Too Close To Home Recap

Too Close to Home: Is Tyler Perry's TLC Drama Just Crazy Enough to Work?

Monday night marked the debut of TLC’s first-ever scripted series Too Close to Home — a political soap created, executive-produced, written and directed by Tyler Perry — and after spending the past 19 hours in quiet reflection, we’re finally ready to talk about it.

If you didn’t catch the two-hour premiere, the show centers around Anna, a jittery little minx toting a veritable Mary Poppins bag full of secrets. Not only are her fellow White House interns clueless about her trailer-park roots, but they also don’t know she’s having an abusive, Fifty Shades-inspired affair with President Fitzgerald Grant Thomas Christian!

When the Commander in Chief suffers a heart attack (I think) during one of their late-night rendezvous, Anna’s secret is revealed to the world, causing her friends — who seemed cool at first — to turn their backs on her. To make matters worse, the no-nonsense First Lady (played by Heather Locklear, whose “special guest star” credit was not lost on this Melrose Place fanatic) makes it her personal mission to destroy Anna.

And then there’s Anna’s family back in Alabama: Her poor sister Bonnie is shacking up with a d-bag named J.B., while secretly pining for a hunky Tarzan-cowboy hybrid named Brody. Out of the goodness of her heart, Bonnie allows her other sister, a hot-mess drug addict named Shelby, to spend the night — one night! — on her couch, and how does she repay her? By screwing J.B. and stealing his rig. (“She took both your loads now, didn’t she?”) Bonnie’s mom is also pretty messed up, but her trailer smells, so we never get to see the inside.

OK, this next part is for people who did watch Monday’s premiere. We’ve got a lot to discuss…

* Why were Anna’s friends so mad when they found out she was sleeping with the president? I mean, I’d be a little annoyed if a friend kept that secret from me, but then I’d be like, “Tell me everything about sex with the President of the United States of America!”

* Was that theme song written specifically for this show? If not, was the show named after an existing song?

* Also, can we talk about this credit? Like, save some jobs for the rest of us, Perry:

credit

* The president’s judgmental secretary is our favorite character, yes?

secretary

* Is it just me, or did half of the premiere consist of establishing shots? I’m pretty sure we watched Locklear walk down that hotel White House hallway for a good 45 seconds. Of just walking. In silence.

* The basic premise of the show — pretty woman sleeps with POTUS, makes enemy of FLOTUS — reeked of Scandal, but did Anna’s friends remind you of another Shondaland pair?

htgawm

* When the bartender refused to take Anna’s friend’s drink order, he said, “Sorry, last call.” Doesn’t “last call” mean it’s your last opportunity to order drinks? As in, you can still order them?

And those are just a few of the points I’d like us to talk about. So grade the premiere below, then drop your full review in the comments section.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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75 Comments
  1. Nicolás says:

    What the hell happened to Heather Locklear?

  2. Ian says:

    Let me watch this. I’ll be right back, lol.

    • Ian says:

      Quickly became a chore to get through. These stilted soaps Tyler makes need to stop.
      Brock O’Hurn’s a better actor than I would have thought he’d be considering he’s been nothing but an instagram hunk before now. One I would like to break my back, don’t get me wrong, but he was totally out of place. He’s like 250 pounds of muscle… for no show-based reason.

  3. Ginger says:

    The first time tyler perry has an all white cast he makes them white trash ……..

    • Et al says:

      Did it hit… wait for it … wait for it… too close to home?

    • I suppose he was trying to show a contrast to D.C’s upper class. I agree though, I really believe it’s insulting to show that kind of low class lifestyle that people stereotype with trailer people. Probably some of them live like that, but I don’t think all of them do. It’s America. We love to stereotype a lot.

    • Janice Newman says:

      I agree! I’m from Alabama and I am put off by him depicting it as a white trash state! I am a southern woman who believes in being kind to everyone including strangers, will speak to everyone I walk by, unlike New Yorkers who I hear would just as soon run over you as speak to you. I have lived in Alabama all my life and it bothers me our state is shown this way. However, I don’t know why but as much as I am disgusted by the show I still watch it mainly because I liked but sometimes hated Perry’s series The Haves and Have Nots.

    • Jay Generico says:

      I noticed that too…If it was the other way around, people would be screaming for it to be banned, taken off the air and for an apology. It really feels like a “aha! I’ll show them !

    • Jay Generico says:

      Some of the most repetitive , dumbest dialogue I’ve ever hear…sounds like a parody on the Carol Burnett Show

  4. David says:

    Someone has to stop Tyler Perry…please!!

  5. terithecook says:

    I’m still on the fence. In all honesty, I was distracted by the way it was filmed and Heather locklear, who I love, but who did her makeup? On another note, I love Kelly Sullivan and I think she makes the show. #teambonnie

  6. meg says:

    i was pretty off put by the stilted acting, but i’m hoping it will get better. (maybe it’s just my distaste for soap operas) i’m intrigued enough to see what happens next

  7. Stephanie G. says:

    The plotlines are either ripped off or laughable and the acting is wooden. The best part of this show (and the reason I tuned in) was Brock O’Hurn and he didn’t disappoint. He needs to be given more to do than mope around, even if it is shirtless moping around sometimes.

  8. Barbara says:

    I thought the acting was horrible, the show sucks. I was going to record it & it’s not worth it. It’s definitely not The Haves & Have Nots.

    • jazzyt2u says:

      Oh then it must be horrible because the acting on that show (The Haves & Have Nots) is the reason I stopped watching and I really like Tika Sumpter…

    • It may get better but I forgot it came on lastnight. When a show is AWESOME, you don’t forget it and you can’t wait till next week. It t is certainly not THATHN or ILYIW, now those two are AWESOME!!!

  9. Jim says:

    The end-credit in question also appears (likely with the exact-same laundry-list of titles) on The Haves and the Have Nots. I think it’s becoming his trademark to do everything except craft services and (maybe) sweeping up the floors after filming. He’d probably act the thing out with hand puppets and silly voices if he could.

  10. tallsy says:

    The main problem I have with the Tyler Perry soaps are the repetitive conversations. Heather Locklear’s character said the same thing like three times. Agree with those above that I don’t know if Brock O’Hurn was decent or my expectations were in the sub-basement.

    Why does Tyler direct these? He has no unique visual style. He could use the

    • Wanda says:

      I think the contant repeating and pauses take away from the show. I love the Have and Have not and If loving you is wrong, but I hate love thy neighbor or whatever the heck it’s name is.

  11. Sandy says:

    Oh my goodness two long hours.. The show could’ve gone for one hour and it would’ve been enough. What the heck did you do with this Brock character? Give him something to develop for his character, mopey and sad just doesn’t work. Made no sense that he was in love with the sister and said he loved her.
    I only watch the show because of Brock, sad they gave him such a crappy character, not much to develop there.
    I predict the show will be canceled

  12. Carissa Pavlica says:

    Seriously, Anna picked the biggest two losers in DC as friends. And Victor is stuck with them (and his goofy straw hat).

    This was like no other soap I’ve ever seen. It’s melodramatic, poorly created, written, directed and produced garbage. It’s a train wreck, but I’ll watch. It’s so bad it’s hilarious.

    Final comment…why is it so many celebrities cannot afford good plastic surgeons in Hollywood? It really surprises me.

  13. holly marsillo says:

    I loved the show and can’t wait for the next episode, as a matter of fact, I can’t wait to go home an my DVR to make sure I watched both episodes

  14. Rose Marie says:

    Wow loved the show! I see a lot disliked the show yet continued watching. Now that crazy. Ppl turn to something else when usually uninterested . But oh well know matter what he will still make money. Regardless who likes and doesn’t and he has plenty of it. More than sure he unbothered by haters , nothing knew .

  15. Shara says:

    I thought, at times, the writing/dialogue wasn’t the best. The plot was somewhat interesting. That being said, I will continue to watch because it may improve AND I want see more of Brody (Brock). Also, I like Kelly Sullivan.

  16. Nan B says:

    I wanted to like this show. I even set the DVR to record the season. I eagerly sat down to watch the first episode and could only make it half way through. The acting was stilted and wooden. Poor Heather Locklear’s makeup was awful! It rendered her nearly unrecognizable. Did anyone else have a problem with the background music? Rather than adding to the atmosphere or to build tension it was simply distracting. As I said, only could stomach it for an hour. Went to my series manager and deleted the whole thing. I love Tyler Perry but this was insufferable.

    • Lyn says:

      That background music is problem on most Hallmark movies, too.

      • Pam Clark says:

        Don’t get me started with Hallmark movies lol, they are truly horrid and dang the only people that have quirky cute silly love stories are slender white women who have hunky white men fall for them, everyone else is just screwed lol. Like umm no Asian, no Black, no Hispanic, no Native Amer no Middle Eastern, smh
        But damn I do love the stupid Christmas movies they have lol they are also a bit more diverse, a little bit lol

    • jack says:

      That LOOP of background music is horrible. It’s like he didn’t want to hire somebody to write a score so he snatched a cut from some old porn movie and keeps playing it over and over.. The music ( and the horrible acting) has made me say..Yep Perry still sucks

  17. Ricky Lee Jones says:

    Why did they make the glamorous Heather Locklear look like Tammy Faye Baker’s chubby younger sister? The show was cheap and badly acted but I’ll be back again.

  18. MagicallySuspicious says:

    Yikes. Heather needs to slow down with the procedures.

  19. pickles says:

    Heather needs to regroup . She is far too pretty to were all that make up.

  20. B B says:

    Quit hating!!! Duh her friends have careers that can be ruined off that info- Duh!! As much as I like juicy details I would’ve walked away also! But u have a lot to say about Tyler perry whose a black man with white actors working very hard under him! Just let the show be great and him continue to get rich- while u sit at a keyboard typing … Oh and they agreed to play whites trash just like blacks agree to play slaves- y’all just mad!!

  21. Anita Anderson says:

    The last call thing made no sense at all because last call means I still get to drink . Can you say Scandal How to Get Away with Murder ? Yes We Can ! And what the heck is going on in Mama’s trailer ? I’m curious by not sure if I really want to know ?!!! Best line best original thought … ” She took both your loads” best line of the night … But eweeeeeee nasty ! Also I didn’t need to see the kid vomit they could have left that out !

  22. Nina Waren says:

    I can’t believe I wasted 2 hours of my life watching this. The “last call” scene annoyed the crap out of me. Who wrote the dialogue?

  23. Wendy cullens says:

    Can anyone explain why the show I pvrd was my 600 lb life when the tv guide said Too Close to Home?

  24. DB says:

    Heather Locklear was the best part of the opener! Played the Ice Queen to the hilt.

  25. Lin Sally says:

    Yeah, what in the heck happened to Heather’s face? Too much filler and WAY overdone makeup. So sad that she’s fallen into the Hollywood “filler” group, ruined such a pretty face. First, she needs to lay off the fillers and second, fire her makeup person (who doesn’t deserve to be called an “artist”).

  26. melissa says:

    The one thing I really liked was my new obsession Brock O’Hurn. WOW!! May not have been the best actor but he makes it worth watching.

  27. Jessica says:

    Why cant Tyler creat his own characters and lines without stealing from other shows. The same sentences over and over is killing me. I want him to be successful but fall back until ur creative juices start flowing again.

  28. Chace says:

    Heather has definitely had several “lifts/botox” I don’t think her face can be stretched much more:DAMN!! Was totally not expecting her to look that way!

  29. L.S. says:

    This show was horribly boring! Bad acting with the exception of Annie’s character and Kelly Sullivan was pretty good.
    I will not be watching this again.

  30. eunice clark-fields says:

    OMG all the conversations are so drawn out and they repeat everything after its been said.
    OMG why are her friends so dang angry lol.
    OMG why are the scenes so long back and forth back and forth getting nowhere.
    OMG took me a while to even recognize Heather Locklear.
    LOL I stopped watching Have and Have Nots just moving so slowwwwwww that guy got killed in Septemper of 2015 he was still laying on Candace’s floor in March 2016 OMG. LOL its funny other successful shows contract out episodes for different writers and or directors and still stay true to the concept of the series. I guess Tyler Perry hasnt heard about that.

  31. Sandy Lee says:

    How big was the trowel they used to put that much makeup on poor Heather Locklear? Under all that drek is a beautiful woman. Almost to the drag queen end of the spectrum; most of whom contour better than that makeup, I hesitate to say, artist.

  32. Wes says:

    Thought I would give this a try last night but I was really disappointed. I actually fell asleep about twenty minutes before the end of the episode. What is UP with the dialogue?! I got so sick of hearing that guy tell Victor that he could not go to Alabama. That whole conversation could have been summed up in a couple of minutes, but just kept going on and on. People keep referring to the show as a soap opera, and I guess I can see that, but hell my regular network soaps move more quickly than this. I MIGHT try another episode, but it’s highly unlikely.

  33. Sub-par acting. Low budget-looking, cheap editing. I could tell which scenes were green screened. Raunchy and borderline pornographic. I mean do we really want to hear or “see” that sister actually urinate outside then walk her unwashed privates into her sisters trailer then put her unwashed self onto her sister’s boyfriend’s lap? Nope. I adore Tyler Perry’s other shows like “If Loving You Is Wrong” and even “The Have and Have Nots”, Between the 2 shows there are only a couple of excellent actors, but most of them are extremely lucky to be on shows because their acting is, well, terrible. But the aesthetics and costuming make up for it sometimes. Back to “Too Close To Home” the thing that holds my interest is just to see how the fallout from the sex SCANDAL with the President plays out.

  34. Ryan flook says:

    The acting is so, so bad on this show. Each scene is so slow. Very strange show! I was excited for the plot, but the acting is unbearable.

  35. rodney Dixon says:

    All of Tyler Perry’s shows move so slow. So over acted. Completely dramatic. Characters blaming each other for the same thing over n over n over to the point where it don’t matter. It’s like watching a train wreck I can’t help but watch…. wouldn’t miss it if it got cancelled

  36. Josie says:

    Love the show!!,Actually any show that Tyler Perry does.

  37. Nic says:

    The black chic on TLC needs to scale it back a bit. She is getting on my nerves with all that rudeness & anger. I want to flip the channel everytime she starts talking.

  38. Joy says:

    A great show but Anna as well as the other women need to grow a backbone!
    ! Stand and fight as one unit. They all had it rough growing up so use that against the enemy not each other. Please give Shelby a clue about anything. Overall still enjoy watching it. P.S. please have someone smack Anna’s friend from D.C. Great job Tyler as Always!

  39. Jay Generico says:

    I wonder how long Heather had to study for her role

  40. Pam Clark says:

    I’m not a fan of Tyler Perry(I’m black) everything he makes is stereotyped and it’s very clear he hates black women lol, so for him to make an all (almost) white cast full of stereotypes is no surprise. The only thing I can say to those offended(white people)by it is, heyyyy welcome to the club!!!!! The club of stereotypes that really suck. Oh and let me add he really hates fat people and somehow intertwines religion in some silly way, like he is forcing it down ur throat. One last thing..thank god he has nothing to do with Queen Sugar…an actual good show with a black cast that isn’t full of bs stereotypes. Ok OK another last thing lol thank god again he has nothing to do with any of my fav shows first and foremost The Walking Dead omg he would totally kill it and turn it into complete crap lol

  41. Lynn says:

    Too Close to Home has a good story line, even the actors are good, but it sounds like they are standing there waiting to say their parts instead of moving fluidly. The only believable one is the one who plays Bonnie. She doesn’t sound like she is “acting”. The pauses in-between speaking are way too long. Also, even Brody needs a new hair style. I know he is supposed to look like trash, but maybe a ponytail would work. Also, maybe the music isn’t matching the scenes. They need to look like they are living the parts & not acting the parts. I do like the show though, as I love the story lines.

  42. Candied Apple Head says:

    Heather’s face look is bloated out due to being over juiced up with buttocks injections & restylene fillers…makes one look like a candied apple head….Kim Kardashian, Ashley Judd,Madonna, etc…fake azz ho’s

  43. Pat W says:

    I love the show “Too Close”. My friends & I have been tuned in weekly for the last 8 wks. Since T.P. Has written, directed, & produced average middle American
    Families as well as the rich folks mixed in there, he’s FINALLY moved on over to trailer park livin’ and he’s outdone himself yet again with the out west livin’ exactly portrayed the way life really is for these folks. Being that my friends & I are “city folk”, we truly enjoy the portrayal of the Midwest trailer park livin’ that we usually get a laugh about. Again, we truly look forward to S 2 E 1-10. Keep up the great 💡 ideas T.P. Cuz we love it!!

  44. K says:

    Ok, so just finished watching the First season, the story is good, but who hired these actors they all SUCK. I’m not an actress but I bet I can do a better job.Some of the lines in this show are hilarious, it better get better in season 2