Greenleaf Recap Season 1 Episode 7: One Train May Hide Another…

mac

Hello World,

This week’s Greenleaf recap will focus on Robert “Mac” McCready, the general counsel of Greenleaf World Ministries and brother of Lady Mae Greenleaf as his inner workings were explored in this episode…

A little background before I jump in…Mac is on Grace’s hit list because she believes that he molested her sister Faith and the molestation was a contributing factor in her sister’s death although the rest of the family doesn’t seem to believe that Mac was molesting his niece…Now that you know that, we can move on…

It Was All a Dream…

This episode begins with Mac in his plush, modern high-rise apartment that was probably secured through tithes and love offerings. He is shown with a light-skinned black girl…I wonder who she is, but then he wakes up. So obviously he was dreaming about this pretty girl, who looks similar to Grace’s daughter’s Sophia…What is he doing dreaming about this young girl?

Anywho, once he wakes up, he gets dressed and heads downstairs to the lobby of his high-rise apartment complex where he sees this girl. Apparently, she lives in the building and is having a difficult time with her mother as she tells him that her mama is off her meds…Obviously, she feels comfortable in confiding in him for some reason….

Memphis Man of the Year…

Once he arrives at Calvary, we learn that he has been named “Memphis Man of the Year,” but while this accolade is a milestone in his career, federal auditors are in the building and are a threat to his standing. Obviously, this audit could be trouble for the Greenleafs, but Mac is trying to handle it. They request the minutes of deacon board meetings for the last three years! Simultaneously, Mac is also concerned about Charity’s new hire Carlton, the music director. He tells Charity that Carlton has filed lawsuits against previous employers and that he is concerned that Carlton may do the same thing at Calvary. However, Charity points out that Carlton filed those lawsuits because he was discriminated against due to his sexuality and how that won’t be a problem because everything is already out in the open. Mac is not convinced and determines they need to meet with Carlton.

Daddy Issues…

To his surprise and at the wrong time considering a camera crew will be arriving to highlight Mac for his award, Mac’s father, apparently a drunk, shows up on the Calvary campus. Mac’s father, who looks like a broke down Dick Gregory with a cane, waits for Mac in his office. His father congratulates him on being named “Memphis Man of the Year” as he read about in the local newspaper and tells him his mother would be proud of him if she was still alive. Mac barely responds except to put some money in his hand and get him out of the building. Apparently, Lady Mae’s father is not welcome for some reason.

Mac encounters Zora, Jacob’s daughter and Sophia, and they ask him questions about the validity of Jesus coming back from the dead and the existence of hell. Mac gives the answers you would expect to them, and Sophia says, “He doesn’t seem so bad.” Obviously, Grace has told her something about her great uncle.

Lady Mae also confronts her brother after she hears her father somehow got onto church grounds although he is not welcome. Mac assures her that he will take care of the issue and goes to see Noah Kendall, head of security, about the matter. Noah tells Mac that a new person on their security team was not aware that their father was not allowed on the Calvary campus. While in Noah’s office, Mac overhears Noah arguing with his fiancée Isabel about the cost of a wedding cake she wants to buy for their wedding. More on that later…

Speaking of daddy issues, Jacob is still trying to get back in the good graces of the Bishop after being removed from his post following his adultery revelation. Since Mac is a direct conduit to his father, Jacob meets with Mac to show him his business plan about getting his father back on television. As I said in last week’s recap, I wondered why his father hasn’t been on television before considering the success of his ministry. From Jacob’s conversation with Mac, it is apparent that Bishop Greenleaf has been on television before and something bad happened. Mac says the bishop “will never go on TV again.” Hmmm….I wonder what happened….Mac also gives Jacob a reality check despite the the fact that he presented a solid business proposal. He tells him now that Gigi is back, “there’s no way you’ll get reinstated.” Jacob questions Mac and says, “You’re still here.” So obviously, Mac did something that he could have been banished for but was kept on anyway….Maybe Grace is right about her unc.

There’s Something About That Name…

Although Mac is a somewhat agitated about the audit, he feels he is handling things until he shows up in the conference room with the minutes the auditors requested, but no one is there. Instead, he sees Grace’s business card on the table. Just her name is enough to get him riled up especially when he later discovers that the auditors are now requesting the personal tax returns of the Greenleafs for the last three years. They ask him to explain what are “love offerings” as the term appears several times on the minutes. Mac explains that love offerings are financial offerings that members bless the Greenleafs with above and beyond their usual tithes. The head auditor asks Mac if the Bishop has been reporting love offerings.

In the next scene, Mac stomps into Grace’s office and shouts, “You need to stay the hell out of business.” Grace is understandably confused about Mac’s anger and asks him to explain himself. He tells her what happened with the audit. She tells him that the auditors came to her and simply asked her if they had any programs for disabled vets. But Mac is not buying it. Obviously, their conflict has nothing to do with the audit, and his next words prove it. He says, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” But Grace tells him that she does indeed know and says her words so calmly even while he looks like he is about to blow up even when he is alone in his office afterward.

Flashing Lights…

Although Mac is amped enough to have a heart attack, he has to calm down because the camera crew has arrived and he is about to be interviewed about being “Memphis Man of the Year.” As expected, Mac says all of the right things in front of the cameras like giving credit to the Lord for his award and how young people should “read, study and stay in school” to achieve what he has achieved…

But after the cameras and lights are off, Bishop approaches Mac to have a private conversation with him in his office. (Aside, did you notice that Bishop’s new assistant is on the plump side and wears glasses?…obviously, she won’t be a temptation to Jacob like Alexa was…) Bishop is mad that he had to learn from the auditors that they are requesting his tax returns. He says, “When were you going to tell me? After they put me in prison.” So, up until this point, I wasn’t sure that the Bishop was a bad dude but this conversation has confirmed that the Bishop is not the upright man that my father, who is also a pastor, is. Oh well…He tells him that he needs to fix this issue and stop going all over town looking for people to save…Wonder what that means?

While Bishop is upset handing over tax returns, Lady Mae is incensed when her father has returned to Calvary again at the worst time. It looks like the “Memphis Man of the Year” reception is being held at the church because Mac is in a tux in this scene…The father has called Lady Mae, his daughter, a “high-yella whore.” Wow! Instead of just being drunk, Lady Mae’s father now has blood above his eyebrow. I wonder what happened. She says, “I cast you down in the name of almighty Jesus.” Mac tries to handle the situation by giving his father more money although Lady Mae tells him to not give him a cent.  After the father shuffles off with his wad, Grace stands there, staring at Mac, which is enough to get him all paranoid again.

In the midst of all of that, Mac calls Noah’s fiancée and tells her to order the $800 cake her and Noah were arguing about. He says the cake will be their wedding gift to them…It seems that he is always trying to find a way to buy loyalty…

Home Sweet Home…

After a long day at Calvary and the “Memphis Man of the Year” event, Mac returns home to see the young girl in the lobby. Apparently, she does not feel comfortable going to her place. This really grown man invites the young, forlorn, girl up to his place. Mac fixes himself some whiskey and gives the girl a non-alcoholic beverage initially. Mac tells her that he was once a disillusioned young person himself and even tried to commit suicide at 12 years old after his mother died on some train tracks. She was crossing the tracks in front of a train that was stopped, but she didn’t see the other train coming. Obviously, the title of this episode has to do with that incident.

Mac explains that the mother had a co-dependent relationship with him, and the train incident happened after he refuses to care for her in way that a child shouldn’t have to care for an adult. He says he told his mother that he had a girlfriend and wouldn’t be available to her in the same way. (Does this explain his pathology? Is this why he goes around town trying to save people like the Bishop said? Did his emotional growth stop at that age as a result, and that is why he is attracted to young girls? I don’t know. I’m no psychologist…) The girl, who seems suicidal herself, can relate to his feelings, and he agrees to give her “just a taste” of whiskey. The episode ends there….

So I’m convinced at this point that Grace is right about her Uncle Mac…

If you watched this episode, did I get this Greenleaf recap correct?

Below is a snippet of Mac’s office face0off with his niece Grace…

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

The Tankards’ ‘Thicker Than Water’ Season 3 Returns on Bravo TONIGHT: My Interview With Ben & Jewel Tankard…

tankards

Hello World,

After you’ve celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with your family this Easter Sunday today, settle in tonight at 10 p.m. with some reality TV!  Bravo Media’s larger-than-life Tankard family returns bolder than ever when Season 3 of “Thicker Than Water” premieres. Leading the charge are Ben and Jewel Tankard with their self-proclaimed “Black Brady Bunch” which includes Brooklyn, Britney, Benji, Cyrene, Marcus, with his wife, Tish, and their newborn son Micah.

This season, preacher and patriarch, Ben faces the stark reality that the Tankard household has become an empty nest and also realizes there are deep emotional wounds that need to be healed within the family, mainly between him and his eldest daughter Brooklyn. Embracing a new chapter in her life, Jewel prepares to welcome her grandchild and launch her very own nationally syndicated television talk show while trying to reconnect with Cyrene, who went to her freshman year of college meek and mild, but reemerged as a certified wild child. Meanwhile, Britney, healthier than ever, is unable to shake the notion that a baby is what’s missing most in her life and embarks on a journey to make her dreams of motherhood come true while Benji and Shanira eagerly await the arrival of their first child. Marcus plans to expand his ministry into Nashville but can’t hide his frustration with his family’s adamant criticism of his wife’s parenting skills.

From an eye-opening girls trip to Jewel’s hometown of Detroit to a traumatizing secret haunting Cyrene, it’s a season of breakthrough and transformation that forces the family to embrace each other and move forward to a place of joy and love. See my interview with Ben & Jewel Tankard about Season 3 of “Thicker Than Water” below:

ben and jewel1. How do you like being empty nesters?

Ben: I love my kids, and now that they’re pretty much all out it’s a challenge trying to keep everybody engaged and connected with each other so we won’t be like ships passing in the night so we know a little bit more about each other than what we see about each other on social media.

Are there any things that you’re looking forward to doing now that you are empty nesters that maybe you couldn’t quite pursue when you had the hustle and bustle of everyone around you?

Ben: Me and mama we gettin’ a whole lot more sexy on. (Laughter) C’mon tell ‘em about it Jewel.

Jewel: (Laughter) Yes, it’s definitely a whole lot more freedom there. It’s a whole other level of playfulness and creativity that I’m really enjoying in our marriage. And for Ben and I both, we are able to spread our wings and really do things we weren’t able to do before. I had my own talk show (The Jewel Tankard Show) on Impact last year. It was the first season, and I got signed for a second season. It was a lot of fun. I got the chance to interview some people that we really love and admire like David and Tamela Mann, Phaedra Parks, Tameka Raymond and the list goes on. We also covered some real heartfelt issues like overcoming molestation. We had some really great topics and great people. I wouldn’t have been able to do all of that before because we didn’t want to be gone from the home so much.

Is there a talk show host example that you want to emulate?

Jewel: I’m sure a lot of people feel this way, but I would have to say I definitely love Oprah. I think Oprah has done a phenomenal job at starting as talk show host but then continuing to evolve. She started the Oprah show, then behind the scenes with Oprah, then Lifeclass and now she owns a network. And she continues to improve herself personally, emotionally and then do the same thing for her viewership, and it’s been a whole journey. She is so much more than a talk show host. And I can really relate to that. I have a passion for women being financially educated. I have a Millionairess Club, and what we have done is insert some of my core values where finances are concerned in the talk show. And that has been very powerful because it fits my brand and what I believe perfectly.

2. Also, during this season, Benji is getting ready to be a father for the first time. Do you feel that Benji is ready to be a father?

Jewel: Ben has grown tremendously. I definitely had a lot of concerns, but I think you guys are really going to have the opportunity to see his process. He is very vulnerable and transparent, and I think it will be relatable for a lot of  men.

3. And what are y’all concerned about as it relates to Tish’s s parenting skills?

Ben: (Laughter)  This is her first time around, and I’m just having a ball just watching how engaged she is. I’ve said to her, ‘You’re going to break the boy in half. Let him have some breathing room!’ It became a competition between her and Shanira because Shanira is a couch quarterback. She hasn’t had the baby yet, but she’s making all of these assessments and saying how much better she is going to be than Tish. And we try to referee this debate between these two first-time moms. It is hilarious. I cannot wait until you guys see it!

4. Now, tell me about this girls trip to Detroit and what was so eye-opening about it.

Jewel: I think the fact that I opened up to my girls about my past in areas that I had not. And I think I was concerned for many years, probably like a lot of parents are, ‘I don’t walk to talk about that,’ or ‘That’s not good.’ But you know what? It was my truth. And I think I had to do it in order for us to go to the next level in our relationship. And I think it gave them a lot of insight into me like, ‘So that’s what was going on with you back in the day,’ and ‘that’s why you are so passionate about certain things.’ We had conversations that I had never had with them before.

I guess you can’t give a preview of what you hadn’t told them before?

Jewel: (Laughter) You have to watch.

Ben: It’s so funny watching the kids challenge Jewel on her behavior when that’s the same thing she’s challenging them on right now. So they’re like,‘Mom, how can you tell us not to smoke weed when you used to smoke weed? Or what about this, you did it?’ It is so hilarious to watch Jewel squirm this season.

5. Ben, I understand that you recently lost 40 pounds. How did you lose this weight?

Ben: I had to make a decision to let the doughnuts go. (Laughter) The devil is a liar! I had to stop the bread and the sweets, the late night eating out. I’ve always been an athlete and into working out. I would get up and go to the gym and play ball with my buddies, but then I’d leave there and go eat hamburgers and hot dogs and a lot of bread so I had to let the bread go and the sweets. I’d like to be as healthy as long as possible so I can enjoy these grandchildren.

6. Do you talk about your weight loss in your new book The Full Tank Life: Fuel Your Dreams, Ignite Your Destiny?

Ben: Absolutely. The Full Tank Life is all about being the best that you can be in every area. There is a section on inspiration, spiritual maturity. It’s an all-around self-help book including health.

7. During Season 1, you were criticized for being all about bling bling or being a prosperity gospel teacher. Do people still respond to you and the show that way now that you are in Season 3?

Ben: Oftentimes, if people don’t know you, they will make an assessment about you. And there were some parts of my testimony that got exposed in Season 1 when I said, ‘I’ve been poor. Now I’m rich. Rich is better.’ What people did not hear is that I used to be poor, but God has blessed me through my career to become successful and now I can be a blessing to other people therefore rich is better for me. What they heard was rich people are better than poor people. And so it went viral. But after people kept watching us and seeing that I don’t make my money from my ministry, I make my money from my music and my career and my talent, they fell in love with us. I have to say from the first season although we had a lot of negativity, it still worked out for our best because people were so mad they wanted to tune in to see who the heck are these Tankards. And then they fell in love with the family.

Below is a video snippet of Season 3:

Season 3 of “Thicker Than Water” premieres TONIGHT, March 27th at 10pm ET/PT on Bravo.

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preachers of L.A. : Sayin’ It Like I Mean It…

Hello World,

I must confess when I started hearing about the new reality show “Preachers of L.A.” earlier this year, I thought “here we go.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of reality shows. I started watching MTV’s “The Real World,” the first official reality show in college and even considered auditioning to be on the show. But back then, although the show had it’s fair share of likely contrived drama, the show did seem to be a realistic and sometimes even poignant portrayal of the lives of people you would probably never meet. I remember being particularly struck by Pedro Zamora, who revealed that he was living with AIDS. At that time, I had never met someone (as far as I know) that was living with AIDS and his inclusion in the show gave me an opportunity to see someone living and coping with the disease.

But now, chile please, reality shows seem to be scripted, over-the-top, spectacles designed to either launch of the pop culture career of some fame addict or revive the career of people who may be talented but have lost their platforms for whatever reason. But let me not be a hypocrite. Trust and believe I will be watching the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” when season 6 premieres tonight! (Is Todd an opportunist or is he really the one?)

But when gospel artists and other Christians began diving into the swamp of reality programming, I was giving them the side-eye but watching to see what happened. I like Mary Mary’s reality show. They are bonafide celebrities without the show, and their fans are able to see the women behind the award-winning gospel duo. I gave the “The Sisterhood,” which featured preachers wives from Atlanta, a chance, but the fact that some of them weren’t technically First Ladies and some of the crazy things that were said on the show made me stop watching after a few episodes. I guess I wasn’t the only one because the show was canceled. I never watched “Preachers’ Daughters” because I have been a preachers’ daughter for as long as I can remember so I don’t need to see that on television. Is that show still on?

If you’ve noticed, all the reality shows I’ve mentioned above thus far have featured Christian women, and that is to be expected. I bet women are the main target audience of most reality programming anyway. And let’s be real. Women, we can be really messy, and we like some mess too! I’m sure that when I get to heaven, I will no longer like gossip, but right now, I’m praying to be freed from the gossip demon! LOL! And it sure don’t help that I’m a reporter by trade! I never expected men of God to get involved in this mess! My husband can’t stand that I watch the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” and even refuses to be in the room when I do. So when I heard about the “Preachers of L.A.,” I was like, “Really, men of God, really?”

So now that the show has been on for a month, I must confess I have watched every episode. And now, I feel I am capable to giving an informed opinion about the latest “reality” offering. I must saying watching a reality show about the life of someone is kinda like being their friend on Facebook. Either you’re opinion of that person will get better or worse, but it won’t stay the same. Prior to the show, I was somewhat familiar with three of the preachers – Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Deitrick Haddon and Bishop Noel Jones.

Here is my opinion of them now:

Bishop Clarence McClendon – I ‘ve really only seen Bishop McClendon as I was flipping through channels either late at night or early in the morning. I’ve never stopped to listen to any of his sermons. He seemed to flashy for my taste. I prefer a more humble looking pastor. Not that you have to have holes in your shoes or anything, but I don’t…something about the flashy look screams salesman. And based on at least one episode where he was arguing with Dietrick Haddon about not going agreeing to speak at churches that couldn’t afford to pay him and accommodate his entourage, my five-second appraisal seems to be right.

Pastor Dietrick Haddon – First of all, this man can blow. Period. The End. No doubt about it. But I must confess, I like him a little bit less after watching the show. I like the way he challenges the other preachers – like the time he challenged Bishop Ron Gibson to show him where the Bible states that “no shacking” is allowed in defense of him considering living with his then fiancee Dominique. But dude is waaaay too emotional for my taste…I’m like “that down a thousand” every.single.episode. But his over-the-top emotionality is not a testament to his character or anything…He actually seems to be refreshingly real about all the contradictions that Christians deal with from time to time living in this fallen world…he just couldn’t be my man with all of that goin’ on…

Bishop Noel Jones – I saw Bishop Noel Jones speak for several nights as the featured speaker at 98th Hampton University Ministers’ Conference in Hampton, Virginia. To say this man is not a enthralling speaker would be wrong. I was captivated every night. But he is coming off too “single and ready to mingle” on the show for me. The woman that he could be dating is Loretta, who is also a business partner. But their relationship is not defined on the show. She is just there. He is cool with her but that’s about it. I went to therapy behind men like that. They cool with me. They just didn’t want to define their relationship with me. We just kickin’ it. Please. In the words of Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Pastor Jay Haizlip – First of all, he is just as cute as he wants to be 🙂 He is a little flashy too with his perfectly coiffed hair and slim fit jeans, but somehow, his image doesn’t rub me the wrong way. Plus, he seems to be a really nice guy. I liked his interaction with the woman in the park who appeared to be an anorexic in crisis. His relationship with his wife also seems to be very genuine. But he’s probably too boring to be featured on the show very much….sad to say…

Bishop Ron Gibson – He’s actually my favorite preacher thus far. I like his Magnum P.I. mustache, but more importantly, I like the way that he continues to reach out to the hood where he came from. The episode in which he brought two O.G.s to a shoe store to try on some church shoes was really nice. (Did he actually buy them shoes though?) And I like the way he is trying to help his sister who is a drug addict. Now, his wife Christy, however, likes to get stuff started. Did y’all see the episode where they had the tea party and invited Bishop Noel Jones’ girlfriend I mean “friend” I mean business partner I mean…I don’t even know what I mean…She know she just wanted to get in their business….

Pastor Wayne Chaney – Hmmm…I don’t what to say about him because he really hasn’t been on the show very much at this point. His wife seems nice, and she is pretty. Her blossoming friendship with First Lady Christy seems to be genuine…I guess more will be revealed…

Did y’all see them on Arsenio last week…Arsenio challenged them to a “Preach Off.” No judgment, but I just cannot imagine my father or Dr. Charles Stanley (my second favorite pastor) taking part in a “Preach Off” not even even when they were younger…Maybe I’m wrong, but I just can’t see it… If you haven’t seen the video, take a look…

And in the second video, they address their haters…Bishop Noel Jones said if you don’t have any haters, you’re not that gifted…Meoowww…

Any thoughts?