A Love Letter to Black People: Netflix’s New Black Family Sitcom, ‘Family Reunion’
Undoubtedly, almost every Black person’s favorite family event is their family reunion. Family reunions are more than just fun-filled events, they are opportunities to create memorable relations with family members. If you’ve ever had to stay at your grandparents house, one could imagine what it would be like to live under the same roof as them for a long period of time. Creator and producer, Meg DeLoatch is able to recreate a modern Black family in 2019 in her new show, Family Reunion. In this new sitcom, the McKellan family struggles to adapt to their new life in Georgia, where they will be living with their extended family. Just like family reunions, the McKellens’s lives and household are just as eventful as they find themselves both struggling and growing together while facing the issues of today’s world.
Who else would be the perfect fit for the role of a Black grandmother like Loretta Devine? Alongside America’s favorite Black grandmother, you will see familiar faces like Tia Mowry, Anthony Alabi, and Richard Roundtree. DeLoatch also brings in fresh faces and new talent like Talia Jackson, Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Cameron J. Wright and Jordyn R. James.
By coherently mixing the three generations, DeLoatch is able to distinctly portray today’s Black family as they adapt to current issues. Loretta Devine speaks on age diversity within the cast as she shares that “Family Reunion addresses every issue that comes up within the Black family at some point and I think that they are issues that are coming up now like, “How do I raise my children in this new generation with the internet and all these technologies?” This show gives a lot of answers.
Some issues that come up throughout the season are bullying, healthcare, the impact of social media, individuality and the everyday struggles of Black people, among many others. DeLoatch's purpose of addressing these issues is to not only allow Black people to identify with the situations, but to encourage Black parents to start conversations with their own children and families by acknowledging real Black life in 2019 as well. Loretta Devine added to DeLoatch’s point in saying, “Because this show is written from a Black perspective with a Black showrunner and a majority of Black members, we had a way of being able to write the language the characters were speaking. People are going to really enjoy this and be able to identify with it.” This leaves room for unpleasing, yet realistic situations to be less uncomfortable for Black families to watch and talk about within their own households.
Family Reunion is just that, a family reunion. The fun and loving energy that lingers at family reunions can be felt through the cast members. Each character uniquely addresses issues in a way where the show is able to be both serious and exciting. Interacting with the characters in person only goes to show that the cast members really do treat each other like family and have real chemistry.
The show was officially released on Netflix July 10, 2019, so be sure to catch up! This is not a show you want to miss! Check out the trailer here!