Joe Morton). Teddy is supposed to be the big bad of the series, but he’s not as villainous as one would hope. Perhaps Morton’s character is holding onto that villainy until future episodes.
He has an ongoing battle with Leah who wants to dethrone her father from their company, Franklin Holdings, but Teddy has leverage over Leah, in the cusp of her husband, Raymond Dupont (Morris Chestnut). Raymond lost control of his company, which is now in the hands of Teddy and that doesn’t make Raymond happy to say the least. He wants his company back and is planning to take down Teddy to ensure he gets it.
Teddy has another problem though: he has Parkinson’s and has been keeping his diagnosis under wraps, but his daughter Leah noticed his shaking hand. She might use that as leverage moving forward. Back to Angela a bit because she is in town to honor her mother’s wishes and spread her ashes, but she is learning secrets about her mother’s past and her tryst with Teddy, who refused to acknowledge her all her life, up until now. DaCosta’s acting can be a distraction at times because it feels slightly forced in some situations especially when displaying anger. As a viewer you can sense it, and I’m hoping it improves as the show continues.
Angela has sparked a relationship with Tyrique who is charmed by Angela, but has ulterior motives because he has installed security cameras in her home courtesy of Teddy for him to keep an eye on what his daughter is doing. Its apparent that Teddy and Leah are afraid that Angela wants her cut of the family fortune and considering she is blood I think she is entitled to a piece of the pie.
Leah and Angela both have daughters who are dealing with issues, Nikki has a temper and ran into some legal issues, the same sentiment can be echoed for Lauren, Leah’s daughter who has been struggling with her sexuality, but came out to her mother who was not as accepting. Its apparent Leah and Nikki, even though they are cousins, are not fans of one another and that friction is playing out perfectly on the show and I’m eager to see where it goes. Leah and Raymond also have a son, Quincy, who is barely prevalent on the series. So I don’t know if the show hasn’t tapped into the character or don’t know what to do with him, but they need to find something for him quick, otherwise why is he there.
We’ve seen a few twists lately, Angela posing as Leah to visit her mentally ill mother at a home care facility. At first I didn’t know what was happening there, but it exploded in the recent episode where Leah finally came to see her mother and then her mother crashed a big event thinking Angela was her daughter. So we learned Teddy was responsible for Leah’s mother spiraling out of control. So the father and daughter relationship between Leah and Teddy is absolutely tense.
Angela also has no idea that her aunt Patricia Williams (Debbie Morgan) has ties to Teddy that she doesn’t want unearthed. Teddy has some major leverage like the fact that Patricia may have murdered her hubby and his using his leverage to strike if Patricia doesn’t get Angela out of Oak Bluffs. We are seeing lots of weaving storylines in “Our Kind of People” and after three episodes I’m all in and I want to see where things play out and how far the Franklin-Dupont family is willing to go to protect their secrets and what other secrets characters are holding that will be unearthed in coming weeks. “Our Kind of People” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on FOX.