Family Reunion: Season 1, Episode 5 “Remember Grace Under Fire?” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

Grace (Erica Ash) with Cocoa.
Grace (Erica Ash)
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Despite all the good Cocoa and Moz thought moving to Columbus would do, the kids continue to pick up bad habits. Also, Moz’s sister Grace reveals a secret.


Network
Netflix
Director(s) Leonard R. Garner, Jr.
Writer(s) Chris Moore
Air Date 7/10/2019
Introduced This Episode
Grace Erica Ash

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Recap

So Many Secrets: Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka

While there was an idea pushed that things would be better in Columbus, it seems old habits are still the same. Jade is sneaking out the house to hang out, Ami is playing with her mom’s clothes and doing what she pleases, Shaka’s Switch is more important to him than anything else going on, and Mazzi is pocketing money from when he runs errands. Which isn’t to imply the kids are bad, but we have yet to see a positive change just because there are supposed to be more eyes around.

This Is Me: Grace, Cocoa

Moz’s sister Grace has long been deemed as the one who’d take over the church. It was determined when she was 17 this would happen and considering Moz is 36, that means for at least a decade, or more, Jeb has been betting his daughter would succeed him. However, that is no longer the case. While Cocoa hangs out with Grace, by force, she learns Grace isn’t on that path anymore.

That isn’t to say she has abandoned her faith, found seminary too hard, or anything of that ilk. More so, her calling wasn’t towards the pulpit but anointed matchmaking, as she has branded it. Meaning, on a deeper level than an app or site, she finds people spiritually yoked – and she is quite good at it.

Grace (Erica Ash) talking about her business and its success.
Grace (Erica Ash)

Listen: Grace, Jeb, Amelia, Moz, Jade, Mazzi, Ami, Shaka

Problem is, that wasn’t the plan and, though it went unsaid, there is the need to wonder how much money was poured into Grace going to seminary? For even if her tuition and fees were covered, likely some of her needs came out of Jeb’s pocket. Hence why he and Amelia bark a bit at Grace. Now, in the long run, they chill out and realize she is an adult but, they don’t end the episode praise dancing Grace’s decision.

Though Grace isn’t the only one disturbing the peace. Shaka accidentally burns down M’dear’s kitchen. To which Moz brings the hammer since, at first, Shaka and no one else would admit to it, and with every adult talking to Grace during the fire, the kids are it. And after Moz cracks down, the kids figure out it was Shaka and are ready to snitch. However, he reminds them they all have secrets and shedding light on his means him revealing theirs.

With that, everyone shuts up. But, as Moz watches his sister struggle with revealing her truth, he questions if he is following that path of his parents. Something that is disturbing to him for while he loves his family, he doesn’t necessarily see eye to eye with them in how they rear children. So, he tries to reintroduce a sense of openness into their dynamic, and while he struggles at first, all come clean. Leading to Shaka, by Amelia, getting a butt whooping.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. What happened to the whole choosing your own punishment thing?
  2. Where in the world is Daniel?

Review

Commentary

A Reminder That Family Comedies Aren’t Necessarily Easy To Binge

Similar to Alexa & Katie, it is very easy to get fatigued from Family Reunion. It does have arcs and storylines which last past an episode, but as you get accustomed to Amelia’s antics, some of the inconsistencies, and other things, it wears you down quick. Which isn’t to say this is an issue just for the family comedy genre but while other genres have shown the ability to have one sitting shows, family comedies coerce you to take a break.

Leading to the need to wonder, personally anyway, could it just be this show is more geared towards kids and tweens, more so than adults? At least in the long term? Or is it just the way this show was written was never meant to be consumed in a gluttonous fashion? That, with a Wednesday release, which isn’t common for Netflix shows, especially if it isn’t a holiday, you’re supposed to take your time so you won’t get fatigued. If not start off with this high, as we did, but then become overtly critical since any and all flaws become more and more glaring and ultimately leave you with a negative opinion.

One which, let’s face it, the show can’t afford. For while Netflix does keep taking chances on family comedies, even ones with Black casts, there aren’t many, and they aren’t necessarily marketing them to become hits. In general, Netflix doesn’t do much beyond social media marketing for anything unless it has become a cultural phenomenon like Stranger Things, Orange Is The New Black, or Thirteen Reasons Why. Perhaps explaining why this is noted as part 1, instead of season 1. For there likely could be more episodes but Netflix, before sending the cash or releasing them, wants to see if this show has legs or not. So that, if the first part does fail, they can release the second, as a last chance, and then cancel with the press statement being “We tried.”

Leading to, and I know we’re so far off-topic right now, a similar campaign to One Day At A Time in which people who either used other people’s accounts, pirated or didn’t watch, are up in arms. Perhaps giving the show more attention than when it premiered and the months which followed.

Which is all to say, here is hoping Family Reunion doesn’t become another example of what could have been, or “Why was it canceled?”

On The Fence

What Was Sold In The Beginning Isn’t Really Around Anymore

Grace (Erica Ash) telling Jade she won't snitch on her.
Grace (Erica Ash)

Don’t get me wrong, I laugh and chuckle at this show, and I appreciate how it talks about Black southern culture, especially with Christian seasoning. However, it did seem at one time to be bigger than that with noting Jade’s Blackness and things of that nature. And while I know I shouldn’t compare the dramas of Netflix to a family comedy, I must admit I enjoyed when the show got real for a beat and wasn’t just about everyone being extra. Especially Amelia, Moz, and Jade.

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