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'If Loving You Is Wrong' premieres with a lot right

Season 1 | Episodes 1 & 2 | “A Twisted Affair” & “Shots Fired” | Aired Sept 9, 2014

Tyler Perry may have made a household name of himself with his movies, but it’s his TV shows that are stirring up the most conversation these days. Remember The Single Moms Club, which hit theaters earlier this year? It was the story of five moms maneuvering through the daily struggles of being a single parent. Well, Perry must have been so proud of his storylines in that flick that he decided they were TV-worthy. And I’m not complaining.

In last night’s two-hour series premiere of If Loving You Is Wrong, we experienced more secrets and lies than most shows offer in an entire season. Everything is wrong about the relationships in the show; that’s why it had me glued.

Of course, there are moments where the acting could improve, but the kind of chemistry that made some of my favorite childhood shows a hit wasn’t there from day one either. That develops over time … I’m hoping. The recipe is all present: a diverse community, problems with the children, and bumps in marriages. Friendships bound by secrets and lies are headed for destruction. It’s very much reminiscent of Desperate Housewives.

As a matter of fact, the opening scene made me feel as though I’d time-warped back to the series premiere of Mark Cherry’s hit show. The cutesy suburban street, school bus, kids, and that mysterious music playing in the background that lets you know it’s not all as peachy as it seems—just wait. I miss Desperate Housewives, so I was hooked in to this show from the gate. Then there’s that Shit, it’s suddenly really hot, turn the A/C on please tool shed scene. That’s where we meet Randal and Alex sexing it up. They’re both married, but no, not to each other.

If you thought that was bad, wait till you find out that Randall is Alex’s husband—Brad’s best friend. Oh, snap. The web gets more and more twisted as the two-hour premiere proceeds. Cheating, infertility, and domestic violence all have their place in the first episode. Loaded, yes, but life is loaded, so we continue to watch because like a bad car crash, we can’t help but see how this all plays out.

What makes me most excited for the show is that in the first episode, racial stereotypes are not played upon. Other stereotypes can make there way in there, but race isn’t part of that. When I step outside my front door, this is what my town in the ‘burbs looks like: We have African-Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasians all living amongst each. Because guess what? Our neighborhoods are more diverse than the casts we’re used to watching on the small screen. If for nothing else, the show is at least worth the watch because diversity on television needs to be supported if we’re ever going to see more of it.

Since there are way more than two main characters, I’m going to break down this first recap by character so you can follow along:

Alex, played by Amanda Clayton: She’s married to Brad, but screwing his best friend, Randal. We find out she’s pregnant, but it can’t be her husband’s because …

Brad, played by Aiden Turner: Husband to Alex, got a vasectomy behind his wife’s back. Has a sexy accent that makes you wonder, Why you cheating, girl? Why is his wife cheating, you ask? Well, that’s because …

Randal, played by Eltony Williams: Well, we saw from the first scene that Randall is the definition of fine, sexy, and manly. We know he can make babies thanks to Alex, though it was joked that his “soldiers don’t march” because …

Marcie, played by Heather Hemmens: She’s Randal’s wife and is desperately trying to have a baby. Seems like she’s the one with infertility problems, and she’s really trying. She leans on her best friend, Alex, in a heartbreaking moment where she’s down about not being a mom. She and Alex are besties, but she has to take her own car since there’s no room for her in Alex’s because …

Kelly, played by Edwina Findley: She’s going house-hunting, and the girls are all joining in on the search. She thinks her boyfriend is going to propose to her and decides to buy a house for them to live in. But he’s definitely not going to be popping that question because …

Travis, played by Denzel Wells: Kelly’s boyfriend Travis has been away on a mission trip. One small detail he left out—the four women on the trip. And poor Kelly thinks he’s going to propose. She even spread the good news to her girlfriends, one of whom doesn’t approve because …

Natalie, played by April Parker Jones: Natalie thinks Travis is too young for Kelly. Natalie’s own son is in prison and she’s grappling with the decision of letting him back in her home for his release. Lushion, the father of her youngest son, thinks she should be hopeful and give her son the chance to atone for his mistakes. Lushion seems like goods new, especially because …

Lushion, played by Malik Whitfield: We got to see Lushion be a real man and stand up for Esperanza when her ex-husband was manhandling her. He’s a good dad, and it seems like he wants to be with Natalie. He relocated to be close to his son, leaving behind his police job, which he was hoping to replace because …

Edward, played by Joel Rush: Natalie tries to talk to Edward about getting Lushion a job, right before Edward goes crazy on Esperanza. We hate Edward. That’s a general consensus I feel comfortable making based on last night’s live-tweeting. He wants to control Esperanza’s life even though they aren’t married because …

Esperanza, played by Zulay Henao: Edward still pays for Esperanza’s house, which doesn’t excuse his male chauvinist behavior toward her. She hasn’t really stood up for herself yet. She’s hiding her boyfriend from him in fear of what Edward’s capable of. We know she was right about him being nuts because …

Julius, played by Octavio Pizano: Esperanza’s ex-husband finds out who her boyfriend is and goes looking for him. Abusing his police authority (a hot controversial topic in recent news), Edward shoots Julius to get him out of the picture. We get the sense that Julius isn’t completely innocent when he tells Esperanza that cops from the 9th Ward don’t really bother him. Hmm.

Clearly there’s a ton going on, but thankfully it’s easy to follow since all of the event are connected in some way. I’m excited to watch the tensions grow as the season goes on—because when the shit hits the fan, it’s going to be insane.

If Loving You Is Wrong, rated TV-14, airs Tuesdays at 9/8C on OWN.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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